As part of the “International Sports Legends on Friendly Fridays” Campaign, ED chats up with 3 biggest names from the sporting world and this week we have with us, Badminton star, Jwala Gutta
Team ED: What motivated you to join Badminton as a professional?
Jwala Gutta: The minute I started playing, I decided in my heart that this is what I want to do professionally. My dad also wanted me to be a sports person. With the conservative attitude towards girl child and moreover women sports persons, it was he who decided that his daughter is better than anybody else.
Team ED: Do women sports players find it harder to gain ground in India, as against their male counterparts?
Jwala Gutta: It depends on the family support you have! In India to decide to take up sports itself is huge. And then trying to reach an international stature is even more rare. When I took up sports, it wasn’t looked upon as a suitable profession. The position is better now a days.
Team ED: Who would you like to play against on an international platform?
Jwala Gutta: Roger Federer & Steffi Graf. I would love to get a chance to play with them.
Team ED: What is your persona on court and off court?
Jwala Gutta: Well on court, everyone says I am very aggressive and focused to displace my opponent! Off court I am a very relaxed person. But both on and off court I would say I’m a pretty confident and fearless person.
Team ED: Are Indian badminton players friendly with each other? Are you friends with Saina Nehwal?
Jwala Gutta: She is my team mate, whenever she wins, I really feel great for an Indian woman sports person doing well. We don’t get that much time to hang out. But I do get to hang out with Ashwini Ponnappa
Team ED: What are your current professional commitments?
Jwala Gutta: We have the Australian, Indonesian and the U.S Open coming up.
Team ED: What are you doing when not playing badminton? What is your alter ego?
Jwala Gutta: Really relaxing and that’s it. I am a movie buff and I love watching all kinds of films. The last movie I really enjoyed was Aamir Khan’s PK. I have a bunch of friends so we catch up whenever we can. Plus I’m a shopaholic.
Team ED: 3 words that describe you best?
Jwala Gutta: Confident, fearless and happy.
Team ED: What would one find in your browser history?
Jwala Gutta: Online shopping and lots of it, and movies.
Team ED: What is that one thing you can’t do without?
Jwala Gutta: That would be shopping for sure.
Team ED: One weirdest rumour published about you?
Jwala Gutta: Too many are printed; weirdest was that I had gifted someone a car. Though I wish I could do that some day.
Team ED: One piece of your advice for the youngsters who would be reading this interview.
Jwala Gutta: This generation is becoming very impatient, scared of a lot of things. And they end up doing things they shouldn’t be, under pressure. Just have patience and be fearless is all I would say.
Team ED: Thank you so much for your time and this wonderful conversation. We hope to see you shining on courts and winning India some great laurels.
Jwala Gutta: Anytime. Thanks for having me.
So guys, see you around next week with yet another fun and friendly chat, and till then, Adios!
(Interview Conceptualized by Pratishtha Mahajan)
(Banner credits: Abhinav Jain)