My mother knows how a piece moves across the chessboard, but she has never played the game. She was taught the moves after marriage by my father, who is largely responsible for my successful career.
My mother, however, keeps track of my career and has always encouraged me. She ensures that I spend enough time on the game. After my marriage, I’ve had to spend a lot of time on cooking and other household chores, but she reminds me that all of that should not be at the expense of my practice.
In my younger days, I used to play right through the year, almost non-stop, and she used to accompany on some of my tours. That was very helpful to me.
Like everyone in sports, I too have had some lows in my career. My mother was particularly supportive during those phases.
Now, after giving birth to my daughter, she takes care of her when I am playing or training. That is, of course, such a relief to me.
She may not know the intricacies of chess, but she is always curious to know I perform in a tournament. I give her updates on all my events.
It is good in a way that she is not deep into chess. That means we talk a lot on subjects other than chess when we are together. That helps me relax actually. My mother and my father were very sure that my husband had to support my career.
I think for a girl who wants a career in sport, she should have a supportive, understanding mother. I am lucky that I have got one.
As told to P. K. Ajith Kumar.
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