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My idea of a successful life is to keep progressing and trying to work as a better individual: Anjum Chopra

NewsMy idea of a successful life is to keep progressing and trying to work as a better individual: Anjum Chopra

In an interview with G20, former cricketer and broadcaster Anjum Chopra talks about her journey in cricket and commentating.
Excerpts:
Q. A renowned name in cricket & former skipper of the Indian cricket team, Anjum, you hold the distinction of being the first women’s sports cricketer extraordinaire, & sportscaster on TV. Share your journey that has been?
A. I don’t call it unusual; I don’t know if people call it unusual, that is their decision-making and thought process. I just look at my journey just as a journey and successful or not that time will decide. But it’s a journey so you keep travelling. There are roadblocks, there are good moments, obviously, for everyone, no journey is a smooth ride and difficult ride. But I am hoping that I can make it a smooth ride and the conscious efforts these days have been to make sure you keep walking you keep running and trying to keep things better. So that’s how I see it and that’s how my journey has been, whether I am playing or writing or commentating, studying or whatever it has been. Obviously, there have been difficulties, there have been challenges but the idea is to keep progressing and keep trying to make a better work as an individual.
Q. Enlighten us with the triumphs & tribulations of the span of your stellar cricket career.
A. I have a family history to connect with the sports background, so that has obviously been very helpful. Just because I have my family with this background so I am sharing it, somebody who doesn’t have it then it’s ok. You can still make it big.
So somebody has a family of doctors and one who retires become a lawyer, or becomes a musician or becomes a cricketer, doesn’t matter, since it’s not a hard and fast rule that if you come from a family of four people, you have an easier path to glory or have difficulty, no it’s not. I think that is a completely different discussion altogether, how it helps and how it inspires but I guess when you have a discussion about sports on the dining table regularly or discussions are based upon sports, idols their performances, so it becomes an interest factor. And obviously, another thing is whether you like studies or sport. Today I can look back and say these lines with ease but when I was in school it was very difficult. So I guess parents would have noticed it, they have encouraged me but in my household, my brother played cricket before me, the elder one. So it was never that we have to ignore studies to play sports and vice versa. We have to clear our exams we have to pass, now passing can be 41% also and 91% also, that is a very individual decision. So you have to make sure that you get to the next class and do decent work on your test. So again I will say it’s not that you have to miss studies for your match and miss your match due to studies. So I have done both, not that it was my choice but I have done both. I missed an exam for cricket and missed cricket matches, even the final of a national championship to give an entrance exam. So I guess when you reflect back you have these sayings or laughter. So you know you just look back and talk about it.
So that’s how it’s has been, I have a family with sports background. My grandfather was a cricket commentator and a commonwealth games athlete. My mom is been a champion of the Goodyear car rally. Dad used to play Badminton in school, he used to play cricket and badminton both and was a golfer but played cricket for Delhi state under 17 and 19 both. My uncle, my mama, my younger one has played cricket in the India-A level but unfortunately, he has to give sports and start working. He has been one of the faces in cricketing fraternity. So sports was always there.
Q. How many years you were in the whole cricket space?
A. I am still in the cricket space though. But if you say about active cricket space, I was an athlete for India for 17 years. And stepped into 1st class cricket, or stepped being or stepped out of 1st class cricket for about, so roughly I can say 20 odd years I have been an active player. I started at under 15, my first match when I was 9 I started playing. That was a friendly game, my first class match you may call it at a junior level. From there it was never a turn back for two decades of actively playing from first-class cricket. Otherwise, I have started very early, at the age of 9, I have been into the ground.
Q. You easily transitioned from the world of sports to TV. Ranging from broadcast to reality, share the experience?
A. Well, I don’t think it was easy or difficult but I was always looked at it as my profession, playing cricket was my profession, my passion both. Speaking about the game is also both profession and passion. So I don’t know whether it is easy or difficult but because I was passionate about it so it becomes my responsibility to do justice to the job I am doing. And I personally also feel that if I have been fortunate enough to do something, whatever it be, even if it’s in the field of sport, talking about the game, educating people about the sports, it’s my responsibility to become better at what I do. So whether I run a marathon or whether I stay up all night doing research or homework that is very individualistic again. And at the end of the day, the product needs to come out according to what it is supposed to be. So everyone has their own standards and expectations of the product. It’s my job to be absolutely fair towards the product that needs to be delivered. So either I like it, either it’s difficult, whether it’s easy for me, it is not important, what is important that what’s the result needs to be. Whether you are a beginner or doing an advanced course, the bar needs to be higher for you to try reaching it. Otherwise, you will get stuck into a very easily comfortable comfort zone.
Q. You have paved many a road for Indian Woman of any age group in your varied roles you have distinguished in, so multi-dimensional. What drives you & motivates you to have excelled so far?
A. Again I say the fact to become better each day in what I like to do. I might be good or I might be talented or skillful, again you may start from a very junior level. Somebody has talents, but if you don’t like anything about their talent then the talent wasn’t it. So for me it’s about becoming better each day, in whatever I do I am trying to, you know, I just try to bring peace within my work. So this is my vision or my story around it, how I see things! That is the way I look at things and that is the way I like to see things and reach my target.
For people it’s really important to understand, you have a target try to reach it. The thing is how to set the target and how to identify it. So everyone has their ways of identifying about what their target is and what their goal is, so there is a short term, there is a long term and again the shifting of whatever the requirements and changes are. But at least there has to be a goal, if there is no goal, what are you trying to achieve? And what have you done? So that’s again very individual, some people don’t really need to have a target, life goes on, so that is fine, that’s is their goal, that is their path.

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