Indian badminton ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu, the story of whose performance will find its way to the silver screen with a biopic, says the 2016 Rio Olympics was her biggest life lesson, following which she explored her capabilities further with the help of her coach Pullela Gopichand.
“It was my first time at the Olympics and I really had no idea what the atmosphere would be like. I didn’t really know how it was going to be and what it will be, but my coach has always believed in me and told me that ‘You can do that’.
“The kind of hard work he put in and the sacrifices he made pushed me to work harder. That made me think ‘I can do anything’ and that is one of life lessons that I learnt,” Sindhu told IANS in a telephonic interview.
Sindhu made India proud at the Rio Olympics, where she thrashed Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles badminton semi-final, becoming the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the quadrennial event. That was also India’s first silver in the badminton event at the Olympics. Saina Nehwal had won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. Sindhu, aged 22, says her coach urged her to believe in herself and that has helped her play the game well.
Just last month, she brought back a silver medal from Glasgow’s Badminton World Championships. Honouring Gopichand’s unwavering support to her over the years, Sindhu has paid a Teacher’s Day tribute to him through a digital film that she has co-produced with sports drink brand Gatorade. The digital film titled #IHATEMYTEACHER celebrates those who keep pushing you.
“They push you so much that, because of them, you achieve so much. He has always been behind me, showing his anger and taking responsibilities. It is because of them (teachers and coaches) that we get so much of success,” Sindhu said. To reach this height of success, she has had a journey full of bruised knees and afternoons spent perfecting the backhand shot. Does she miss enjoying the usual life of a youngster her age?
“Badminton is the real me, and whatever I am today is because of badminton. It’s not that I don’t have a personal life or anything, but badminton is my passion and I don’t regret it. If you want to achieve anything in life, you have to believe in yourself. It is very important,” she said. The badminton star also has an interesting point to make in terms of India’s growth in sports.
“India is growing in terms of sports and there will be many sports coming up in years ahead. Junior players are doing well,” said Sindhu, who is also excited about a Bollywood biopic on her life. It is being produced by Sonu Sood.
Asked about the developments on that front, she said: “We have been discussing it… we met a couple of times. But nothing has been decided yet. We hope it’s going to come out soon.”
So is she going to do a cameo in it?
“I am not sure. They would know much better as they have been in the film industry. They will decide what is best,” she said.
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])