Discovery of peace….
I hated wie complex when I came here for the very first time. I was from Mumbai and I loved everything about it. Coming to Pune at 9 years of age, I hated it. I slowly started training here knowing that there wasn’t any other place to go if I wanted to play badminton. Complex had a total of 4 courts that time. It had a history of hosting the greatest players of badminton likes of Prakash padukone and Nandu natekar etc. But at 9 yes you really don’t care about the history. All you want is your surroundings to be normal and amongst people who know you.
The first 6 months in Pune were a disaster for me. As I was the new kid from Bombay I never got any support when I played tournaments against the local favourites. I always knew that if I get a point there will be just two pairs of hands clapping for me, my mom and dad. If I lose a point the 200 people present there would clap for my opponents. I used to sometimes cry even after winning just because the crowd never supported me.
Though slowly pune, wie complex and it’s people accepted me. I think as I started doing well in the state and the national tournaments some recognition came. I went from being a mumbaikar to a punekar. I slowly settled down and started being loved and respected. The real change came when I started training under hemant hardikar in the Prakash padukone academy. I started loving it. Hemant sir made me flourish. I started doing exceptionally well and started playing for the junior Indian team just after two years of his training at 14 years of age.
Today after all these years I look back and realise how much I owe to the wie sports complex. Yes, I know I might sound a little crazy but it is the truth. Complex is the only place after home where I am truly at peace. I work towards my dream, it’s my space. Those Walls of the complex have seen me grow from a ten year old till now. Yes, I know I make it sound like almost a living character. But strangely that’s how much that place means to me.
I have been to train in various centres in Bangalore,London, Paris etc. I was in Bangalore for almost 5 to 6 years. I love the kba courts too but I could never connect with it the way I do with complex. It’s almost a magical place for me. Where all my worries, inhibitions are lost. I live in a bubble. In the recent two years my knee has caused me some problems. Sometimes the pain gets too much and i go real down mentally. There’s a corner in the complex where I sit down and cry, alone. I look at the ceiling and console myself. The silence around consoles me, I remind myself about the past and get some strength out of it.
Complex knows my story. It knows how hard I work, the pain I go through, and importantly how much I love the game. The staff right from shinde kaka,dilip kaka, kalyani and everyone have celebrated my success as if it’s there own. As some of the members know I am going through a knee issue, they come up to me and give solutions. Right from Ayurvedic to orthopaedic. Austin uncle a great friend I met there gets me plum cakes which I absolutely relish. I would have never thought when I first came here that this place would be the place where I discover peace.
Peace, is such an important word. One can go absolutely crazy without it. When I have all these anxieties about life. Those questions about life of which answers are unknown,all I do is pick up my kit and go to complex. As I enter that space all my anxieties vanish. I kill myself on the court, relish the pain and when I lie down there dead tired, that moment I find peace. When I am so dead I cannot push anymore. I know not many people see that smile on my face, though those four Walls of the complex know that smile. They have seen it for quite sometime, now.
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