How excited are you about participating in an international tournament?
Well, this isn’t my first. In 2010, I had participated in athletics at the Asian Games in China. But this will be special, as football is my passion.
Which teams would you be playing against?
There are six teams—Hong Kong, India, Iran, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand. Finals are on July 23.
Have you had gruelling training sessions?
Of course. Playing on our grounds isn’t easy when you’re visually impaired. The sound of the ball gets muffled, so you play purely by instinct.
The format will be like football, but the field much like hockey, right?
Yes, but it’ll be a very fast game. Our only advantage is that in Bangkok, we’ll play indoors on an artificial turf, where the sound gets magnified.
What was the process of selection?
The best players have been chosen. We are a group of 10 from Kerala, Delhi and Calcutta. But only five will be playing in Bangkok.
The goalkeeper is partially blind?
We need someone to steer us in the right direction. We're dependent on his instructions.
How have you battled blindness, after losing eyesight at the age of six?
Earlier, it was hard. But now, at 24, I see new light in darkness. I manage on my own.
You’ve completed your graduation in arts from Delhi’s Shyam Lal College. Do you now want to pursue a career in football?
We get little support from the government or private players. It’s only now that we’ve landed this chance to play internationally, though it should have happened a long time back. So, nursing a football dream may remain just a dream.
So what’s next?
I’ll continue playing on the side, but will do my MA in Hindi.
Reading, writing, watching Aamir Khan films, wearing fashionable clothes, like Beckham.
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