Lockdown diaries: Hope it settles down soon, says Apurvi Chandela

Apurvi Chandela is proud to utilise the free time, brought about by the coronavirus, constructively, and faithfully follows the call of the nation to stay at home.

Grasping the gravity of the situation, Apurvi Chandela and family are quite practical, back home, in Jaipur.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Around this time last year, Apurvi Chandela was busy competing in World Cups. After a phenomenal season, when she won two individual gold medals in women’s air rifle, an accomplishment in the event after Anjali Bhagwat’s gold in a World Cup, way back in 2003, the 27-year-old Apurvi is quite serene at home in Jaipur, when the world grapples with the coronavirus.

“I drove back to Jaipur, with my brother, to avoid taking any flights. Since Jaipur is only four hours away from Delhi, it wasn’t that difficult,” recalled Apurvi.

The leading Indian shooters were having an Olympic selection trials after the postponement of the World Cup, in Delhi. Apurvi was occupied with the training camp, followed by the trials, when the coronavirus crisis was gathering momentum.

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“We were all faced with the uncertain situation during the training camp, as the first few cases of coronavirus in the country were detected. We were preparing for the World Cup in Delhi. The decision to postpone the World Cup was necessary for the safety of all the shooters, whether in India or from foreign countries, who would have had to travel in the given circumstances. It was also good that the national federation took the decision of holding the trials instead of the World Cup, as it was the last match to be considered for the Olympic Games selection,” said Apurvi, as she summed up the scenario, in a dispassionate way. The shooters were cautious, and so was Apurvi.

“I plan on training well and continue doing the exercises. It is important to keep ourselves occupied with some work, so that we remain healthy, not only physically but mentally as well,” says Apurvi.   -  AP

 

“I stayed at my uncle’s place, during the camp and the trials. My mother didn’t accompany me this time. I would wash my hands every few minutes or sanitise them. I stayed at home post shooting to avoid coming into contact with anyone,” said Apurvi.

Grasping the gravity of the situation, Apurvi and family are quite practical, back home, in Jaipur.

 

“My whole day is absolutely packed. I have a shooting range at home. So, I wake up early and shoot. We have asked all the house help to say at their homes for their and our safety. I help my parents with all the household work. We have divided the duties between my father, mother and me. My mom takes care of the cooking. I do all the cleaning of the house. My father helps my mother in the kitchen. He also looks after our dogs in terms of feeding them and bathing them. In the afternoon, I spend time reading. During the evening, I do my exercises and yoga,” said Apurvi, quite nonchalant about having to execute mundane work on a regular basis.

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In fact, Apurvi is proud to utilise the time constructively, and faithfully follows the call of the nation to stay at home.

“I think it is a great initiative by our honourable Prime Minister. At this time, it is absolutely necessary for each and every one of us to stay at home and stay safe. On March 22 at 5 p.m., I went on the terrace with my parents. It was a feeling of pride to see the unity of the whole country. We needed to thank the medical fraternity who have been working tirelessly for our safety and well being,” she said.

The Olympics has been postponed to next year. That may be a disappointment for the athletes who were keyed to peak for competition in Tokyo. But, Apurvi views the big picture with equanimity and understands the need of the hour.

Apurvi, who won the gold medal (centre) in the women’s 10m air rifle event, with Chinese Zhao Ruozhu (left, silver) and Xu Hong, the bronze medal winner, in the shooting World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad in New Dellhi in February 2019.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

 

“I plan on training well and continue doing the exercises. It is important to keep ourselves occupied with some work, so that we remain healthy, not only physically but mentally as well. It is good to see that the earth has also got some time to heal. We all have such fast paced lives that now we have time to reflect upon where we are headed! I will be using this time to work on myself, and also spend quality time with my family,” she said.

The precautions are well maintained.

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“I am staying at home and not going out anywhere. I am washing my hands regularly, taking care of myself and staying fit,” Apurvi stressed.

The magnitude of the situation is not lost on Apurvi.

“Looking at the current situation, since we are all under lockdown, I am sure there are athletes whose training must be getting hampered, especially those who are in outdoor sports. And the situation around the world, particularly in Europe and America, that are seeing a rise in the number of people being infected, I sincerely hope it settles down as soon as possible. We need to prepare for any kind of scenario and be ready to accept any situation we are faced with,” Apurvi signed off.