It's never too bad to possess a second skill in times of lockdown as India's squash ace Saurav Ghosal is finding out while completing a certified course in nutrition. Squash demands supreme fitness and Ghosal is as fit as they get. What you eat as an athlete is also as important as the time spent in the gym and the man from Kolkata thought he could use the indefinite break amid the nationwide lockdown to know more about the science of food.
"As you are at home all the time, it is important to learn something new. So, I decided to go for a nutrition course which is certified by the PSA (professional squash body). There are 11 lectures and at the end of each lecture, you have do to an assessment and only then you can go to the next lecture," Ghosal told PTI. "What I have learnt till now is the basics of protein, carbohydrates fats, minerals and vitamins. What they do and what they don't. Which foods have what (nutrients) and the guidelines around it. It also talks about what your nutritional advise should be based on, depending on the medical condition of the person."
Saurav Ghosal vs Simon Rosner (Image: PSA)
The PSA has suspended all activities until July and the future is uncertain. Ghosal, whose last tournament was the Canary Wharf Classic in London last month, said sport is not important at the moment. "Of course these are not normal times and mentally it is a challenge (staying home indefinitely) but these seem like luxury problems at the moment. There are so many others whose issues are much bigger, people who can't manage three meals a day. There is no point in feeling down about not playing squash. It is something we have to grapple with. Staying at home is a necessity at this time. As athletes, we are some of the strongest people mentally," said the 33-year-old.
The event in London proved to be a good one for Ghosal, who lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Mohamed El Shorbagy. The Indian had downed eight-ranked Simon Rosner in the round of 16. Ghosal flew back to India after playing the quarterfinal on March 11, when "it was business as usual in London" despite the spread of the pandemic across the globe. More than 65,000 have been infected in the UK including its Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"America and Europe are really bad at the moment. And when I was in England, it was all normal. When I came back, India was a lot more stringent. London was like as if nothing had happened. "The sooner we get this the better for everyone. The world is never going to the same again," he said. On a philosophical note, Ghosal said the ongoing crisis is a big lesson for the human race. "The way we are as species. Lets say we get out of this by September- October, by next summer, people will forget about what happened. It is just the way we are. I am being cynical about but it is the truth. We too have contributed to the destruction of the world," he lamented.