Ramesh Mane, the Indian cricket team's former masseur, was high on emotion yesterday. For the first time in 10 years Mane kaka, as he is known in cricketing circles, was home while India participated in a Test match.
Ramesh Mane at his residence in Vashi
"I miss being with the boys," said Mane from Vashi after watching the first hour of the India vs Sri Lanka Test at Galle on television yesterday.
mid-day spoke to Mane during the lunch break at Galle and he remembered how he used to go about his job during luncheon intervals. "It was always important to look after the bowlers. Some required an ice pack, others required their shoulder or back to be attended to. I used to do it through acupressure," said Mane.
Playing the right kind of music was important too. If the team needed to be boosted, Mane used to play some inspirational music from films like Lakshya and Chak de India. "It is very important to create josh and increase the energy levels.
Anything that removes negativity helps and this is what we always try to do through music. Even after a good session, you need music and our I-pod dock was always on," said Mane.
The genial Mane's contract with the Indian cricket board reportedly ended in April. Although there isn't an iota of resentment over not being part of Team India, he still can't bring himself to believe he is not on tour.
"I have this habit of sleeping on the floor and when I wake up every morning, I still feel I am in a hotel room. It takes a few minutes to dawn on me that now I am at home," he said.
Elaborating on his duties with Team India apart from being a masseur, Mane said the lunch and tea intervals were a busy time for him: "Firstly, the players have to be attended to once they come into the dressing room. One needs to also organise their energy drinks for the next session. Also, the reserve players usually have a net session and their needs have to be attended to as well."