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Coronavirus: Best books on Indian sports to read during self-isolation

Coronavirus: Best books on Indian sports to read during self-isolation

Md Imtiaz

Published: 21 March 2020 11:36 AM GMT

While the entire world is gripped by the outbreak of the pandemic Covid-19, similar to other spheres, sports have taken a backseat. With coronavirus stopping almost everything, many are stuck inside. Sports have stopped in an attempt to slow the spreading of the virus, so people are trying to fill the time despite having nowhere to go and no games to watch on television.

While everyone looking for movies to watch and games to relive, there is a limit to how much Netflix you can watch. Why not pick up one of those things that used to occupy us before live-streaming services. Let us also remind you that books exist.

True bookworms know how mesmerising it is to find a new book. Plunging into a good book is not just a great way to pass time, they can also help fill your sports void if pick one of the books below.

The Bridge does not endorse you to leave your house at this time, here are some good books on Indian sports to look into. Maybe you can get a Kindle or order them online.

The Race of My Life: An Autobiography

The Race of My Life: An Autobiography The Race of My Life: An Autobiography

The Race of My Life: An Autobiography is the autobiography of Indian athlete Milkha Singh, coauthored with daughter Sonia Sanwalka. The film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is based on it. Milkha has led his life through examples in a tryst with his only passion - running. From a boy who narrowly escaped death during Partition, to a juvenile who stole and outran the police, to a young Army recruit who ran his very first race to win a special prize - a daily glass of milk. His story is the stuff legends are made of. In a candid autobiography, Milkha shares the astounding highs of winning India’s first-ever gold in athletics at the Commonwealth Games, the unbridled joy of being hailed as the ‘Flying Sikh’ in Pakistan, as well as the shattering low of failure at the Olympics.

Simple yet ambitious, Milkha Singh was a man who defined his own destiny and remained committed to running. And yet, remarkably for a man whose life was dominated by sports, he continues to remain disillusioned with the way sports are run. Powerful and gripping, The Race of My Life documents the journey of a poor refugee who rose to become one of the most iconic figures in Indian sports.

A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold and Beyond

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A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold is the 2011 autobiography of Indian 2008 Summer Olympics Gold medalist Abhinav Bindra. He won the medal in the 10-metre air rifle category, which made him India's first-ever individual gold medalist; this victory came after he received the seventh rank at the 2004 Athens Olympics. However, due to Bindra's co-authored the book with sportswriter Rohit Brijnath, which took them two years to complete. Bindra tells that only hunger for success and inner desire helps anyone to achieve his or her dreams. He denies that only the best training, coaches can lead to anyone's success. In this book, he narrates how various coaches helped him to become a professional shooter. He describes the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens as "the darkest hour in his career". He says that how he drew inspiration from shooters like Gagan Narang, Samaresh Jung, Jaspal Rana and Anjali Bhagwat. The book also highlights the unique situation faced by an Olympic contestant.

Playing it My Way

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This is the cricket icon, Sachin Tendulkar's life story, where he narrates his journey from a small boy with dreams to becoming a cricket god.

The greatest run-scorer in the history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 after an extraordinary 24 years at the top. Tendulkar tells his own remarkable story - from his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought his country to a standstill. Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style - scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games. His many achievements with India include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings. Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure - from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his unhappy tenure as captain. The book provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.

Dreams of a Billion: India and Olympic Games

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Dreams of a Billion: India and the Olympic Games written by Boria Majumdar with Nalin Mehta provides an inside view of what goes on backstage in the Indian Olympics world alongside a quick history of how India has fared at the Olympics over the past century and a look at how the Indian Olympics world has changed in the last decade. The book chronicles India's journey in the global sports arena of Olympics - the wins, the misses, the star sportspersons, their stories, and the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead of India to make its mark at the mega sporting event. It draws lights on stalwarts as Abhinav Bindra, Mary Kom and PV Sindhu. But it will also be time to ask again the question we ask ourselves every four years: why does a country of a billion-plus have so little to show for itself at the Olympics? How good is India's preparation for Tokyo 2020? Can Tokyo be the gamechanger Indian sport wants it to be and hopes it will be?

Go! India's Sporting Transformation

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Our athletes now depart for international events aiming to win medals, often returning disappointed with a ‘mere silver’. Bright-eyed aspirants in sports – from badminton to gymnastics – are training across the country. Homegrown leagues are attracting the world’s best athletes and professionals. The country boasts multiple World No. 1 teams and athletes, and sporting achievements are handsomely rewarded. Our next Olympic and Paralympic gold medals are talked about in terms of when, not whether. Much of this was simply unthinkable at the turn of the millennium. Today, there is no longer a doubt that an Indian can. A country is changing the way it looks at sport and, along the way, how it looks at itself. With personal accounts from Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand and Rahul Dravid, Go! features a never-before collection of essays by leading sportswriters, athletes and professionals, who together tell a compelling story of India’s ongoing sporting transformation.

My Olympic Journey: 50 of India's Leading Sportspersons on the Biggest Test of Their Career

Image result for My Olympic Journey: 50 of India's Leading Sportspersons on the Biggest Test of Their Career

Authored by broadcast sports journalist Digvijay Deo and Amit Bose, the book chronicles the stories of fifty of India's leading Olympians for the first-time ever in one comprehensive edition. These first-person accounts of Olympic medallists from 1948 till 2012, such as Balbir Singh, Leander Paes, Karnam Malleswari, Abhinav Bindra and Sushil Kumar and pioneers like Milkha Singh, P.T. Usha, Anjali Bhagwat, reveal their hopes, superstitions, grit and challenges. Their experiences and interactions are sure to make you laugh, shed a tear and, most importantly, open your eyes to the struggles they had to endure to reach the Olympics. These personal stories give a close-up view of what it means to represent India at the most prestigious sporting event in the world, making you a part of the soaring glory and shattering disappointment that only an Olympic Games can deliver. With photos from the personal archives of each athlete, this is a front-row seat to the privileged Olympic experience.

She Dared: Women in Indian Sports

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She Dared is the compilation of the stories of women in Indian sports. The book voyages through the vast history of sports and sketches out the evolution of women torchbearers of Indian sports. These are the stories of leading women of Indian sports, starting with the golden girls, P.T. Usha, M.D. Valsamma, Shiny Wilson and Vandana Rao, to Ashwini Nachappa, Anju Bobby George, Karnam Malleswari, M.C. Mary Kom, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Deepa Malik, Sakshi Malik, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, Dipa Karmakar, Dutee Chand, Deepika Kumari, Santhi Soundarajan, Hima Das, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, Rani Rampal, Manu Bhaker, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil. Senior journalists Abhishek Dubey and Sanjeeb Mukherjea travel the length and breadth of the country to bring out stories that have taken shape after a series of conversations with these leading sportspersons over a period of time. The two interact with their family members, support staff and their coaches, and report from ground zero, gathering facts from the most authentic sources to get a first-hand feel of their struggles and undying aspirations.

All the books mentioned above are available at amazon.in for purchase

Also read: Top 10 Indian sports movies of the decade

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