Saturday, February 5, 2011

Interview with Aditi Mutatkar

Aditi Mutatkar is one of the best badminton players in India today, as also the reigning National Badminton Champion in the women's singles event...I recently had an interview with her, and here's what she had to say...

Q. Aditi, you do not really come from much of a sporting background, do you? How did you happen to take up badminton, and take your game to this level? Pls. tell us abt those early days.


Aditi Mutatkar
Aditi Mutatkar:
My mom did play kabaddi and kho-kho in her college days. My dad wasnt really a sportsperson but more of a sportslover. He played outdoor badminton as a hobby in mumbai. He used to take me along to play. I started when i was 9. Soon i started giving all his friends quite a tough time. I started loving the game since.

My first coach was Santosh Kshatriya. He taught me the game and also installed in me a great work ethic, for which i thank him even today. He made working hard a habit and i think that helped me a lot to shape my future. My early days are something that i will always cherish. They definitely made me who i am.

Q. You lived in Mumbai, before shifting base to Pune, isnt it? So what do you prefer being called, a Mumbai-kar or a Pune-kar? & where does your heart lie, mumbai or pune? how has been the experience at both places?

Aditi Mutatkar :
Thats a really difficult question to answer. Pune is home and nothing can really take its place. It has a lot of culture and history which does make you proud. Punekars are just very relaxed people, the pace of life here is very comfortable, though bombay is and will always be my first love.

The spirit of Mumbaikars is mind blowing. Its a very tough life there and as a city its really a place where only the fittest survive. the local trains, the crowd, the traffic, the chowpatty.....I just love it all. Though today badminton wise i think pune is doing much better as the infrastructure and facilities go. Mumbai as a city did produce a lot of great players but today there are very few good players there, which i think is sad.

Q. You have travelled to so many countries for badminton tournaments. Apart from India which are your favorite badminton destinations & why?

Aditi Mutatkar :
Yes, as a player I do get too travel a lot. I love travelling and I love to explore. The two best destinations for me will be Mauritius and Paris. Mauritius is really beautiful. The water there is crystal clear, and the food brilliant.

Though my most favorite city would be Paris hands down. each and every building there is a work of art. The eiffel tower, the churches, the restaurants, everything is just so beautiful. When i'm in paris i always cycle around and walk. Paris is a city which you can never get enough of, its a place which has a new story to tell every single day.

Q. Ok. So, you are now THE National Badminton champion. What next? What are your goals, dreams & plans for the future?
Aditi Mutatkar :
Being national champion was great. As a young player you always want that tag attached to you. Next is to do well in the international circuit. Due to my injuries I couldnt really do too well last year, i am somewhere around the 80s right now, my aim is to be top 40 by the end of the year. I believe in making short term goals and keeping it realistic. I of course have dreams but right now its more important in setting practical and real goals and achieve them.

Q. Aditi, wish you a very long & very successful badminton career. Just out of curiosity, I ask this question. Have you ever thought about life after badminton? What would you like to pursue in life later on?
Aditi Mutatkar :
Yes i have thought about life after badminton. i wish to study a little more and also may be write. but my ultimate dream is to set up an ngo that helps poor kids with their education. i think majority of the kids in india dont even have a choice to take up education. if i can give a few of them that in my modest way i will be real happy.

Q. Pls. tell us about the knee injury that you suffered, and how you overcame that difficult phase of your life? Did your life change? Do you feel fighting fit now?
Aditi Mutatkar :
I am feeling great right now as the knee and fitness goes. My knee injury did change my life as a player and a person. I have learned a lot. It has made me really strong as a person. I am now not really scared of challenges. Through my tough phases there were a lot of people who supported me. My family, Prakash sir, Vimal sir, Balan sir, Hemant sir, and recently my trainer Darshan Wagh.
The great thing was nobody ever doubted the fact that I will still do well with the injuries. There confidence in me, helped me to never lose faith.

Q. Saina Nehwal. Is she beatable? If yes, What's stopping you? When can fans expect to see Aditi & Saina battling it out for a Super Series title?
Aditi Mutatkar :
Saina has done great things for badminton. though if i say i can never beat her or any other top ten player in the world it would be better that i hang up my boots. everyone is beatable, though ofcourse it will take immense amount of hardwork and that i am pretty ready to put in. i cant really predict the future but i do hope that a super series final happens soon.

Q. You are popular as a singles player. Have you ever tried your hand at doubles?
Aditi Mutatkar : Nope i never have and dont intend to.

Q. How do you think Badminton in India will be 5 years from now?
Aditi Mutatkar : India has a great future ahead we have some great juniors coming up. i really hope that the association and the government make all the right moves and help these juniors in each and every way to bring laurels to the country.

Q. What according to you needs to be done, to promote badminton in India at grass-root levels?
Aditi Mutatkar :
I think firstly we should have a lot of domestic tournaments for the juniors. The talented kids should be selected and given an opportunity to train in the bigger centres like tata academy and the gopichand academy.

Q. Want to pass on any message to the readers?
Aditi Mutatkar : Just be yourself. Dont change for anybody. Follow your own path and believe in it.


Thanks for your time, Aditi.
Wish you all the very best for your badminton career & all your future endeavours.



Must reads:

Know more about your favorite Badminton players: Badminton Player Profiles
All the recent Badminton News: Latest Badminton News and Updates
Interviews of Badminton players: Badminton Players Interviews
Interesting articles about badminton: Badminton Articles
Know about the basics of Badminton here: Badminton Basics

More on Badminton:
Are you ready to take this Badminton quiz: Badminton Quiz
Who hit the fastest badminton smash: Badminton Smash world record
Where and how did Badminton originate: Badminton history
What exactly is Super series, Grand Prix etc: Badminton tournaments

And lots more on badminton at this site. Keep reading and Enjoy.

6 comments:

  1. A very interesting read. Thanks, Aditi and Abhijit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Abhijit,
    This is Babua. Fantastic interview. I would like to acquire deeper knowledge about the game (Badminton) and I am sure you are the right person. Will you please oblige. I search for you in facebook also but could not find out. I would be glad if you could write to me at babua@sportskeeda.com or call me at 09971327720.
    I am a sports journalist.

    Thanks and Regards
    Babua Biswas

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Babua!
    I have recently started writing on badminton, and have a long way to go.
    However am glad that you liked the article. Have sent you an email.
    Keep in touch.

    Regards,
    Abhijit

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice interview :)

    All the best Aditi, Chak De :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks De_Alchemist.
    Have conveyed your message to Aditi.

    Regards, Abhijit

    ReplyDelete