Share a brief background about yourself:
I was born in a traditional Maratha and army background family. I did my schooling from the Military School in Ajmer, Rajasthan. I excelled in both academics and sports, and represented my school in All India Public Schools sports events. I represented Rajasthan in the National Boxing Championship, junior category and won the gold medal. I was also a part of the Ajmer district cricket team.
I have served in the Indian army for 22 years and have a very rich, vast and varied experiences in life. I have been awarded the SENA MEDAL gallantry award for fighting the terrorists in Kashmir.
I have been a keen sportsman and have played several sports. I also led my battalion teams to win most of the tournaments organized in the Army.
As we know that you have been a big sports enthusiast, what all sports do you play?
I play almost all sports, golf, cricket, volleyball, basketball, table-tennis, badminton, swimming, shooting, hockey and riding motor bikes.
Which all sports did you play at the district, state or national level? Did you ever think of pursuing a career in any of the sports that you had played?
At the district level, I have played boxing, cricket and hockey. At the national level, I won a boxing championship in the junior category. During my school days, sports were never the career options. Since I was good in cricket and boxing, I once considered pursuing one of the them as a career option. One of the reasons for joining the army was to continue my love for sports as army gives ample opportunities to participate and grow in sports.
Considering that you were always into high intensity sports, what made you take up golf and how did you take a liking to it?
Few years ago, while playing a football tournament in the army, I fractured my leg. It was one of the major injuries that I had ever sustained. I was hospitalized and it took me more than 6 months to recover. During this period as I was recuperating, my sporting life came to a halt and life became dull and depressing. My brother who is also in the army, gifted me a golf set to help me get out of the state and recover faster. I was ignorant of golf as a sport, and believed that it is meant for old and retired people. It didn’t appeal me enough and the golf set remained in the store, gathering dust for more than a month.
After much coaxing and motivation from my brother and fellow colleagues, I finally funnelled all that athletic passion that was dying in me into the game of golf.
Before you picked up golf, you also had an opinion that it is a slow paced and boring sport. Now that you have been playing for a long time, what do you think of golf now?
Golf gets me outdoors, it challenges me physically, mentally, and emotionally, and offers quite a few lessons for life… how to face adversity, deal with public humiliation, success, failure, train the restless mind and how to strive for perfection while knowing that you'll never come close. I did make a few friends through golf, played over different golf courses, and even won prize money for winning a few games.
My love for life sparkles through my passion for golf. For me golf is a short vacation close to home.
How has playing golf helped you improve as a person and a professional?
As a person, golf has helped me stay fit, improved muscle tone and endurance, maintain my body weight and also it keeps me in touch with friends, help in reducing stress. Professionally, it provides me with the opportunity to meet new people and help develop a sense of community connect. It has also helped me become a good performer and be more prepared to achieve better and desired results.
If you were to summarize golf in one sentence, what would it be?
The endless pursuit for perfection.
You shared that golf reflects life, can you explain this in a few lines?
Few of the lessons for life that I have picked up through the years playing golf. To share a few... Life is a big game and one needs to enjoy it. Putting too much pressure both in golf and life will leave you burned out and miserable. Forgive yourself, we all make mistakes. In golf and life, wallowing over your mistakes is a waste of time. You’ve got to move on and fix it. There are things beyond your control. No matter how much you practice, both golf and life come up with surprises. You need to adapt to the situation. Don’t focus on wrong doings, instead make things work for you.
Never stop learning. Both in Golf and life, you have ample learning opportunities. Even the best of players in golf are not perfect in the game. One needs to persist on improving his/ her skills. If you stop improving, you will rot. Foster self-growth. Honesty always earns respect. It is an important factor both in golf and life. An honest person will never run out of people to play with, while a cheater will be kicked out of the group eventually. Take risk. Both in golf and life you need to take risk. If it works, you win and if you don’t then take it as an experience and learn from it. Risk makes life eventful, exciting and takes you ahead in game. Believe/ Bet on yourself is the best motivation for yourself to achieve your goal.