People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
These meaningful words from Maya Angelou beautifully describe what MS Dhoni (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) has left his ardent fans and supporters across the globe with after announcing his retirement from international cricket.
With respect and adulation pouring in from every nook and corner of not just the cricketing world, but also from eminent personalities across various spheres, one does not need to be reminded of the impact MS Dhoni has had on the cricket field and beyond.
In fact, looking closely at these words of praise being showered on MS Dhoni, one realises that the Ranchi-born world-beater ended up with an envious set of statistics as a batsman and a wicketkeeper. People are hardly talking of his magical cricketing performances that he produced between those two run-outs that marked the beginning and end of his illustrious career.
Instead, what they are indeed talking about is the true magic that MS Dhoni created in the minds and hearts of everyone who played with him or saw him achieve greatness. It was through such heart-winning moments that MS Dhoni formed a deep connect with every common man, who fondly called him Mahi, just like one of their own.
One can continue writing words of praise for MS Dhoni's cricketing genius, but adjectives will start falling short. And it is thus better not to venture into his stats as the best finisher, the best captain, the quickest behind the stumps, or his decisions which stumped everyone, including his opponents.
Let us rather try doing something which no one ever has been possible to and might never ever be able to in MS Dhoni's case: try predicting what he could be up to during the second innings of his life.
Five alternate professions that MS Dhoni could do post his retirement:
#1: Serve the Indian Armed Forces
No prizes for guessing where Lieutenant Colonel MS Dhoni's heart lies beyond the cricket field. Conferred with the honorary title in 2011 for his contribution to Indian cricket, Thala was not content at being honoured with the title alone. He went on to serve the Indian Territorial Army in a short two-week stint in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir post India's exit from the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
MS Dhoni has been an out-and-out patriot, a trait he has shown across the years while he proudly donned the Indian blues. One should not be surprised if MS Dhoni decides to spend more time serving the Indian army in the near future given that he is still one of the fittest sportspersons in the country.
#2: Management professor at a B-School
MS Dhoni's unorthodox cricket technique meant that he had to rely on more than just cricketing talent to become the man with the Midas touch that he did. What often helped his cause was his extremely shrewd mind, the sharpness and genius of which is unfathomable and unseen in the cricketing world.
No matter what type of situation you put MS Dhoni into, he would always devise a way to come out on top. One could argue that a few of his decisions can be termed fortunate but to have been able to do that consistently and with different groups of people across varied conditions surely requires more than just good fortune.
Moreover, the fact that MS Dhoni always knew what to expect from his teammates and could clearly define his own role in the team, in addition to efficiently using the resources at his disposal, bodes well for his role as an MBA professor.
Thus, the multiple World Cup-winning captain could be a perfect choice to teach management students at a business school. That is because he will have so much knowledge to impart to future business leaders for them to make informed and intelligent decisions.
#3: Enter politics
Because of his two traits of patriotism and intelligence, it is likely that the 39-year-old MS Dhoni could beautifully fit into the role of a politician that the nation both needs as well as deserves.
His popularity has no bounds, which will ensure that he may not face much problems contesting any election. And the major reason behind why Mahi could do justice to this profession is because he is someone who can strategise, plan and bring together varied people to achieve common goals.
Besides, MS Dhoni's focus on process over results would mean that he could help improve the image of various government departments. It is worth mentioning in this regard that he will do all of this without hogging any of the limelight.
#4: Meditation Guru
It is not for nothing that MS Dhoni has been termed 'Captain Cool'. He is one of the coolest cricketers to have played the game. His demeanour at any point in his playing days spoke volumes of the strong head that he carried on those burdened shoulders.
Treating the two imposters of triumph and defeat equally in a Kiplingesque way, MS Dhoni showed that greatness lies not in achievements but the manner in which they are achieved and what you choose to do in their aftermath.
Even in his retirement post, Mahi did not fail to acknowledge that he is a 'pal do pal ka shayar', underlining the importance of living in the moment and not resting on laurels.
Someone with that cool a head and such humility could definitely preach meditation and benefit people.
#5: Giving back to cricket
From what we have come to know of him, MS Dhoni would probably distance himself from cricket and all the attention around the sport in our country once he finally hangs up his boots after the IPL.
On the other hand, knowing MS Dhoni's passion for cricket, one could still expect him to give back to the game that put him at the top of the world.
It would be unlikely to see him in the commentary box or as a cricket expert for a broadcaster, but one may still hope for him to pass on his cricketing brain to those in whom he instilled the belief of defying odds to have the world at one's feet.
However, it would be a huge loss to Indian cricket if they cannot manage to rope MS Dhoni in for any kind of administrative or mentoring role in the future. The younger generations deserve to learn from the best captain India has ever produced.
In fact, the BCCI could well think of assigning MS Dhoni with a programme that caters to the development of cricketers from smaller towns and cities, and you could see him nurturing future Indian captains.
The fact of the matter is that whatever MS Dhoni may chose to do during his second innings of life, he will likely do well in it. That is because he gives his heart in any endeavour he performs or undertakes.
And for those crores of fans whose hearts MS Dhoni touched, the world will obviously be a different place post 1929 hours, Independence Day 2020.