I don't have anything personal against coach Pullela Gopichand but I feel that the situation has been handled in a high-handed manner. I am fine with him pointing out my mistake, it’s his silence that’s upset me. A person of such stature should stand up for what's right. It's incorrect to play safe. Also, I strongly feel that he (Gopichand) should not run an academy, more so because he’s on the national selection panel. I feel it’s unethical. There’s no question of a life ban on me. I have not killed anyone nor am I involved in any scam. I have been disciplined all through my career. It’s hilarious that people are even considering a life ban. What have I done to evoke such a reaction from the board?
I feel the Indian Badminton League (IBL) should include doubles matches from the next year. I don't know why Ashwini Ponnappa and I were not included as a part of the IBL. The committee needs to take active steps to promote the franchise. The audience wants to see singles but it’s the committee’s responsibility to promote doubles and educate people about the importance of doubles. Badminton as a sport is suffering in India due to other vested interests.
The right mentor
I train for about six to eight hours everyday. My coach, SM Arif, sets my training schedule. He decides if I need to run hard or practise more with the racket. I have been training with Arif sir since the last 15 years. I spend more time with him than with my parents. He has stood like a rock by my side. A good coach really matters. Arif Sir has shaped my career, made me fearless, shaped my career, and instilled values in me.
Tapping her toes
I recently shot for an item number in Tollywood. I was on a break when a friend called and asked me to shoot. I was very hesitant as I am not a dancer per se. I do like to groove to good music though. But dancing in front of the cameras is something else all together. My friends were sweet enough to come to the sets on the first day of the shoot to encourage me.
Mum’s the word
My mother’s taught us to be independent. She is a Chinese while my dad’s Telugu. Settling down in another country for love is a huge step. Apart from taking care of the house, she runs her business and travels around the world.