Dhoni’s Ranchi where you see ”˜Mahi’ written all over

By Gaurav Joshi

Ranchi: Indian Cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni riding a bullet on the streets of Ranchi on Monday. PTI Photo

As the plane heads south of Delhi and swerves to the left towards Ranchi, there is sense of apprehension about the impact Mahendra Singh Dhoni has had on his town and people. After all it was Dhoni that put Ranchi on the world map. Before that it was a place the rich Bengali families called it their summer capital. There was no cricketing significance attributed to this town until Dhoni arrived on the scene in 2005.

The minute you land in Ranchi, chances are that amongst all the airport staff one of them will have a Dhoni story. The minute you hail a cab, chances are that he has driven past the Dhoni household in the past week and the driver will inform you about his whereabouts.

Every man knows where Dhoni’s house is in Ranchi but barely any of them have seen him in the town over the past decade.   But in the past few months things have changed. Ever since Dhoni retired and since the birth of his daughter, he is spending more time at home.

But the neighbours say they have waited for a long time to get a glimpse of Ranchi’s favourite son but apart from a quick sight of him getting into his car, he is rarely to be seen.

According to his friends when Dhoni is in Ranchi, he doesn’t like to carry a phone and since the development of his sports complex adjacent to the cricket stadium, he likes to spend much of his evening there playing badminton, snooker, tennis or table tennis.

Back in the heart of the city almost one out of five stores, restaurants, dhabaas will distinctively have the word ”˜Mahi’ written on their billboards.

Then there is the chain of fitness gyms that have been started by Dhoni himself. Couple of the tallest building in town are apparently owned completely by Dhoni.

The house Dhoni lives in is patrolled by a security guard at the front gate with rifle in his hand.   From the front it seems like a simple villa but the house extends deep at the back.   Everyone knows he lives here and chances are that every hour a person will ask the security guard at the front if they could take a picture.

According to the locals Dhoni rarely drives his cars, it is all about his bikes. There are still local joints that he visits but that too at odd times and he is accompanied by his childhood friends.

The minute you depart Ranchi, you realise that Dhoni has left a major influence in the town. Nothing else sums this up more that when the cab driver asks, “You are leaving Ranchi? Did you go see where our Dhoni lives?

Mahendra Singh has touched everyone’s lives in this small town. The city where more than just the affluent Bengalis come during summer.

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=8646