Syed Ashar Hussain Naqvi could never don national colours, but always wanted his children to live his dream. The former national-level footballer's dream came true when his son, Eshan, was named in the Indian team for the Asian Youth Badminton Championship to be held at Kuala Lumpur from July 10 to 19.
Eshan’s elder sister, Parsha, represented the country in the 2007 edition of the same competition. Understandably, the father could hardly keep his emotions in check. “I’m the happiest man today,” said Naqvi, a sports officer in the Uttar Pradesh Sports Directorate.
The senior Naqvi played football for his state in the 70s, but could not make it to the national squad due to "politics". "After courting frustration in my football career, I decided to put my kids into individual sport, and today I feel I made the right decision," said Naqvi.
The badminton "revolution" in the family started with Parsha taking up the sport when she was just three. Her rise in the sport inspired Eshan to follow suit. They both learnt the tricks of the trade at the KD Singh 'Babu' Stadium and also inspired their cousin Sara to pick up the racquet.
This weekend turned out to be a day of double celebration as even Sara was picked in the Indian squad for the Under-16 Asian Championship to be held in Colombo from August 3-9. "Now, we are known as the shuttlers' family of UP," said Naqvi.
Eshan, a trainee at Thane's Syed Modi Badminton Academy, insisted it was just a beginning for him. "I'm happy I could fulfil my father's dream. But I still have many more dreams to realise," he said.