For the 29-year-old Siddharth Desai, the second-most expensive player in the Pro Kabaddi League history with Telugu Titans bagging him for Rs 1.45 crores last season, the lockdown is not a happy feeling. In a chat with Sportstar , he minces no words and says that he badly misses the sport and the training sessions on the mat.
How do you look at the lockdown?
It is a crisis that the world is facing today with the coronavirus pandemic. The safety of each and every person is the focus. To make sure this virus doesn’t spread, the government has taken various measures like the lockdown and social distancing, and as citizens we must adhere to it. Take this lockdown in a positive stride – spend time with your family, learn new hobbies or focus on things you wanted to do but didn’t get the time earlier. It’s very important that we all remain physically and mentally strong.
What has been the most challenging aspect of this phase?
The situation in totality is challenging – the country has almost come to a standstill, the economy is hit and daily wage workers are struggling to meet ends. But, the most challenging part is to control the spread of the virus. I would like to request people to stay indoors and maintain social distancing. We as a country have to unite together to fight this virus and overcome this challenge.
What way this affects kabaddi players?
We as Kabaddi players have to practice and keep ourselves fit – I believe our training is affected the most. I had a routine that involved high level fitness training. But, since, I am in the house, in lockdown mode – both my brother (Suraj) and I have fewer options to train. We still try to maintain the routine but with basic exercises, dumbbells, pushups and yoga at times. Since we do it together, we motivate each other to keep it going. At the end of the day, the body requires some sort of exercises. Those exercises can be done without gym equipments too. I have not let go my fitness at all.
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I used to do a lot of running, which I cannot – so I do stamina building and strengthening exercises. Additionally, I have started yoga and meditation – it is very important in these times. It calms you down and builds mental strength.
What will be the future you feel?
I am hoping we get rid of COVID 19 completely across the globe. It will take some time for things to get back to normal, but slowly and steadily I think we will get through this situation. I just hope we all come out more humble from this.
What is your message to the fans?
Stay indoors, stay healthy and stay positive. Only these three things can help us survive and get past this situation. Please follow the government rules, they are doing it for our benefit. Please cooperate with the police force, doctors and nurses and everyone else who are going out of their way to ensure that we remain safe.
What has been your previous worst phase or the longest break and why?
The only break I get is when I have an injury – but an injury can’t be compared to this situation. This is a global crisis. The whole world is facing it for the first time.
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How are you spending time now?
I love music – I play the guitar and sing too. So I spend most of the time trying to learn some new songs to play, its makes me happy. I also spend a lot of time with my family – we chat, laugh and just have fun. We as a family don’t get to spend so much time together as my brother (Suraj) and I are usually travelling for kabaddi. So our family is happy too, that we are all together. Star Sports is showing old games of Kabaddi every day at 10.30 am, we watch that together.