COVID-19 virus has wrecked havoc across the world affecting every other industry across the globe. Sports has come to a virtual standstill with almost with all the tournaments getting shelved or postponed indefinitely. This is definitely a testing time for athletes and fans as days are getting passed without any sporting action. Almost every other athletes are keeping themselves engaged in workout and training as we can figure out through their social media posts.
Former India No. 1 tennis player Somdev Devvarman’s interest in music is not new for his followers on social media, and in this lockdown phase, he has been teaming up with Amisha Jalota, wife of tennis player Purav Raja, to sing stunning renditions of Bollywood and international hit songs. The duo goes by the name, Devotional Racket, has been performing for quite some time now and they are taking this opportunity to uplift the sombre mood of their fans.
It all started with Somdev and Amisha having impromptu jamming sessions when they would meet in Mumbai or Chennai. They would sit with their guitars and ukuleles and that’s how the concept of Devotional Racket was born.
“It was Somdev’s idea to form this band and regularly keep posting our renditions on social media. Though mostly we have been doing covers, we have brought our own elements in those songs. While I keep improvising on my desi Hindi flavours in those songs, Somdev does a good job adding a western tune to these songs.” said Amisha in an exclusive with The Bridge.
The big day came for both of them as musicians when one of their mutual friends asked them to perform together on her wedding ceremony. Since their first gig at the wedding, they haven’t performed outside but the lockdown has provided them with the opportunity to regularly post on their social media platform collaborating from Chennai and Mumbai. They have been coming LIVE on the Devotional Racket Instagram handle and performing Friday Night shows since a month and have already built a fanbase of over 2,000 followers.
“We would be frequently be playing together now and do our jam sessions. Will also be continuing with our video sessions on social media and hopefully we will be able to reach out to more and more people. It is a profound way for us to stay active be a part of something meaningful during this lockdown. Amisha is wonderful musician and Purav has been a great manager for us and promoting us. Music keeps us light and don’t let us feel the mental baggage of staying inside our home. It’s fun and inspiring project,” quips Somdev.
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Apart from music, the 37-year-old tennis star has lent his helping hand to people involved in the tennis community amid this hour of crisis. Tennis, as a sport has been affected severely amid the lockdown, bringing to notice the plight of the sport’s markers, ball kids and other support staff, most of whom are daily wage workers. Somdev, along with other tennis players have come forward to help them through their charity ‘Love All’ initiative.
Devvarman’s team arrived at a figure of Rs 6,500 for food supplies and medicine for a family of four for 20 days. A list of markers and facilities in urgent need of funds has already been drawn up. For those wanting to help, bank details are on the Chennai-based pro’s social media handles, besides the wall of his charitable trust.
“I was talking to the other members of our fraternity. There are many who work relentlessly to ensure the game of tennis is conducted without any inconvenience. It is our collective efforts to giving back to those who have been a part of the tennis ecosystem. We just try to give our best in this time of crisis. We have to ensure the community is looked after because it will be a hard journey for them now onwards till we return to normalcy,” said Somdev.
The problem we have in our hand right now encompasses all the sports rather than a particular discipline. We should do whatever in our capacity to help those who are in need and wait for things to be back to normal.