Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra's residence near Chandigarh has been swarmed by media persons since his gold medal winning performance at the Beijing Olympics, making it difficult for his parents to relax or even have a meal without being interrupted by journalists.
The Bindra farmhouse, on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway near Zirakpur town in Punjab around 15 km from Chandigarh, has been surrounded by the outdoor broadcast (OB) vans of various television news channels and journalists have been vying with each other to get exclusive interviews with Abhinav's family members.
"There is a festival like atmosphere here. Abhinav's parents barely have any time to eat or even change their clothes. They are on air on all the news channels throughout the day," said Tej Bans Singh Jauhar, uncle of Abhinav.
With an immaculate shot of 10.8 in the final round of the 10 m air rifle Monday, Abhinav bagged the first individual Olympic gold medal for India.
Abhinav's victory not only ensured a place for him in history books, it also catapulted his relatives and friends to instant stardom.
"Countless reporters and camerapersons have come here and it is really difficult to manage the media attention. They started pouring in at around 10 am I have also received more than 3,000 calls since morning," Bonny, a family friend of the Bindras, who has been handling the media, told IANS.
TV channels have sent special teams to the Bindra farmhouse although their regular correspondents are stationed in Chandigarh.
"We have allocated different time slots for different media persons. Each channel will get 20 minutes. The problem is that every channel wants to be the first one to talk to the family members," said Bonny.
Abhinav was the youngest Olympian from India to participate in Sydney Olympics in 2000 at the age of 16. He is also the youngest recipient of the Arjuna award (2000) and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award (2001). He had reached the finals of the Athens Olympics in 2004.