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Things you do for love ft. MS Dhoni

Retirement on days dances to Mahi's tunes and is adamant about not wanting a goodbye kiss just yet.

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MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)

Retirements are painful. Like retirements, transitions are painful too. They hurt, hurt badly, and take time to cure. But at no point one would regret it.

When we talk about finishing acts and swansongs, MS Dhoni is the one that first comes to mind with his retirement talks travelling at a rate of over 250 miles per hour from Chennai to Ranchi, across India and beyond. 

Will it be MS Dhoni's last IPL game at fortress Chepauk? Or will it be his last game ever in the IPL and so on.

But like his usual self, MS comes along with his cheeky smile and answers so bluntly yet beautifully. 

"Hopefully, yes". 
"Definitely not".
"But, I still haven't left behind".
"You have decided it's my last". 
"I have 8-9 months to decide; why to take that headache now". 

These have been MS Dhoni's words year-after-year during CSK's final games of respective seasons, and fast-forward to 10 months on, it's the magician who weaves magic in a world of his own, and we just try to be a part of it. 

Retirement on days dances to Mahi's tunes and is adamant about not wanting a goodbye kiss just yet. It's like, you know, telling the one you love you'll be there, and then being there. The former comforts, but the latter saves.  

Somethings in life that words can't describe; love somehow finds an answer. 

But first, let us understand what love is?

Isn't it all about letting go? If you love, you let go. So love can be termed as a sacrifice.

Maybe not. 

But then, it could be about making a promise and coming back with the same vigour every year, like how MS Dhoni comes back every time for Chennai Super Kings. So love could be a promise, and a promise, once made, is a promise kept.

You expect love to be unconditional. That's the sort of love Dhoni has for cricket. A relationship pure and utterly genuine. The old guard with a little kid's heart still hopelessly in love with the game. 

People talk about love at first sight and things, but no. It wasn't the same with Dhoni and cricket. Those two grew  together and matured into something meaningful that gave peace to a lot of broken hearts.

An aspiring goalkeeper who went on to keep wickets for India, that's a story in itself, yeah? Hence we can conclude that relationships are built over time, and not overnight. 

A sport that is a religion in a country of over 1.4 billion met a passionate young kid, and it all made sense. It made sense right away. It was love. It felt like a marriage made in heaven.

Cricket stood with Dhoni and walked through life full of struggle, desperation, and failure, and at times when Dhoni just didn't know what decisions to take. 

Well, everyone can take decisions, but taking wise decisions is what matters, and that's when cricket held Dhoni's hand. 

It stood by him when a crowd of Indian fans attacked his house in Ranchi after the 2007 ODI World Cup debacle, hugged him when frustration followed a ticket collector at Kharagpur railway station when life was going nowhere, and loved him when a kid who dared to dream went on to achieve some amazing things for his country. 

Dhoni's won titles, trophies, people's hearts and whatnot. But there comes a time in everyone's life when reality suddenly hits, and the fear of the unknown creeps in. 

The human body can go for only so long and is designed in a way that it can endure only a limited amount of pain. Dhoni might have been down for a while, but he was never out. But what makes him keep going? Where does the drive come from?

Well, it comes from a voice deep inside his big heart that pushes on even if it's almost dead, pleads its way back, and asks for one more chance. If it had to be summarised in just a single word, 'love' smiles from a distance. 

The freak from Ranchi still has that fire burning, even though it is just a little spark -  has the ignition to drive a 41-year-old man to turn up and act like a 28-year-old behind the wickets. 20 overs later, to pad up, walk straight in and absolutely take the attack to the opposition. 

To put his body on the line at 41, knowing it could actually end his career in ways he wouldn't want it to, is love for the sport beyond words, beyond belief.

Life sure is all about going the extra mile. But can we put a price on it? Can we put a price on Dhoni's love for the game? Probably not. 

The reason being, cricket has been there for him when no one was. People can disappoint, but the sport you love just doesn't. It's a two-way street. Like how Dhoni isn't ready to quit, cricket isn't ready to lose Mahi either. 

Why is it a two-way street?

Because love is like steel that knows no rust, and it does not stop until hearts are broken because the hope of having a beautiful end just wins over all the pain and makes it worthwhile. 

But at the end of the day, regardless of how life pans out, MS loves the sport, and people love him for that. There will come a day where regardless of how much he works hard, pushes himself to the limit, and ensures all boxes are ticked; he'll still be told, "Sorry, today's the day, mate", and suddenly it's all over. 

So why rush it like he's striving for pole position on Saturday to determine his grid order on Sunday? Sit back, buckle your seat belt, and cruise control your way to MS Dhoni's retirement speech.

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