An honorary membership at one of country’s most reputed sports clubs. State Government making amendments to offer a Group One officer’s post. A biopic in the making. On covers and features of glam, women and sport magazines. Country’s No. 1 female celebrity for brand endorsements. Put these precious adjectives together. There emerges one name – Pusarla Venkata Sindhu. Ever since her Olympic glory precisely nine months ago, India’s badminton princess is making headlines for all the good reasons.
For Sindhu, the life has “changed a lot since” her Rio Olympic silver. “I am getting recognition, I am very happy and I feel elated with all that I have been able to achieve. The confidence is not the same. I feel more confident about myself now. Things have really become delightful now. And I am really enjoying my game,” Sindhu shared with InsideSport in an Exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts from the chat on major aspects of Sindhu’s life and journey post-Rio heroics.
InsideSport: State of Andhra Pradesh has amended its by-laws to honour you with an appointment as Group One officer, Cricket Club of India honours you with an honorary life membership. Great honours for you?
PV Sindhu: The government has been very supportive from the beginning. And I am really happy with the offer and hopefully, I will soon be joining the post. I am very thankful to the government for all their support and I am really very happy with this offer. This is a State honour for me. Same goes for CCI. I am really very happy and I am also very grateful to CCI for an honorary membership. It will be really great for me, now I can go and enjoy my game in Mumbai as well. It is really great for me to be a part of the club.
IS: There is more recognition. You are more occupied with brand endorsements and campaigns. Being a top rung player in the world you are required to be more focused on your game and training. How do you strike balance between the demand of game and corporate obligations?
PVS: Yeah, it is really very hard to maintain the balance. But for me, it has always been to maintain the balance. Sometimes, I have to dedicate more hours shooting and completing commercial projects, but then I always try to do them in my off periods when I am not training. Other than that, training is very necessary and one has to strike a balance eventually.
IS: You have been a prodigious and innocent child with tremendous potential and suddenly beyond the game; you have now become a subject of silver screen, magazines and fashion shoots. So, how do you feel about it?
PVS: Yeah, I feel really happy and I think I am very fortunate to be able to achieve this all at an early age. I feel that it’s a god’s grace upon me. And there is a long way to go ahead. And I wish things will become more better.
IS: Now, there are talks about your biopic to be made. Who do you think will be able to do a justice to your character?
PVS: I will leave this on to Sonu Sood. He will be the better person to be able to tell all this. He is working very hard on the movie and the research work has been into play for like 8-9 months now. And I guess, he will be the best person to say anything about the movie.
IS: There is always a thing like clash between you and Saina. There are also talks about biopic on Saina as well. So, what do you have to say about this clash and game between you two?
PVS: I really don’t know about movie on her. I wouldn’t comment on it. But on the game side, I feel Saina is one of the best. But for me, it’s like that each one has to play one’s own game. For me, I really concentrate on my game whether it’s Saina or anybody else.
IS: Then there is Marin and Tzu Ying, the top players. So, how do you train for the big matches and handle all the pressure of big games?
PVS: There is nothing like pressure. One has to always train hard and maintain the confidence and move forward. Training is really important, then only one can have strategies for every game. So, yeah each individual has his or her own way for game and it all depends.
Q: You are very ambitious to become the World No.1. So, what is your strategy and plan to achieve the top position?
PVS: There are many tournaments coming up. I will just give my best in every tournament. And I know that it’s not so easy to become No.1. I will have to work hard, train hard. And then it is all on my performance. I believe that there are many tournaments ahead and if I give my best, then I will be able accumulate points and become No.1.
IS: What are your future goals and plans?
PVS: I will just like to concentrate on my game and move forward with the confidence. There is a long way to go right now and much more things to come.
For now, Sindhu will is gearing up to live up to billions of hopes at the Sudirman Cup mixed world team championships, starting at Gold Coast, Australia, coming Sunday. Saina has opted out of the tournament and Sindhu is country’s flag-bearer.