In difficult times, it is natural to fall back on the good memories. Olympian Vishnu Vardhan, who had competed in his maiden Grand Slam main draw in Wimbledon in 2018, cherishes the memories.
"It was one the best memories of my tennis career, playing my debut Grand Slam main draw in Wimbledon and winning a match with my family watching. And doing so with Sriram Balaji, one of my closest friends’’, recalled the 32-year-old Vishnu, who had also competed in the London Olympics with Leander Paes as his partner.
This season, Vishnu was playing his second professional tournament in Kolkata in March, before the tournament was cancelled midway by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
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‘’I actually was having a terrible cough at that time. That was when there were some initial cases of the COVID-19 in India, just before the WHO called it a pandemic. The players in the tournament were very concerned with my cough. Luckily, it was a regular cough and I recovered soon. I was ready to get the test done, but the doctor
assured me that it was normal, as I did not have any other symptoms," said Vishnu.
He is quite pleased to spend time with his two-year-old son Siddhartha, and helping his wife Sonia bake some "amazing cakes’’.
Vishnu was inclined to spend more time with his family last year, as he did not have the sponsorship to play the full schedule of tournaments.
"From that perspective, being home has been fine for me. My dad (Jagadeesan) and Sonia are the designated people to go out and buy the essentials. So, I have been completely home," said Vishnu.
After performing "deep cleaning" of the house, in which his parents and grand parents stay in different floors, Vishnu settled into a nice routine.
"We have breakfast together. When Siddhartha goes to my parents’ place, I do my workouts. We both enjoy our long afternoon naps, which was never in my schedule. In the evening, we go to the terrace, watch the sunset and water the plants," said Vishnu.
He has been reading a lot, like the parenting books by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, apart from the ones on nutrition and fitness. He loved the Talks on Bhagwad Gita by Vinoba Bhave so much that he read it twice. He also enjoyed Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Wile his brother gives him company for fitness routine, Vishnu is helped by his mother Padmavathy, a certified meditation trainer, ‘’with some practice’’.
Vishnu is confident that India would control the coronavirus soon, and suggests a national circuit to revive tennis.
"It will be a great opportunity to revive the national circuit. We can have all the top ranked players in the country competing in the tournaments’’, observed Vishnu, with considerable foresight.