Actor Abhishek Kapur might have cemented his place in television with the soap opera Kundali Bhagya, but this #DilliKaMunda can never stay away from his first love — cricket! Walking down the memory lane, during his recent trip to the city, he revisits his alma mater, Modern School on Barakhamba Road, and boasting a proud smile reminisces about the good old school and college days. He shares how he absolutely loved the sport before acting became a major part of his life.
‘Didn’t lose a single tournament in class XII’
Roaming in the school’s corridors reminded Kapur of how he “spent some of the best days of life here”. He goes on to add, “There are loads of fun memories, and I did a lot of silly (and good) stuff here! I’m reminded of my standard XI and XII days because those are the two years we made a name for ourselves as we won a lot of matches. I got great support from my school, and was even exempted from exams sometimes because we were always busy with the game. When I was in class XII, we won all the tournaments. We didn’t lose a single one, which is a good way to sign off (smiles).”
Soon the actor bumped into his cricket coaches from school, and thus came rushing back more memories. “Both Naveen Chopra sir and Uday sir were there throughout my school years. In fact, when I passed out from school and took admission in college, I still came back to practice and play here,” he says, recalling, “Then of course there was hanging out with friends… I still remember there used to be a very famous spot in our school, a Banyan tree, where we would all sit and chat. There were other places where we’d hangout, like the cricket ground, basketball court, and the canteen area.”
When teammates turned opponents
An alumnus of Kirori Mal College (KMC), Delhi University, Kapur shares, “Playing in DU was completely different from school, especially (the whole process of) giving trials in every college, getting selected, and finally choosing the right one to be part of this sport. I learned a lot during the first and second year of my college. In the third year, I was the captain of the college team. Being a team captain of a reputed college was pretty amazing! But by then, the inter-college cricket wasn’t at its peak, which was the only drawback.”
When in college, his school friends became his match foes! “At the inter-college matches in DU, I got to play against many of my friends from school. In school, we all were in one team, but after that we joined different colleges, so now, I was playing against them (laughs). I certainly remember the matches played against Hansraj College and St Stephen’s College.”
‘Should invest time in extracurriculars’
Since the ECA trials for sports are ongoing in DU at present, and have resumed after a two year pandemic pause, Kapur feels the need to talk about the importance of ECA. “It’s a very good opportunity. I always tell people that it’s really important to have another skill, whether it’s dancing, painting, or theatre. Because I remember there was this one person, who wanted admission in St. Stephen’s, which had a cut off of 97% at the time, and they studied really hard but couldn’t make it because of just 1%. And then there was this other guy who had scored 88% and with 10% sports quota he got a seat! So, yeah, these things really do matter. I also got in BCom because of the fact that I was good at sports. So one should invest time in extracurriculars, and maybe even make a career out of it if they’re good. Today there are so many platforms in our country where they could showcase their talent.”
‘Nobody ever imagined me not playing’
Sharing the story behind his transition from cricketing to acting, the 33-year-old says, “It just happened over a course of time as one fine day in 2014, I decided to pack my bags and move to Mumbai. I decided to give my shot as an actor, and left cricket professionally, completely… Nobody had ever imagined me not playing, including myself. But my parents were very supportive in whatever I have done, and it’s because they taught me to give my best in whatever I do, I’m here today.”
While he absolutely loves to play cricket, he confessing having seen only two matches live, in a stadium. “One was in Feroz Shah Kotla (now Arun Jaitley Stadium), where Sachin Tendulkar broke Sunil Gavaskar’s Test record with his 35th century, and the other one was an IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in Mumbai. I don’t like watching games in the stadium because I get restless as I also feel like joining in and playing. But yes, I do love visiting a stadium to play!”
Of Delhi and delicacies
Growing up in south Delhi, he would often hangout with his squad at the ever-popular hotspots in the Capital. “I would often go to Khan Market and Bengali Market, as they were close by. But that time it was different… We didn’t go out as much and the kids today; back then it was different from what it’s today. In fact, I also loved frequenting GK I Market, Ansal Plaza, and Essex Farms,” he shares, adding like a true blue Delhiite: “I love dilliwala butter chicken and dal makhani, and always make it a point to visit my fave cafes and go for clubbing whenever I’m in the city.”
Author tweets Anu_95m
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