Lockdown diaries: Vishal Bhardwaj relishes time with family

Pro Kabaddi League star Vishal Bhardwaj is spending the lockdown with his family, saying it is a luxury that athletes don’t get often.

Telugu Titans star defender Vishal Bhardwaj with his mother Anju Bhardwaj and sister Kanika at his house in Himachal Pradesh.   -  Special Arrangement

Vishal Bhardwaj has been an integral part of the Telugu Titans over its last three seasons in the Pro Kabaddi League, and in fact led the team in Season 6. 

The 22-year-old ace defender from Himachal Pradesh, known for his famed ankle hold and strong tackles, shares his thoughts on the current lockdown due to the coronavirus in an exclusive chat with Sportstar

How do you look at the lockdown? 

The world is hit by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown is essential to cut through this deadly virus. To reduce and eliminate this virus, people have to stay at home and social distancing is a must. For this, a lockdown had to happen. Until this, the situation is under control and the lockdown should not be lifted.

 

What has been the most challenging aspect of this phase? 

The challenging part for everyone is to stay at home for such a long period. The people who are most affected are daily-wage earners. But, they are fighting through this crisis and this motivates people like us to stay strong - if they can do it so can we.

How has it affected kabaddi players? 

Almost every kabaddi player is training and exercising at home. No one is giving up his or her daily fitness routine, which is very essential when we get back to playing kabaddi.

The only disadvantage we have now is that we can’t do our mat-practice – but if we stay fit and build stamina, it will be easier for us to get back on the mat when this crisis is over, and continue to play kabaddi.

How did the lockdown change your daily schedule, especially training? 

Daily schedule has changed because we don’t really step out unless it is for some essentials.

RELATED| Vishal: Fitness has been most important

Training, like I said is not affected too much, except for mat practice. I exercise for two hours in the morning and evening. I have dumbbells at home, I also do basic workout exercises, pushups, stretches, planks, etc.

How do you spend your time? 

I spend time with family, as players we don’t get too much time with family. This opportunity, we might never get again. The circumstances are not the best thing, but the valuable time under this situation is something I will cherish.

Vishal with his mother Anju and sister Kanika.   -  Special Arrangement

 

We all sit together a talk for hours, watch movies and play board games at times. I help my mother in cooking and in cleaning the house – its very important to keep your surroundings clean at this time.

How do you see this phase playing out?

Right now, we are taking each day as it comes. We really don’t know what can happen tomorrow. So, the future is something I have not thought of. I just hope this virus is eradicated and we all get back to our normal life – that the only future I want to see.

What do you miss the most during this phase? 

I miss stepping out of the house, meeting and interacting with friends. And, most importantly, I miss playing kabaddi –  I can’t wait to get back on the mat. But, the nation comes first and I am hoping that the coronavirus is eradicated soon.

What is your appeal to your fans? 

The government is taking measures such as the lockdown and social distancing to make sure this virus doesn’t spread – I urge people to follow the rules of the lockdown. Stay at home, spend time with family and be aware of what happening. This is not a small issue, do not take it lightly and roam in the streets.

RELATED| Pro Kabaddi: Telugu Titans' Indo-Iranian duo braces for play-off race

Additionally, to all my fellow kabaddi players – spread the message of ‘stay at home’.

I would like to mention the efforts taken by Pro Kabaddi League in ensuring that the kabaddi community is well informed about the COVID-19 situation and the authentic government advisory is reaching every player on a regular basis.

We need to support the government in their attempt – stay indoors, maintain social distancing, wear masks when you step out for essentials, be aware and most importantly stay positive.

  Dugout videos