I had started living alone since the Under-19 days. At the time we had to stay away from home for 40 days or so because there used to be only one venue. Then when I started playing Under-22 and kept moving further ahead and would stay in Lahli, I felt that I should know to do a few things by myself. I believe there should be a few things that one should do by themselves; that is the time when I started cooking. Not that I needed to do, but I just felt that I should. I cook dishes that I like to eat.
I was always interested in cooking and I am still learning how to cook. My mother is my teacher. So far I have learnt to prepare basic stuff like aloo sabzi, dal, kadhi, which are my favourites. Besides all that I make omelette, tea etc. Earlier I used to always think of doing it someday, but now when I get the time I do it. It also helps me keep myself involved in something and not thinking only about cricket all the time. I try to find new recipes and make them but it doesn’t always turn out as expected and when it isn’t good enough I feed it to others. I also watch cookery shows that are on television when I can. Initially my mother was very happy, but now with all the mess that is in the kitchen she is not always so keen.
When we travelled abroad to countries like Zimbabwe, Amit Shah (Ex-team Physio) and Mane kaka who were with the Indian team would have the raw materials. They would do so many things for the team that even I would feel like chipping in in some way.
Apart from teaching me to be self-reliant, cricket has taught me a lot of other things. I try to do be independent how much ever I can and that quality has developed because of cricket. I have become calmer and more patient. Until I entered the international arena I was very aggressive and would speak in the heat of the moment. That has stopped now which also helped while leading the state team. While captaining you have to think of the bigger picture and hold the team together. Now I try to think from the other person’s point of view as well. Yoga and other exercises have also helped in bringing about this change.