From Kolkata streets to Thunderbolts - How this engineering student is making waves in PVL
Kushal Munshi made it to the Kolkata Thunderbolts team, thanks to his exploits for his Pooja Pandal Team. He rushed to a temple to celebrate his PVL entry.
Kushal Munshi was an unknown quantity in the Indian volleyball circuit until a few days ago. He shot to fame during his Prime Volleyball League (PVL) debut last week.
Munshi - a third year Mechanical Engineering student, is a product of the Kolkata Thunderbolts' grassroots development program in their home city.
A solid libero, Kushal Munshi was drafted right into PVL 2023 after his exploits in the Kolkata Thunderbolts Cup wherein a total of 48 Pooja Pandal Committees competed against each other.
Munshi’s Howrah Annapurna Samiti were crowned champions of the tournament, paving his way into the Thunderbolts setup.
“I was good defensively in that tournament. They liked by defensive reactions and reflexes and drafted me in,” he recalls.
Kushal Munshi rushed to a nearby temple once he made it to the PVL.
“I was so happy when I got selected in the Thunderbolts team. As soon as I got the call I rushed to the temple to offer pooja,” the 23-year-old tells The Bridge.
Having spent a majority of the season on the bench, Kushal Munshi finally made his PVL debut last week.
“My parents and neighbours were so happy to see me play on TV. They called me up after the match and gave me advice on how I should play and what mistakes I made during the match,” he chuckles.
Munshi’s rise over the past few months has been rapid. He was visibly nervous when the Kolkata Thunderbolts coach pushed him on to the court for his PVL debut.
“I was very nervous when I made my debut but Vinit, Ashwal and everyone else made me feel at home on court. They have guided me well since I joined the team. To play and train with such big names is not something which I had expected,” he says.
While he is his living life on the fast lane now, it was not always the same for Kushal Munshi. Early on his mother did not want him to pursue sports. Much like any other middle class family, she wanted him to secure his future via academics.
“I started playing volleyball when I was in fifth grade. Earlier, my mother was not very fond of it. She used to tell me to focus on my studies and that I won’t be able to achieve anything by playing. But that soon changed when my neighbours and coaches started telling her I was good at playing…since then my parents have always been supportive,” he explains.
Though his family has been extremely supportive of his sporting ambitions, his mother still would not allow him to drop out of his Mechanical Engineering degree.
“My first priority has always been sports. I am decent at studies and so my mother does not want me to leave it. So, no plans of dropping out,” Kushal lets out a wry smile.
Having made it to the PVL from the streets of Kolkata, he now has his eyes set on wearing the India jersey.
“I just want to make something out of myself by playing volleyball. Representing India is the ultimate dream – that has always been on the back of my mind since the day I first played this sport,” Kushal Munshi reveals.