A Date With Shuttling Manasi Joshi A Date With Shuttling Manasi Joshi (Check with media her badminton posture in play posted today) “Bole re papii-haraa papii-haraa Nit man tarase, nit man pyaasaa ......“ It was all green inside in an indoor spacious badminton court cum auditorium in Baba Atomic Research Centre complex in Anushakthi Nagar, Mumbai. She concluded singing this popular “Guddi” song to a deafening applause and was being guided climbing down off the stage. Holding stiff hem of her pink frock in her tiny fingers, MANASI sauntered down the side ramp of the large stage and approached us in small strides. Her parents and me at earshot were standing at a distance in this indoor auditorium from the stage. She hopped in her slender legsthat were into pink shoes and dived into the waiting hands of her dad Joshi. In the same venue, she began when she was all nine under a coach learning badminton almost daily. Neither she nor her parents had any ambition to excel in the game. She played with dad often only for fun & fitness. Her dad - young Girish Chandra Joshi was reticent, when I said she was showing great promise to excel in music and badminton as well but he chose to ack my statement with a gentle smile and a nod. After my retirement in 1998, I shifted residence to Chennai but lost touch with Joshis. Years later, I came to know Manasi did exceedingly well in her academics and after graduation with distinction in electronics, secured at age 22 an executive position in a multi national in Mumbai. It was Merry Christmas in 2011 - destiny played off the court with her differently. In rush hour in city traffic she was speeding to office, a car came from wrong side crashing and crushing her left leg. She lost her left leg to amputation and thus began her adversity of seven long years. God, parents & her well wishes were on her side. She could walk back with prosthetic leg in less than five months. She began to attend office. Whenever her spirits were low, words of encouragement from her parents & incessant exhortation by her real & virtual friends done wonders in elevating her spirits and morale. On one of her chatting sessions in Facebook with her friend, she happened to brief about her handicap and ennui. This friend suggested that instead of wallowing in self pity, she should focus on her strength and take to sports like badminton. She thought of her childhood practice of badminton under a coach. Though initially she got startled with her friend’s (harsh) suggestion but mulling over long time, she began asking herself “Why Not”. This question to herself impelled and propelled her back to badminton court. She thought of her resilience in fighting with her adversity; believing pugnacious streak in her, eventually decided to rehabilitate herself by taking to badminton. Few years later, Joshis settled in Ahmadabad (Amdavadi) where Manasi joined as an executive in a bank. She got by and by adapted to artificial left leg movement in synch with her right, picked up quickly the nitty-gritty of playing badminton with attached prosthetics which restored her felicity, she could focus better on the court and began playing in elan. She was selected to play for clubs and then national level and thus began her winning spree. She won several tournaments in various levels including the national one. Her tour expenses were taken care of by corporates and cloud funding helped her to meet the cost of over ₹4.5 lacs imported prosthetics. She represented India in BWF Women Para-Badminton WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in England in 2015 and won bronze medal. Then regularly participated in the world stage every year from 2015 onwards and been winning a medal in international championships. Triumphed in Asian championship in years 2016 & 2017 (Ulsan South Korea). Asian championship 2018 held at Thailand, she represented India - won silver medal. Girishchandra -her dad- to attend a function, where some sports persons of the bank being felicitated. Manasi accompanied her dad to this function. As luck would have it, she was spotted in the gathering by distinguished visitor who presided over the function. It was none other than Gopi Chand - one who had trained internationally acclaimed Indian badminton players. Encouraging words from him, embolden her to ask him whether she could join his academy. With his affirmative answer, it all began to fall into right slots for Manasi. Rubbing shoulders with and watching them being coached in the academy, all boosted her indomitable spirit and quest for medals. Then followed several months of gruelling practice and the training received under the expert coach in the academy set her to higher level of competitive play. With leading badminton players from different parts of the globe , rubbing shoulders in the international venues had enhanced her feel good and boosted her morale and confidence. In last August 2019 , Manasi played several winning rounds to qualify to play finals at Basel - Switzerland, and to play against the defender of the title who was also an Indian. She played tough competitive game against her Indian opponent in that para olympics, emerged tall as World Champion and got gold for India. It is interesting to note that a few hours from then, in the same venue, SINDHU of India - won Olympic gold in regular badminton emerged as world champion. Prosthetics - imported - costs huge amounts and her request to Indian Government to help bring down its costs well received for facilitating hundred percent indigenous manufacture Taxes waived or reduced. She desired supply effected at subsidised rates by Government to needy differently abled personnel. Manasi Joshi celebrated her thirtieth birth anniversary on 11th June is 171 cm tall, looking forward to her next qualifying match to participate in Tokyo Paralympics 2020.