We saw a lot of Mahi and Ziva during this year's IPL Image: Twitter
MS Dhoni's relationship with daughter Ziva has, time and again, been the toast of the entire nation. The father-daughter duo has gifted us some aww-inspiring moments on social media more times than we can count and the chemistry between the two seems 'perfect' to a T. But just because it seems effortless on the surface, nurturing and developing the super-adorable relationship hasn't always been a cakewalk for either.
In a recent interview with Star Sports, the former India captain and Chennai Super Kings talisman opened up on the challenges of fatherhood, especially taking into account his profession, which requires him to stay away from his family and, of course, Ziva, for long periods of time.
"In my case, the problem is when she (Ziva) was born I was not there (three years ago), most of the time I was playing cricket, so everything bad somehow is thrown at me (to deal with)," he confessed during the exchange.
"Khana nahi kha rahi hai, papa aa jayenge, khana khao, papa aa jayenge mat karo (she's warned of consequences coming from dad when she refuses to eat her food or does any mischief). So, in a way, she looks at me and she is slightly on the backfoot," Dhoni added.
In my case, the problem is when she (Ziva) was born I was not there. MS Dhoni
In this era of hyper-professionalism, we know how difficult it is to take out time for your loved ones or even be there for them as much as you want to. This harsh truth holds true not only for Mahi, but every working professional out there.
Despite being a major hindrance in connecting with loved ones, especially children, it's not impossible with enough effort and determination. And perhaps, Mahi and Ziva are perfect examples. Here's proof:
Dhoni also said that Ziva's birth changed him as a person. "I don't know whether it has changed me as a cricketer, as a person yes of course because daughters are very close to their fathers."
This year, we saw a lot of Ziva and Mahi together during the Indian Premier League, as little Ziva accompanied daddy and cheered him on as Mahi led CSK to yet another IPL title.
"I had a wonderful time with her (Ziva), she was there for the whole of IPL and one of her biggest requests used to be I have to go to the ground, that is lawn for her. And also there are lot of kids in the team. I would get up by 1:30, 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon. Ziva is up by the time, she gets up by 8.30 or 9, have her breakfast, engage with everyone, start playing... I feel it just relaxes us a bit more when the kids are playing with each other," he said.
"I don't know how much she follows cricket, how much she understands, but I have to bring her one day for the post-match presentation and she (can) just start answering all the questions," MSD added.