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‘Wedding is on February 18’

Champion wrestler Sushil Kumar opens up about his headline-grabbing engagement and how life’s changed for the better since fiancée Savi’s entry.

entertainment Updated: Nov 21, 2010 15:56 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

He was once quoted as saying that girls were scared of him. Remind World Championship and CWG gold medallist Sushil Kumar about this and he smiles, “Did I say that? I think I was scared of girls.” The champion wrestler is quick to add that Savi, his fiancée, was the exception since she was his guru, Satpal Singh’s daughter and a friend. “I’d seen her a few times. I never thought we’d ever get together but our parents thought we make a good pair,” he admits.

So what makes Savi his dream girl? “I’ve never thought about my dream girl. All these years, I was completely focussed on wrestling. But Savi has all the qualities I like. She’s well-mannered, mature, understanding and respects everyone. That makes her precious,” he says dreamily. What are their common passions? “We haven’t spent that much time together to discuss our passions. But we both like each other,” Kumar chuckles, adding that the most romantic thing he’s done is get engaged. He says it’s been a terrific year for him and he owes owes it to Savi. “Since our parents started discussing our marriage, only good things have happened, like winning the World Championship, being promoted to senior deputy commercial manager in the Railways and then winning gold in the CWG,” he beams.

Any regrets on missing out on the Asiads because it was so close to the CWG? He lost out on a certain gold medal? “None,” he retorts. “I needed time to recover from my injuries. It’s important to be in good shape to perform well. My next goal is definitely gold in the 2012 Olympics.” Wrestling in India, he adds, has huge scope but wrestlers need to constantly perform well to popularise the sport. “Women wrestlers deserve the same kind of support. It was unfortunate that some of our wrestlers got carried away and got caught in a doping controversy,” he sighs. “Only hard work and motivation can bring glory, nothing else.”

Remind him about the incident after the World Chamiponships when Sports minister MS Gill pushed his coach out of the frame and he frowns, “Satpalji is my guru and it feels so good to be a part of his family now. It was an unpleasant incident and I will never let that kind of thing happen again.” Kumar admits that he has been single-minded in his focus on wrestling all these years and that’s unlikely to change post marriage. “But I’ll be equally focussed on my new life. Savi enjoy sports and she’ll be a great support,” he says. Any changes now that he’s hooked and booked? He grins, “I don’t know, I’m not married yet. The wedding will take place on February 18, 2011. It will be a typical North Indian wedding.”

Savi: He’s perfect!

What makes Sushil Kumar her Mr Right?
Sushil is so transparent, nothing is hidden from anybody, and his simplicity is one of his best qualities. He’s also caring, humble, hardworking, respects others and has made the country proud. He’s perfect!

An endearing memory from the engagement
When he put the ring on my finger, I could see the happiness reflected on the faces of both families. Sushil told me I looked beautiful!

Interest in wrestling
My father was a great wrestler too, so I’ve always followed the sport. But, I’ve been playing tennis since childhood. I do watch Sushil’s fights and now my interest has spiralled. I hope he wins gold in the London Olympics.

Sushil Kumar denying the match initially
I was very happy when talks of our marriage started within the family. I knew that my dad will make the right decision. Sushil is a wonderful guy and I’m thrilled to be marrying him. I’m really close to his mother. He didn’t deny the match, he just wanted to postpone things a bit.

Sushil on the KBC
I watched the episode and felt so proud to see him sitting with Amitabh Bachchan. As a sports icon, he has some social responsibilities. I’m glad that he went on the show for such a noble cause.

Being in the media spotlight
It doesn’t bother me. It’ll be an enjoyable journey as even the media adores him as much as I do. And I’ll learn to manage the media in the right way as time goes by. The best comment that we got at the engagement was that we were made for each other!