#SoG106 - Dhoni or Kohli?

#SoG 106. Dhoni or Kohli.

Who do you relate to more? MS Dhoni? Virat Kohli? Why do I ask? Read on!

In the business I am in (entertainment, content, communication, marketing etc), they say there are just three things that work - AB and C. Astrology. Bollywood. Cricket. This one is inspired by Cricket. The inspiration came when I met this young student from a prominent business school in Mumbai and while talking about his life and all, he mentioned that most people his age tend to look at life as a choice between two schools of thoughts - Kohli's and Dhoni's.

Now I don't really follow cricket much (since Sachin retired and since IPL made cricket more frequent than those saas-bahu soaps) and thus I am not really aware of the choice. I mean I did know Dhoni is the Captain Cool that does not have any emotions per se. And I know Kohli is the epitome of the aggression that young Indians want to be (except, I am guessing, his Manyavar ads). So, I asked him to elaborate. And this is how the conversation went (well, almost. I have added a few words, lines etc for impact).

Me: So tell me more about this Dhoni vs Kohli conundrum.
He: There's nothing to tell. You know, how Dhoni is the cool-headed, calm person that remains unmoved even if the team is losing. Or if the team is winning. And Kohli is that wave of aggression even if there's nothing happening on the field.
Dhoni is about delivering on your karma.
Kohli is about giving into your senses.
Dhoni is about staying in the shadows, not chasing validation and doing the work.
Kohli is about being out there. Bold. Larger than life. Vivid.

Me: Makes sense. Which one do you relate to?
H: I don't know the answer. But I think that if I am not the Kohli kinds, I am missing out. You know, FOMO? I don't want to be this uncool guy in my college. Left to myself, I would just sleep, watch Tamil movies and eat spicy food. But at the campus, it is very tough to not be that cool person. So I don't know. Dhoni on some days. Kohli on the others.

M: Why do you care about what others have to say? Why is validation that important?
H: Why else am I around? If I am not respected by the people around me? If I don't get a 100 likes on each photo I upload on Facebook / Instagram, what's the point of going that extra mile to click that photo?

This is when I am thinking that the Internet is fucking with the brains of kids around us. And these are intelligent, thinking individuals.

M: So you think you want to be a Kohli because that would get you access to "likes" on FB?
H: If not likes, I would get some respect for sure. I would be able to walk with my head high and go back to sleep with some pride.

M: Wow! that's so wrong at so many levels. But that's a topic for a different day. Tell me, does Dhoni not get respect?
H: He does. But you know, Dhoni is that guy who just puts his head down and delivers. He does not create hoopla about every tiny thing he does. Kohli is always in the news. Dhoni is never ever in the news. To be able to become a Dhoni, it would be a, I become so good at what I do that no one misses me even if I am not in the news. And b, I should be ok to be alone. But I am not. I need validation. I need people around me. I have this need that people must say that I am great. I need to prove myself. The hard way is to get my work to speak. The easy way is to scream out loud about every tiny thing I deliver. Something that I feel Kohli is great at.

M: Are you implying Kohli is any less player than Dhoni?
H: Not really. But his entire countenance is aggressive, in the face. You can not miss him. That is what I seek. I don't want to be not missed by anyone. And I am willing to work hard.

This boy is willing to work hard to get validation. And not work hard to achieve a greater purpose. You know, make a dent! Again, damn the Internet!

M: Ok. I hear you. Tell me more.
H: I don't know what else could I talk about. There has to be a way I could be like a Kohli even though I don't play cricket.

At this point, I realised that I don't really know how to give an answer to this person that could help him. Except delete all these SM apps from his phone for a month and go on a detox (which I think everyone, young or old, must do). The conversation continued for another hour or so. I did find a breakthrough but that's between him and I.

For this letter, a few things that I could table are...

  1. Which one of the two do you relate to? Cool, calm-headed, hardworking, letting the work speak louder than words guy? Or aggressive, flamboyant, in the face kinds? What can you pick from them? What can you implement in your life?

  2. I think while it may be tough to describe "who you are" in absolute terms, you can use others to describe yourself. You know, you could say, "I am like Steve Jobs (or Warren Buffet or MK Gandhi or whatever)". Who do you idolise? Want to epitomise?

  3. What do you think could I do to help these young students? I spend a lot of time with kids and I really want to make a difference!

That's about it for the day. Until tomorrow.

Thank you for reading,
@saurabh

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