HT Youth Forum 2017 | Gautam Gambhir bats for self-willed youngsters
“I am very proud of my Punjabi connect. My forefathers came from Pakistan’s Punjab and settled in Delhi. Everyone at home speaks in Punjabi except me. I have to admit that Chandigarh is my favourite city in India,” said Gambhir.ht youth forum 2017 Updated: May 28, 2017 11:05 IST
When cricketer Gautam Gambhir is in the house, all eyeballs are on him. Part of the panel at the Top30Under30 HT Youth Forum on Friday evening, the 35-year-old waxed eloquent about his Punjabi connect, declared Chandigarh his favourite Indian city, and congratulated the youth for doing their own thing. Dressed in a tee and trousers, Gautam sat besides Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali and spoke at length about his growing up years, his idol Bhagat Singh and the social media.
“I am very proud of my Punjabi connect. My forefathers came from Pakistan’s Punjab and settled in Delhi. Everyone at home speaks in Punjabi except me. I have to admit that Chandigarh is my favourite city in India. And the Mohali ground is very special to me as I scored my highest Test score (206 runs) against Australia in Mohali,” he said.
Gautam and Imtiaz bonded on the dais as they shared memories of their stint in Delhi’s Hindu College.
The Kolkata Knight Riders captain said legend Bhagat Singh is the driving force in life. “He’s always been my idol. Whenever people ask me about my heroes and role models, I always take the name of Bhagat Singh..”
The Southpaw, who has played 58 Tests and 147 ODIs for India said he was very impressed with the way today’s youth is taking its own decisions. “I am amazed when I see my young cousins going ahead with their own decisions. When I was in school my parents wanted me to follow a certain path… At one point, I also thought of following that road and making them happy.”
Known for his candour on the social media, Gautam said he wasn’t scared of being trolled. “I am very firm in what I believe. If my belief is strong, I don’t have to react to the negativity that follows it,” added Gautam.
The opener grabbed headlines when hepledged to bear the educational expenses of the children of the 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed by Maoists in the Sukma attack. He said, “Our soldiers are very brave. It was the least I could do to pay my respect. We owe them a lot. I hope more people come forward and do their bit for our brave jawans.” The cricketer also feels strongly about the need to make a movie on the ongoing Naxalite-Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh.
Interestingly, Gautam strongly batted for sports other than cricket. “Cricket is given too much importance in our country. It is unfair to other sports.. Wrestlers, boxers, athletes etc make headlines only around the Olympics, while cricketers make news every day,” rued Gautam.