New Delhi, August 17: Called a legend by legends of the game, MS Dhoni's charisma as an exceptional leader turned him into a phenomena but for his childhood friends, he remains the same 'Ranchi boy'.
Known to back his players and his instincts, Dhoni rose from a small town boy to become Indian cricket's heartthrob.
He was chased insanely by his million of his fans and each of his moves (on-field) were under high media scrutiny but the Jharkhand boy handled everything with a wry smile on his face.
He became a poster boy of Indian cricket after his first international century and he never looked back. But success did not go into his head. Ask his close childhood friends.
"Me and Mahi have been friends for the last 35 years. Since nursery, when we were four year old. He got busy with his career and there have been ups and downs but he remained the same Ranchi boy for us," said Seemant Lohani alias Chittu.
The character of Chittu too became famous with Dhoni's biopic, 'MS Dhoni : The Untold Story'.
"We have never seen any change in his behaviour. He has always been so humble and grounded," said Lohani.
"What should I say about Mahi. He has given us so many reasons to smile . So many trophies and achievements. We are so proud of him. I don't have words to describe what he means to us."
Lohani said Dhoni did not change as a person despite rising to be a global superstar.
"Do you forget friends when you become a celebrity. If you have met him or known him, this question should not have arisen in your mind,"
"He is the Kohinoor of Indian cricket. There have been many legendary players but there will be none like him. The player you can trust till the last ball and the captain brought laurels for the country the way he did . It is my opinion of course," he said.
'Chittu' did not reveal much but indicated that he has helped almost everyone who crossed his path.
"Since he had started playing, there have been so many precious moments that it is difficult for me to choose one. I am not talking about the moments on the field . He has done so much for us which is difficult to describe. Yaaron ka yaar hai Mahi," he said.
"Media asks if he has time to meet with his old friends . Don't you see the pictures. In any case it is too personal that we never wanted to share," said Chittu."
Known as a private person, Dhoni has been a fun-loving boy since beginning says Chittu.
"He never keeps quiet when he is with friends. He is a fun loving normal boy but we don't discuss Cricket. There are many other topics to talk about. We are his close friends but cricket is his love."