Parupalli Kashyap has fought coronavirus! He has battled the feeling of frustration at a positive test. And for 2021, he only hopes things can get back to being normal as soon as possible. Not that much is known! Kashyap says he cannot believe any news unless and until there is a wide positive impact seen around the world but all he wants is for the world to be up and running once more.
"We (Saina Nehwal and Kashyap) recovered from Covid-19 some 10 days back. We had about three days of symptoms and thereafter, we were normal. We got checked on the eighth day and I still tested positive, which was very frustrating. Saina tested negative but she had to stay away from the court as well because I was with her," Kashyap explained in a telephonic interview with News18.com.
He elaborated that their doctor gave them a certificate that they wouldn't spread the virus after some 10th day as per the medical guidelines but due to the district rules, they still didn't get the permission to enter the court. They got tested once more after the 12th day and both of them were found to be negative. However, they were asked to wait for another week and had another training centre nearby the Pullela Gopichand Academy, where just Kashyap and Saina practiced. "We started training with everyone else just this week," Kashyap stated.
Both Kashyap and Saina had mild symptoms. Kashyap said he had chills the first day, cold for a couple of days and lost his sense of taste and smell on the fourth and the fifth day. However, he got it back the sixth day.
"We were in a much better shape than so many others. I did panic a bit because I have asthma and if something triggers my cough, things could get serious. But the doctor told me there was nothing severe for me. We have some anti-viral medicines, which made us very hungry and we probably put on a few kilos because we couldn't control our urge to eat. But thankfully, it was not hectic on our body," Kashyap said.
Having gone through that ordeal, Kashyap could only hope for a better 2021. "The best hope would be that vaccine starts and everything gets back to normal, that's the best scenario. I hope everything works out and say in six months' time, we're up and running. That is what my hope from 2021 will be."
However, he felt there were a lot of question marks ahead of 2021. "We don't know if the vaccine is going to be introduced, how it's going to work. There is no answer to how it will be like in 2021 and how different it is going to be. At the moment, I am just looking forward to the next tournament, if it happens it does, otherwise, we keep practicing."
Saina is part of the eight-member squad that the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced to participate in the three tournaments taking place in January, next year in Bangkok, Thailand. The team will begin its campaign with Yonex Thailand Open from January 12-17, 2021 followed by Toyota Thailand Open (January 19-24) and the prestigious HSBC BWF World Tour Finals which is rescheduled for January 27-31.
Kashyap said the feeling of getting back to the court was a "different" one after the long coronavirus-forced break and at his age (34), he is now only taking it day by day.
"I am 34 and in the last few years, I have seen a lot of changes in my body and I have been figuring out the best ways to keep myself fit and prolong my career by a couple of years. Even two to three years is a big task, it's more about the next 2-3 months and how I do in them.
"The way I have progressed in 2019, I feel I can still play and a couple of big results can may be get me going. It has been a tough period. First we didn't know when we could start training and even when we did, it didn't feel like anything was progressing. It's been slow, tournaments kept getting postponed and I had a niggle before Denmark Open and couldn't travel. Frankly, I'm just taking every day as it comes."
Apart from the sombre cloud over 2020, Kashyap said he and Saina also had fun while they resided with their friend and colleague Guru Sai Dutt for almost the entirety of the lockdown. And then they had their Maldives trip as well.
"We put up with a friend (Guru Sai Dutt) because our flat was getting ready. We will probably move in there after the Thailand tournaments. Our shifting got stalled due to the lockdown. We had thought of moving there in September but it just kept getting postponed," Kashyap explained.
With a new home to look forward to in the New Year, Kashyap and Saina would hope for some freshness that takes them away from the dull colour spread by the deadly virus around the world.