Catch Me If You Can

Ab­hishek Bachchan, ac­tor, on Kabaddi, In­dia’s Olympic fu­ture and Robert Red­ford

India Today - - LEISURE - —with Rahul Noronha

Q. As the owner of the Jaipur Pink Pan­thers, you’ve be­come some­thing of a brand am­bas­sador for the Pro­fes­sional Kabaddi League. What drew you to the sport?

A. If you watch the sport, it just in­volves you, pulls you in. It’s dif­fi­cult to ig­nore.

Q. Kabaddi is said to have an­cient ori­gins. Can you sum that up?

A. It is pop­u­larly be­lieved Kabaddi’s ori­gins lie in the Ma­hab­harata, in Ab­hi­manyu and the Chakravyuh, which is why the move­ments in the game are cir­cu­lar. It’s a war game that has evolved into the ro­bust game we play to­day.

Q. Which is your favourite sports film?

A. There are many—I love that genre. They are not just about the sport but about the tri­umph of hu­man spirit. The Nat­u­ral with Robert Red­ford is one such film.

Q. What should the gov­ern­ment do to boost In­dian sport?

A. I am not some­one who ex­pects the gov­ern­ment to do ev­ery­thing. As an am­bas­sador of Kabaddi, I would like to see the sport at the Olympics. You need 55 coun­tries on five con­ti­nents to play the sport. The In­ter­na­tional Kabaddi Fed­er­a­tion cur­rently has 35 coun­tries reg­is­tered. We need 20 more and are work­ing to­wards it.

VIKRAM SHARMA

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