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Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal


Food, worship and workouts

I have been home now for over a month, and sometimes people ask me if I am going 'stir-crazy' since I am forced to stay indoors. But I do not feel like that, as I keep meeting people at airports and at the gym where I go for my usual constitutional. They show concern, and then I work harder at the gym. I work out about three to four times in a day, and I am managing my fitness well. I usually play two tournaments in a month and the rest of the time I am at the academy for practice, just like I am now.

After the Olympics there has been no major tournament until now, so my schedule continues as earlier. My ranking, of course, has dropped by four rungs because I was runner-up in the last World Championships and also exited in the second round of the Olympics.

Of course, there is the occasional cravings when suddenly I get the urge to have chaat or pani puri. I ask my mother to call for them at home when I feel the urge. I still cannot use my right leg freely and so I do not go out for drives.

Life is good. I am recuperating and following the advice of my doctor and my physio. I also pray to the Almighty that no active player should be injured. Destiny, also, plays an important role in all our lives.

I have been injured earlier, too, and this is almost similar, except that this time I got injured during the Olympics, where a lot of people were hoping that I would win. My family has been my source of support, and we do things together. We talk, watch TV serials together, watch news on TV. We sit around and read the newspapers, eat together and watch movies on DVDs. Actually, there is no quiet time. I'm always on my toes. I also have to keep an eye on all my accounts, endorsement progress and file advance taxes.

55SainaNehwal At ease: Saina Nehwal and her family celebrating Vinayaka Chaturthi at her colony in Hyderabad | Courtesy: Saina’s Facebook Page

If I meet one person, I cannot refuse to meet the other and so there is no regret that I am not meeting anyone. By and large, people are nice and they want to meet me personally. I thank them for their love and their prayers and hope to get well soon and achieve some more.

I really have no idea if any other player has been in a similar situation. Maybe if I come to know, I can find out how they spend their time and how they recuperate.

I honestly do not see much of a difference between now, when I am recuperating, and when I was playing. Even then, after hectic practice, I used to watch serials regularly. The food is always the same and my excitement is only when I have the occasional sweet dish.

It was Vinayaka Chaturthi last week. I believe in the eternal powers and forms of our Creator around us, and though we did not get a Ganesha idol at home, I visited the idol in our colony and enjoyed the prasadam. I did not perform any special puja but enjoyed the drumming when they took away the colony Ganesha for visarjan (immersion in water).

You must think I am a boring person, but my life, my education and my hobby is badminton. I am not studying for any degree, though I know that in India a degree is much valued. I opted for badminton because I love the game and I realised that people supported me when I played and won. I am not playing it for any benefit. This dual game of studying and playing does not go hand in hand, as far as I am concerned. My parents have taught me to enjoy what I do and I am doing precisely that.

Though I watch a lot of TV, I do not watch cookery shows. I cannot even make tea, let alone cooking. I have never experimented with the art and science of cooking. I do not spend time alone thinking about myself or my status in life. I am with my mother, father and have a great friend in my dog, Chopsy. I am never alone.

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