You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Jyoti Singh Randhawa is always in the news for his game or for his life-partner Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh. Society catches up with champion golfer to see how his life is when not in the spot-light.
It was a lovely day at Greater Noida where Louis Philippe Cup 2013 Golf Tournament was going on. An ideal place to look out for golfers and so is Jyoti Singh Randhawa one of the few top world-class golfers from India. Looking at his expression it seems things are going good with his game, as he walks towards the table, where I am seated waiting for him. He raised his left arm to shake hands that gave some wrong ideas but on second thought, he got injury on his right arm. In a way, it worked as an icebreaker and saved us from that awkward moment. “Please don’t mind i injured my hand while playing few months back! I totally stopped playing for awhile but it’s getting better now, so I have started again,” as he settles down in the chair and put his arms on the table.
“I played really well today and we are in the finals. I thought I was the weak link in my team with the injury and not being in touch with the game. As a team we did good, ours was an average team but everybody chipped in. Tomorrow we play for the championship!” excitedly Jyoti Randhawa on his game and the new format (his team DLF Gurgaon came second). The Louis Philippe Cup is India’s premier pro team golf event in its second year where celebrities from all walks of life joined hand with the professional golfers in the traditional pro-am. “Playing alone and in the group is quite different. Here you are playing for the team, teammates are looking upto you. You have more pressure in here.”
Talking about his sports it was not by chance but by choice, he took it up. “I was introduced to golf by my father. He is an army man and used to take me along to golf courses whenever he goes to play. Another reason for taking golf seriously was my two cousin brothers, Bambi and Bunty.” Laughingly he explains why, “They were playing professional golf at that time and were touring around the world all the time. I used to envy them that they are playing golf and also get to see different places. So I picked up golf-club with those things in the back of my mind. But latter when I really started playing I was really inspired by Greg Norman, the way he used to play, swing and on that he got a great style. The way he used to dress, long hairs, hat and he looks really well while playing golf and I really appreciate that. Nowadays it’s Tiger Woods!”
That brings us to a very important topic, why there is not much golfers in international level from India though there are billions of people out there. “We don’t have much exposure here and on that it’s a new game. In here, it is like twenty years old but people out there they have been playing for more than two hundred years. That brings difference in the game, lots of information has been passed down to them!” Taking out his cap, runs his hand through the hair and looks up, “We definitely need to have more public golf-course, where people don’t need spend lots of money to play or has to be member of the club. Government needs to get themseleves involved, it is a tough job but peope are getting involved and economy is getting better. But the most important thing in golf is a game where you need a lot of perseverance because here you can’t win every time, one has to keep trying. To be a good golfer one needs to have discipline, hard work and dedication.”
However, these days he is more in the news not for his sports but for personal life, as the rumor says that his marriage with Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh is not on smooth track. Although it does not look like that as he talks about it. “It feels great that two people are doing well in their profession and they are enjoying it. I could not have asked for more. It is tough on my family and me as I am travelling most of the time, so is my wife. Moreover, we have a five-year-old son, so we try our best that one of us stays home. But there is always nani, dada and dadi to pitch in when we are not there.”
Here he wanted to grab something to eat so he excused himself but was back quickly with ice cream. So is he saying that he is fine with his wife doing item-numbers in the movie, me trying to take out something spicy? “You know item number is also just acting, it’s totally different than what you see in the screen and what it is really like at the movie set. Screen is all sexual and make up but actually there are ten camera, ten spot boys and people everywhere. On that, if she is okay with me travelling around the world and playing golf then I should also be ok with what she is doing.” Taking a big scoop of ice cream he continues, “I really liked her recent movie Inkaar, she acted really well and very confident and then her first movie Hazaron Kwaish Aise.”
Two people in very different profession, do they ever get time to themselves? “She goes for like around fifteen days a month and comes back home, so do I. We spend around five to ten days a month together. Just that these two-three years she has done a bit more movies. The thing is that I am doing my things and she is also busy doing her things, and when we are together, we are full time. Rather it is good to go get away and come back, staying in same place you will get used to each other. We like our space, our freedoms and we spend time together also,” smiles forty years old golfer who has just moved in to his new house in DLF Gurgaon.
When Jyoti Randhawa is not on tour or playing, he can be hell of one adventure freak. “I am totally into adventure sports, I like to ride my bike, I love shooting, sky-diving, scuba-diving also, and so my life is very busy doing all these. I spend a lot of my time in this, that’s why to make sure I spend good time with the family also I take them along with me where ever I go.” Finally before he goes back and continue with the rest of his game, “I would really like to win one of the majors in the world and that’s what I have been dreaming of, keeping myself to do that one day. Looking at my fitness right now, I think I have at least seven years of golf in me. And my future plan is that I am playing golf somewhere in the world, hopefully on the European Tour.”
(Published in Society April ’13, Page No. 120)