Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If I were Dhoni's mom....

India’s biggest Superstar ever, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is ten years younger than my older son, and almost the same age as one of my daughters. The thought that I could easily be his mother is seriously scary. Why scary? Because, I’m certain I wouldn’t know how to handle it. Look at the guy – just look at him! Is he for real? So wise, so cool, so mature, so damn successful! And he’s all of 26! What did his mother eat when she was carrying this boy wonder in her womb? What were her thoughts? Her emotions? Was she on a special diet ( soaked almonds? Pure ghee? Lassi?)… or did she sing the right songs to her unborn child? Read out cricket scores? Make him listen to cricket commentary? Recite from the scriptures? What? I am sure there are countless mothers all over India wondering about the same thing. Especially mothers of toddlers who are aspiring test cricketers (at this point, what’s the bet most little boys who watched the historic World Cup final, and Dhoni’s spectacular sixer that clinched it, lisp that they want to grow up and be like him). We now know what it takes to be a champion ( guts, talent and the right temperament). But what does it take to be the mother who produces such a champion?

I’m sure the lady who gave birth to this extraordinary man must be extraordinary herself. Not in a flamboyant way. Not in the public space her son now occupies…. but determinedly, quietly, steadily and surely. It is not often that mothers of male super achievers are given their due. Even Sachin Tendulkar, looks skywards and thanks his late father when he hits yet another milestone. We know Sachin has deep regard for his mother… but not much is known about the lady who gave birth to this living legend. Yuvraj’s mother is more upfront while claiming her rightful place under the sun. Shabnam Singh doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind when she thinks her precious son has not been appreciated enough. She even goes so far as to write a strong letter to an international fashion magazine that had dared to comment on Yuvraj’s girth last year ( they loved her feisty style, and printed it). After this victory, she is has been both visible and audible talking about her ladla beta. But since this is Dhoni’s moment as the captain of the victorious team, it’s more relevant to track his antecedents. Besides, Dhoni’s story is so much more dramatic… in fact, it reads like a tv soap. This young man from Ranchi has scripted one of the most inspiring, real life stories ever and like it happens in fiction, we want to know more about the lady who brought him into the world. From the little that is available in the public domain, Devaki married Paan Singh and produced three children, two boys and a girl. She prefers to stay in the shadows and let her son’s success do all the talking. She was admirably discreet even during her celebrity son’s modest wedding last year. She has done a bloody good job of raising her kids. Nobody can taunt her by singing, “Maa da laadla bighad gaya…”

If I were in her shoes, I would have insisted on getting some exclusive ‘Mommy –time’ with the guy, before the world grabs and monopolises him I would put in a pre-condition - no managers, lackeys, fans, hangers on, endorsement chaps, deal makers, cricket officials, body guards, stylists, advisors, chamchas, dieticians, bankers, physical trainers… not even his lovely bride Sakshi . Just me and my boy, bonding over comfort food and conversation that has nothing to do with cricket. Over chai, daal chaaval and his favourite guilty snack, I would make him laugh, even cry… and forget he is MSD – the most successful cricket captain in the world right now. I would tell him over and over again that he’s a champion – my champion. A permanent hero in a mother’s eyes, regardless of wins and losses. I’d restrict my comments to light hearted banter and remind him of his carefree childhood, running around Ranchi in half-pants and bunking school. The one thing I wouldn’t do is treat him like a star – a mega star. I would not allow myself to be overawed or overwhelmed by his success. Nor make any references to those dramatic moments that brought so much joy to so many people. Nope. I would treat him like a ‘normal’ son… shower him with love ( the same love he has known since birth, nothing ‘extra’ because he is a super- celeb now), wipe the tears of joy from both our eyes with the corner of my saree… and carry on like nothing has happened… and certainly, like nothing has changed… nothing will… regardless of circumstances. That’s what moms are there for. To provide a reality check, along with unconditional love, no matter what…. no matter whom. Dhoni has more than a billion admirers all over the world. But only one mother. He has the world at his feet, but I’m certain his biggest trophy of all time still remains his mom. Well done, Mummyji! India is proud of you.

18 comments:

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manisha said...

i'd love to read about Dhoni's mom too. i wish the paper's would cover her rather than *what's her name, going to be nude - who is now a part of what's its name reality show*

the really powerful women are really quiet :)

Appu said...

I remember a dialogue from the movie Spider-man - Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.

R-A-J said...

Guess whn Deewar said, "Mere Paas Maa Hai", Dhoni's Maa'd be sayin "Mere Paas Dhoni Hain" :)

Yup, Dhoni is a super dude.. the guy's most disctinct feature is his trademark 'Kool' n his powerful decisions..whn ppl started doubtin his abilities, he quietly went ahead n won us the World Cup..truly legendary !!!

And behind, every successful man, is a woman...in hs case, it must b his mom... :)

Obsessivemom said...

Yay to Dhoni and ditto to your thoughts about he being so young and yet so sorted... even during the post match victory lap there was nothing like 'I'm the captain the limelight's mine' He was contest to not always be in the centrespread. What a guy!

Radhika Gupta said...

lovely post... you have beautifully expressed the thoughts of a celebrity son's mother...

sunitha said...

"wow" That was a superb way to celebrate our Champion Dhoni. Your words are so ornamental..just loved this post.A must read for dhoni fans.Loved it!loved it,loved it.The whole cricket world is "dhonised".I really hope and pray that they publish this post in cricinfo.

Tsomo85 said...

Raj you are so right! Dhoni's action says "yes i've proudly inspired my cricket skill from this cricket god name(sachin) who gave me the victory." hehehe Guys his wife is from my hometown! LOL Btw I think Dhoni is also good football player as well. Dhoni and Sakshi made all of us who came from small town so proud. It shows we are not less & other younger generation from small town should also appreciate what they've &
(JUST DO IT RIGHT) & be the next champion within themselves<3

Uppal said...

A great write up. Dhoni's mother deserves all the accolades,being the mother of a super achiever.
she represents all the mother's in India who remain in the shadows of their son's successes and are still happy and contented.This post is an extraordinary piece of writing.Congrats!!!

kirnic said...

De has appriciated one of the luckiest mother's efforts in rearing up this living (would-be-legend) Mr. MS Dhoni, who has displayed his magnificent performance in cricketing, not only at Vankhede alone,(Even so, Vankhede would be a memory cherished for him on being the captain of Team India that brought the long-awaited glory and cricketing euphoria back to the maddned cricket nation after almost a long wait of three decades) but almost everywhere wherever he played. In MS Dhoni, what i could see so far is a phenomenal character representing Great Indian Pool of Talent and the great leader, (unlike our politicians, dont construe this up wrongly in connection to our so called 'leaders.'
He is everybodys dream!
Congrats Dhoniji!
And thank you Shobaji for aknowelegding mothers' efforts!
You seem to be inclined towords a silent feminism!

ms said...

mz de, if anything, i would slap yuvi if i was related to dhoni. the chap not only hogs the limelight that was rightfully dhoni's, but also reveals his "special someone" to be tendulkar! how's that for a total publicity hog! my most enduring memory of the WCC win? all the fuss being made over sachin and a quietly smiling dhoni walking behind his screaming, sobbing, boisterous "we-won-the-wc!" mates! when you have a moment, please let the team know that the correct term is WCC and not WC? i thought yuvi had presented his then mysterious special someone with a new toilet when the team defeated the pakistani team, "i dadicate my wc to a special someone"......

goodluck said...

I just dont like Yuvi. He is too full of himself. And he tried to belittle Dhoni's success by overtly overpraising Tendulkar and at the same time totally ignoring Dhoni's obvious success.
As for Dhoni's mother, she seems to be the coolest one, never trying to overtake anybody by force. That coolness must have rubbed off on Dhoni.
For a mother, children's success make them more apprehensive(nazar na lag jaaye).
Mothers love their children unconditionally irrespective of their achievements. Sometimes even wives do it and daughters mostly do it. That is the innate strength of a woman.
This is one of your best blogs.

*Aham* said...

i love mothers of all kinds and shades, the chup-chap-chodo-chaap ones like MSDs and the Chaddo-Yaar-Maaro-Vaat types like Singh's.

regarding MSDs mom, i think she would have been the same mom... even if the MSD was not a captain and just a 9-5 wala accountant. And thats what makes it very special.


Maa Kasam!

from lasoon to kaanda and bataata, to buying "nikkar" to slipper... the indian mommy deserves all the pampering for all that she gives.

kanch said...

If there were a film on MSD's life, you would be in three roles: romantic lead, mom, and daughter :-)

Durga U.K said...

I read your article "If I were Dhoni's Mummyji" in the Deccan Chronicle...

S uch an interesting read indeed!
H ope this article about the adorable &
O utstanding Dhoni & his mom
B e read by him as well as
H is own loving and
A dmirable Mummyji…
A bout whom you have
D escribed in your own
E xceptional style

Me too a Dhoni fan...Durga U.K...www.durgauk.blogspot.com

Durga U.K said...

I forgot to enter my email id below my comments.

My mail id: uk.durga@gmail.com

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Andy Roy said...

It's not only about MSD's mother but the 13 other mothers and their sons who brought back the cup home. 2 April 2011 was the yet another defining moment of Indian cricket. Labelling Mrs. Dhoni (Sr), Shabnam Singh or Rajini Tendulkar for their legendary sons is not correct... Being Saroj Kohli (Virat's mother) is as proud a moment for a lady's motherhood.