G. Mukul Mahindra, a student of Delhi Public School (South), plays basketball with a passion that is hard to define. “My life revolves around basketball. The basketball court is where you’ll find me whenever I’m free,” says the 16-year-old.
Mukul first tried his hand at the sport when he was eight, and has not looked back since.
Every morning, he goes to school at least two hours early for practice, and invariably also stays back after classes to squeeze in a few more hours.
Now, he has a series of accolades to his credit — playing as the shooting forward for the Karnataka State basketball team, which ranked seventh at the national youth finals this year, and participating in the U-16 State championships are perhaps the highlights. “Getting selected for the Karnataka State basketball team this year was the most special thing to happen to me,” he says.
The young Kobe Bryant fan has also represented his school in the DPS International basketball tournament in Sharjah in 2011. He has been a member of the Jayanagar Club basketball team for the last three years too.
Mukul picks his coach Imran Ali Baig as his steady rock of support and role model.
Mention his protégé to Mr. Baig and he beams with pride: “Mukul is an asset to my team. He is dedicated to the game and works hard at it.”
And how do his parents feel about Mukul’s commitment to basketball? “My parents are very supportive and encouraging,” says the boy.
Mukul’s mother, Anupama Mahindra, a scientist, echoes his coach’s words. “We are very proud of him. He works so hard, the least we can do is give him our encouragement.”
His father, Mahindra, a businessman, adds: “Basketball gives him a lot of joy .We always wanted him to pursue a sport along with academics.”
So why basketball? “Mukul tried skating, swimming, even horse riding. But he finally settled for basketball because he thought it was the quickest way to become tall,” Mr. Mahindra grins, much to the embarrassment of his teenage son.
Mukul seems to have got what he wanted. After all, he certainly is on his way to standing tall in his chosen sport.