A friend’s 12-year-old son has joined a football camp. His coach makes him sweat profusely. His nanny is upset because he comes home with mud soiled knickers. His mum is happy because he is finally eating well. And the dad is thrilled to watch his little sportsman score goals! As for him, he is a nurturing a different dream altogether: He wants to make it to the world of showbiz. “Because real stars don’t ‘just’ play, they do more,” he reasons as he reaches for the TV remote.

Sangram Singh, a professional wrestler, who was awarded the World’s Best Professional Wrestler title by World Wrestling Professionals, South Africa in 2012 for his style, stamina and nature of wrestling has so far appeared on many reality shows including Sach Ka Samna, Bigg Boss and is now currently swaying on the sets of Nach Baliye. S. Sreesanth, a former cricketer, who’d earned the Man of the Series award in the Challenger Trophy in 2005 too was seen showing his moves on another dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. He will be making his debut as an actor very soon! Baichung Bhutia, god’s gift to Indian football, has been on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa too. Vijender Singh, who got the country the first ever medal Olympic medal for a boxer, is playing the mentor on Roadies X2, a youth-based reality show. Rakesh Kumar, the captain of the Indian Kabbadi Team, was seen on Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 8. Even Leander Paes, a Padma Shri awardee, will be making his film debut, and has already been offered his first Hollywood script. And we’re just getting started.

Yes, there are sportsmen and sportswomen who are committed to the fields and grounds but then there are those too who are trying their hand at shaking a booting, walking the ramp (for charitable & non-charitable purpose) and mouthing dialogues in front of cameras. In addition, they’re selling car batteries, fairness cream and mobile phones too. Now, an alternate career or source of income need not necessarily be detrimental to their prime job or career choice. Right? And who said exploring new dimensions is a bad idea!

I am sure I can build a strong argument, I tell myself when the young footballer switches channels and the room fills up the loud cackle of Navjot Singh Sidhu, he is playing something in between a spectator-furniture on Comedy Nights With Kapil, a comedy show. “But, he does other things as well, and he has retired from the game,” I try to make a point as Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma walk into the show. “See, they play so well that they’re invited as guests on show,” I say meekly. “I want to be a celebrity guest,” says the kid, “I want men and women to cheer for me!” And before I can tell him that the real cheering comes from the stands he adds, “I want to be on a couch at the sets.” He goes on to tell me how he is looking forward to watching a biopic on M.S. Dhoni and how he loved Bhaag Milkha Bhaag! “You got to be worthy enough to have a film made on your life,” I say. He is not listening, he is reading a news item on how Sreesanth has been blessed with a baby girl. “Yes, but people will not know me till a film is made on me,” he laments, “No one knew who Mary Kom, the five-time Indian world boxing champion, was till the film came out! Even the film’s director confessed that he had to look her up!” Next, I learn, “Kapil Dev to Ajay Jadeja and Sunil Gavasakar to Vinod Kambli all have acted in films.”

It’s almost time for him to leave for his football practice and I seem to have been losing this game. I try to tell him of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna title, the strenuous routines of the players, read out paragraphs of autobiographies of champions… while he ties up his shoe laces. “Do you think Virat Kohli is making a cameo appearance in Bombay Velvet?” he leaves. Goal!

#BombayVelvet Image Credits:  http://bit.ly/1d0Bhqx   Featured Photo Credit: Bulldog Media via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Ferdous Firoz Amin via Compfight cc

Article Contributed By Purva Grover, the founder-editor of theindiantrumpet.com, a bi-monthly e-magazine for the NRIs. Purva is a journalist by profession, she has over eight years’ experience in the publishing industry and was working as an associate editor for luxury magazines in India in her last position. She has had a stint as a journalist and senior copy editor with some of the leading newspapers in India. She continues to work as a freelance editorial consultant and writer for Indian and international magazines. She is backed with a post-graduate degree in mass communication and literature. She dreams in words. When she is not meeting professional deadlines, she is dreaming of penning down not a book but a dictionary! She feels words have a soul. She is in search of her favourite word. You can follow her at the twitter handle: @purvagrover.

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