Lucknow lad and Bollywood actor Eshan Naqvi has never thought that the badminton which he used to play as a child at KD Singh Babu Stadium will fetch him lead role in world champion shuttler’s biopic. He essayed the role of Saina Nehwal’s (played by Parineeti Chopra) love interest Parupalli Kashyap.

“I am a sportsman, so I know that learning is a never-ending process. As a shuttler I never thought I will do music, but I have my own band. Acting was never on cards, but it happened so it’s all about taking challenges as it comes. But now, I want to take it up full time and this is just a start,” says the actor.

Eshan comes from a family of sportspersons with his father serving as district sports officer (DSO) in Pilibhit and Lucknow and retiring as regional sports officer in Gorakhpur.

Talking about his early day he recalls, “My love for game came from my father. After playing for few years here I shifted to Shrikant Vad’s academy in Thane. I became state champion and represented India in World Junior and Asian Junior Badminton Championship.”

When asked about the acting, he says, “I had interest in performances, so I was into singing and dance. After I suffered a back injury, I started doing music during the break. Soon, I realised that I can’t take up badminton full time due to my injury, so I started coaching in the academy and formed my music band ‘Eshan Live’ and started going gigs — I compose, sing and play guitar.”

Things changed for him when director Amol Gupte visited the academy. “Vad sir recommended me for training actors in the game for the film. I trained Parineeti, Manav Kaul and Meghna Malik. Soon we became a team and Amol sir asked me and I gave audition. He trained me, took workshops and here I am playing Saina’s love interest. Besides, I got chance to assist in the film which helped me learn a lot.”

The actor is now looking forward to making a career in acting. “This is just a start. Whatever little I have learnt has been from Amol sir, who is an institution in himself. The entire team, Parineeti and everyone has helped me a lot. Now, I want to continue with the flow. As far as badminton is concern, it will always remain close to me,” Eshan says on a signing off note.


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