Lockdown diaries: Pragyan Ojha in a happy space with son Yohaan

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha retired in March; the coronavirus lockdown made his second innings sweeter as he is spending time with his eight-month-old son.

Former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha at home in Hyderabad with his wife Karabi and son Yohaan.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha believes that the coronavirus lockdown is the best phase of his life as he is spending invaluable time with his eight-month-old son Yohaan.

“When I spoke to quite a few senior cricketers, they felt this lockdown, though unfortunate because of the global threat from coronavirus, it presents us a huge opportunity to be with our families and especially kids,” says 33-year-old Ojha in a chat with Sportstar on Thursday.

“Every one has some energy. If it is not utilised properly, you will not be at peace and often get frustrated,” he reasons.

“So, I feel at ‘home’ with this lockdown for I normally don’t like moving around except for official work. Now, I have a chance to get a feel, from close quarters, about the mindset of my son. He is growing and I am trying to understand his ‘sign’ languages which is the most delightful phase for any parent,” says a visibly excited Ojha.

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“For once Yohaan goes to school, he will have his own set of friends and it will be a different world for him,” he added.

“That is the reason why I am shooting lot of candids with my son and my family members which I normally don’t share but keep them for myself. Later, I can always look back with a sense of pride and joy,” says Ojha.

“Whether playing or not, any athlete has that intrinsic desire to stay fit and I am no different. I do some workouts in the mini gym we have at home and do meditation also with my wife, Karabee, to stay mentally and physically fit,” he explains.

On cricketing plans, Ojha wants to work on his commentary skills. “I am watching Hindi news a lot, keen to observe how they present different subjects in such an appealing manner. Learning is a continuous process in any aspect of life,” he says.

“I always believe that art of communicating what you know and feel is the key and not just knowing which is a waste if you don’t share that with someone else,” Ojha said.

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“Well, I have been getting lot of calls to be associated with academies for coaching. But, I feel unless I have time to spare to be there personally, I won’t take up this assignment,” he said. “Like Ravichandran Ashwin who personally goes and spends time with the trainees in his academy. Many come for coaching with the hope that you will be there,” he added.

“Definitely, this is the longest break in my career but honestly I am enjoying it, spending time watching videos of some great Tests like the 2001 Kolkata Test featuring V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid’s historic knocks and Harbhajan Singh's bowling,” he says. 

“Well, I also like watching sports documentaries like the The Fire in Babylon which depicts the greatness of West Indies cricket and how it evolved to scale dizzy heights,” he added.

When asked about regrets, if any, he adds: “I would have definitely loved to play more Tests. But, perhaps, it is destiny and I don’t keep cribbing on that. You have to take something in your stride. And, I am fortunate to take more than 100 Test wickets which I feel is a wonderful achievement and I am proud off."

What exactly is Ojha's message in the current crisis? “It is very important for us to stay positive and use the energies the right way. And this is not for the sake of any individual but for the safety of the whole world. You make sure every step will mean lot in this hour of crisis. No better way than following the guidelines of the government and I deem it the responsibility of every citizen to adhere to these things strictly for the welfare of humanity,” he concludes.

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