I had joined the Times of India in Mumbai in October 1988 and was struggling to find my young feet in the Old Lady of Boribunder. Having returned from Oxford as a law graduate and spent a few eminently forgettable months in the Bombay High Court, I was a disoriented twenty-three-year-old looking at journalism as my window to the wider world. This was the pre-breaking-news television era, and the Times of India moved at the pace of a tortoise with its hind legs tied up.
On his first foreign tour as an India A player to Kenya and Zimbabwe in July 2004, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s roommate was the Delhi and India opening batsman Aakash Chopra. Having already made his Test debut, Chopra as the senior player, reached out to Dhoni and asked him what his sleeping habits were. “Aakash bhai, don’t worry, I will sleep whenever you switch off the lights and wake up whenever you choose to draw the curtains!” was the unassuming response.