Ask Baichung Bhutia whether he was looking forward to retiring, and he'll reluctantly say, "Yes." But while he prepared himself for that emotional day, he never bargained that life post retirement would be this busy. And he never thought that his wife would continue to complain about him not giving the family more time. Baichung now hopes that things will change and he'll be able to do stuff that he wasn't able to do while playing for the country. India's ace footballer talks to CS about life after retirement:
Who: Baichung Bhutia
What: Talking about his life after retirement
A new chapter
I must tell you that even though I had mentally prepared myself for retirement, it was a very emotional moment. I took the decision to quit two years earlier when we qualified for the Asia Cup. I guess all of us know that we have to retire at some point or the other, so it's important to give yourself time to accept that truth before that actually happens. And it is also vital to figure out a backup plan for yourself so that you aren't left doing nothing, unless you want it that way. I always knew that I'd be busy with my football schools post retirement, but I hadn't anticipated that I'd be this busy.
Around the world
The football club and schools take up a lot of my time and my wife Madhuri keeps complaining that I should spend more time at home. I'm hoping that after I've developed my academy and club, I'll be able to give my family more time. I really want to travel with my wife and twins because that isn't something that we've really done. Right now my twins are under two years, so maybe it's a little premature to set globetrotting, but it's definitely on the agenda.
No great shakes
I might have retired, but I want to stay in touch with my sport. I don't think I'll get into reality television again, unless it's a show related to football. I wouldn't count Jhalak Dikhla Jaa as a mistake, but I know that I can't dance to save my life. I really don't know how I managed to win that show. Singing and dancing are definitely not my strengths. I'd be open to doing a Bollywood film if the role is football related. But again, there is nothing that's planned. It all depends on how things go. I'm already excited about what my retirement will bring with it.