India's badminton star clears the air about her 'affair' with Mohammed Azharuddin and her split with hubby Chetan Anand
As a couple, Chetan (Anand) and I shared both happy and sad moments.A good quality in Chetan is his patience and he is very calm even during a crisis. and to tell you the truth, that is what I began to dislike about him too.
Jwala Gutta poses for
Well, things were fine with us for quite some time but Chetan and I, in a few years, realised that we are not made for each other.
We did feel bad about it but as two mature people, we understood that there was no future for us together and after discussing it time and again, we decided to separate.
I am a very different person, an extrovert, outgoing and bold;and Chetan is just the opposite, very introverted and someone who wants to be on his own.
Had we continued to live together, maybe we would have left each other after a showdown, which would have left us bitter.
Fights with BAI
Incidentally, I have always had conflicts with the BAI (Badminton Association of India) because of my outspoken nature.
The thing is I can never stay quiet when I see injustice meted out to players, especially to youngsters with no clout.
No one knew that Chetan and I had separated till recently. I had confided to only one member of the Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association and that too because he had sensed something was wrong as Chetan and I were not coming over for the practice sessions together.
He let me down, as expected. I have noticed that everyone I trust always betrays me.
When I first heard about our so-called 'affair', I was shocked! Mohammed Azharuddin is a family friend and we had met through a friend of my dad's in 2002.
He must be only a few years younger than my dad. His sons are my good friends with whom I freak out with, go for movies etc. His older son Abbas is nearly my age or maybe a few years younger than me.
Azhar, as a sportsperson, has always taken interest in my game and encouraged me and that is when he had asked me to work out in his gym.
He is one of the fittest cricketers India has ever had, so if he gives me tips as a sportsperson, there is no harm, right?
As badminton is a growing sport,Azhar wanted to do something for the game. He is eligible to contest for the President's post of the BAI. When we have a Tom, Dick and Harry as part of the Association, who know nothing about the sport, why not Azhar? Many people tried to stop him from contesting by first creating a flutter about his 'match fixing scandal'.
When that did not work, they started spreading rumours about Azhar and me. They even said that Azhar wanted to be part of the BAI because he wanted to promote me.
I am an established player and World No. 7, what more can he do for me? I can play for maybe another two-three years, so even if he becomes the President of BAI, it is of no use to me.
Azhar is a busy man and one cannot expect him to have time for such silly gossip. He is very senior to me and I do not even consider him my pal for me to discuss his personal life with him.
I have met Sangeeta, Azhar's wife, a few times and found her to be the serious kind. She was very cordial and has always been a very good hostess.
As far as I know, Sangeeta and Azhar are together and Sangeeta has been shuttling between Mumbai and Delhi.
Though it was funny, I was initially very upset when the rumour of the 'affair' began. Both Chetan and I were affected by this.
I called up Chetan and he was very supportive; yes, we still share our problems.and Azhar also told me to ignore the tales and concentrate on my game.
Azhar has been very mature in handling this issue and so has Chetan.
I'd rather not waste my time with this kind of gossip. But whoever has started it, let them know that they may have stopped Azhar from contesting the elections, but they have not managed to take away my game from me.
The whole thing is so outrageous and funny. I wish they had linked me with someone handsome, hot and young like a filmstar.
Reproduced with permission from Savvy magazine.