It is not every day that you get a chance to flex your muscles with professional Kabaddi players, but we happened to be with Delhi’s official league team for the sport for one of the several practice sessions that they undergo before a real face-off. On reaching Thyagaraj Stadium, we met Jasmer Singh — the captain of Dabang Delhi. The first thing he said was, “We don’t need to introduce ourselves now. Ab log humara naam jaante hai.”
As he was gearing up for more questions, Arjun Singh — the coach, asked the team to warm up for the practice session. While the team was busy preparing, Arjun Singh happily answered our questions.
Asked why he chose to be part of the Delhi team, he said, “I felt an instant connect to represent the team of the place I come from. Being a national coach, all of India is close to me but I wanted to do something special for Delhi.”
After 15 minutes of warm-up, Jasmer got chatting about sports biopics. “We like watching movies like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Chahte toh hum bhi hai ki Kabaddi players pe biopic bane, and umeed bhi hai.” The team is a happy mix, the coach added. “The foreigners in my team are very happy. Everyone is bonding well and I have deliberately kept one Indian and one international player together.
The international players even respond in Hindi to my questions. I asked Dong Ju Hong (from South Korea), ‘Aapne lunch khaya?’ and he said, ‘Haan khaaya sir’.” Next up, said the team’s owner Radha Kapoor, could be a Kabaddi league for women, too.
The quick chat was followed by game action on the mat — no points for guessing who won.