The Indian captain retained composure as he waded through the crowd of enthusiastic fans

Cameras clicked, flashbulbs flashed and video recorders whirred. Shouts of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ rent the air and there was a scramble for space.

The marauding Mahendra Singh Dhoni often causes mayhem in the middle. Off the cricketing arena too, he can be the cause of much bedlam.

On a hot Sunday afternoon, the Indian captain retained composure as he waded through the crowd of enthusiastic fans. Dhoni was in the city to inaugurate D.R.R. Eye Care and Oculoplasty Hospital in Karayanchavadi.

Despite the chaos, Dhoni’s sense of humour was intact. “I do not want more people to develop problems and visit the hospital. So I cannot wish the hospital more patients. But whoever comes here should get the best treatment,” he said.

To the delight of the audience, Dhoni said, “This is my first visit to Chennai, the city I love, this season. As you all know, we could not play our IPL matches here this season.” He quickly added, “But the good wishes and support of the countless fans from Chennai are always with us, wherever we play. They are our strength. All I want to say is ‘Chennai Super Kings ke whistle podu!’”

N. Srinivasan, vice-chairman and managing director, India Cements, who was the other guest of honour, called Dhoni ‘an icon and a role model.’

As Dhoni left, the crowd roared again. And the Indian captain remained a sea of equanimity.

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