Mane Kaka - Unsung Hero of Indian Cricket Team
Mane Kaka – The Man of Many Faces
The success of Team India is not just credited to the brilliant performance of the cricket players who set the stadium blazing with their super sixes and fantastic bowling and fielding. Besides the players there are people who are equally committed to turn every game into a victory. One such name is 'Mane Kaka' aka 'Ramesh Mane'. Mane Kaka is the official masseur of the Indian Cricket Team who ensured that the boys were 'well oiled' for the game. Like many other people, it was destiny combined with a sequence of unexpected events that made Mane Kaka an indispensable part of the Team India.
Mane Kaka's Journey in the Indian Cricket Team:
Formerly a chemical plant operator, Ramesh Mane never dreamed of becoming the official Acu-masseur of the Indian Cricket Team. He used to participate in the social service camps held on weekends. Mane Kaka took initiative to start acupressure camp at RCF Chembur through Jai Bhagwan acupressure international and the practice helped him mastery the skills in Acupressure, Pranic Healing and Reiky. Very soon his massage session to sportsmen at the RCF Chembur became quite popular. Soon luck dawned and Ramesh Mane was approached by Balwinder Sandhu to treat back problem of the young Sachin Tendulkar, while playing for the Ranji Trophy Games. It is not surprising that later he was summoned to be the Official Acu-Masseur of the Mumbai Ranji team and served there for nearly seven years. Mane Kaka expertise landed him the job of the masseur for the Indian Cricket Team in 2005.
The Official Masseur for the Team India was fondly referred as Mane Kaka by the players. He had been an integral part of the team for more than a decade now. He travelled with the boys to different parts of the world, and wherever he went, he always carried a pressure cooker and jadi butis to make magical ayurvedic concoctions, which provided instant relief to the players. While millions of Indian fans would do anything to get a touch of their favorite cricket player, Mane Kaka did it every day, for his living. Mane Kaka has been with Team India from the time when Sachin Tendulkar became the hottest International cricket player to witnessing glorious innings of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Mane Kaka has served almost all the brilliant players of the Indian Cricket Team. His years of experience and commitment had made him an integral part of the Indian Cricket Team.
Mane Kaka was more than a masseur for Team India boys. He was looked upon as a fatherly figure by the boys, and hence named 'Kaka'. Mane Kaka loved his boys and would affectionately treat the worn-out players with his magical medicated oils. When Mane was not soothing the aching muscles, he would even cook delicious India meal for the boys when the team travelled abroad.
His duties were quite elaborate and Mane also tended to the needs of the players during the breaks in the match. He would apply ice packs on the swollen and aching muscles and also look after getting the energy drinks ready for the next session.
Mane Kaka's Music Therapy:
Not only this, Mane Kaka understood the mood of his boys and used music as a therapy to boost the morale of the players. He said that his job was not just to ensure the physical well-being of the players, but it was equally important to create a mentally relaxing atmosphere in the dressing room. He would play motivational songs from Hindi movies to instil 'josh' and keep the energy levels high. He understood the music taste of every player in the team and always carried 3 iPods to play different genre of music. It was a part of his job to visit the Rhythm House to get the latest selection of songs. From the songs of legendary Kishore Kumar and India's nightingale Lata Mangeshkar to bhajans and Hanuman Chalisa, Mane Kaka played them all before the boys were ready to battle in the ground. Mane Kaka's collection of music was very distinctive and some players like Sachin Tendulkar would even joke him about considering DJing as an alternative career option. Mane Kaka would also create a praying space for players across religions to spread serenity. His techniques were so popular that even International players like Shane Watson and Chris Gayle would take his services.
When the news of Mane Kaka being left out of the team became viral, it created shock ripples in every corner of the country. It was the first time in 10 years that Team India's favourite masseur was not travelling overseas with the players for the 3-Test Series, India Vs Sri Lanka 2015. Mane had been rendering selfless service to the Indian cricket team and has no resentment for no longer being the part of this incredible team. Yet, the 'Kaka' of the team is emotional for not being able to travel with the boys. Every morning is still a realisation for him that he is not sleeping in the hotel room but in his own house.
BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS AND YOU SHALL LIVE THEM!
He is currently living in his home in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Life was really moving fast for Mane Kaka. Being a part of the team earlier, he had been quite busy preparing his boys for the D-day. He had also been travelling a lot with the Indian Cricket Team for more than a decade now. However, when his services seem to get over, Mane Kaka plans to devote his time to social service. What else could we expect from this man of great thoughts!
Mane Kaka has worked for the longest time with the Indian Cricket Team. He has witnessed the euphoria of winning the 20-20 Worldcup and also 2011 Worldcup. He has served senior players like Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar to the young promising players like M.S.Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and many others. During the IPL , Mane Kaka served the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for 10 years . It goes without saying that not only Mane Kaka will miss serving the boys; his void will also leave the players aching for his impeccable service, love and care. It was the fatherly presence of characters like Mane Kaka who made the young players from smaller towns; find a home away from home.
Even Greg Chapell, the former coach of the Indian Cricket Team, was full of appreciation for Mane Kaka. In an interview from Australia, he stated that “Mane played a very important role with the team. Over and above his masseur role he was a spiritual guide for many members of the team. I have no doubt; he will be keenly missed by those who availed themselves of his guidance.” His contribution to the Indian Cricket Team can never be forgotten!
Some prominent cricket players led by Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli came together to felicitate Mane Kaka on behalf of the current Indian team for his selfless service. Virat Kohli mentioned how talking to Kaka was always refreshing. He always patiently listened to their problems and filled them with hope and positivity. Mane Kaka was the support system for many players of the Indian Cricket Team. It was indeed an emotional moment when the players thanked Mane Kaka for his love, care and affection. Mane Kaka was himself overwhelmed with the honour bestowed on him by the players. Mane Kaka humbly stated that he loved doing everything for the boys; it was much more than his regular duties. He wishes all the success to the current Indian Team and believes that there is nothing that can stop them now. The players hugged him and even clicked selfies with their favorite 'Kaka'.
Mane Kaka's story is an inspiration to young aspiring Indians that only hard-work, dedication and commitment can take them to scaling heights of success in their life.