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Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma: Cricket’s Return to Fans

Learn English with Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma. Join Indian cricketing legend Virat Kohli and his superstar actress wife, Anushka Sharma, as they share their experiences in an intimate chat during PUMA’s “Jam with Fam” event. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma open up about life in the IPL bubble, their feelings about the game’s return to normalcy, and the personal challenges they faced in the background. Virat Kohli, along with Anushka Sharma, also share insights about their daughter and the struggles of raising her during a pandemic. This heartwarming conversation with Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma gives a rare glimpse into the lives of India’s most adored couple. Learn English with Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma and get a closer look at the lives of these two iconic figures.

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Virat Kohli | Quote

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“Go beyond your limitations.” Virat Kohli

Virat & Anushka | FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Host: I’ll get started by asking you that three years, IPL was in a bubble. You played in the bubble for a long time. Must have been very, very tough. How does it feel to get back to real cricket, the stadium, and Chinnaswamy screaming?

Virat Kohli: It’s actually, the first game seemed unbelievable to me. You know, you almost forget the memory of driving to the stadium with so many people outside the ground. And this one interesting thing, Glenn Maxwell said to me after he saw that. He said, I know the situation was unbelievably tough, and everyone was suffering all over. And we had to continue to play, which was, again, for me, quite a difficult period.

Because I was like, this doesn’t seem right. Not because there are not people in the stadium, but in general, everyone’s kind of trying to just get by. And here we’re playing a sport. Just felt odd. So when we returned to normal, that’s one thing he said. He said, I can’t believe we played in empty stadiums for so long. The fans are the essence of the game, especially seeing the passion of the fans of RCB. IPL always has been a special tournament.

So when I saw those people outside the stadiums, and the lead up, I got all the videos of the lead up to the game as well, like the queues for tickets and the frenzy that was in the city. I was buzzing. I was like, I just want to get to Bangalore. And when we landed as well, when they saw me at the airport, I could just see happiness in their eyes to see me back playing for RCB in Bangalore. So yeah, it was more like a fairy tale comeback for us.

Played the perfect game also. But yeah, just the whole atmosphere was something that I realized that day how special it has been to have all those fans cheer for us for so many years, only because we had a situation where we couldn’t see any of them. So I had more gratitude. And I was very thankful that I have this opportunity to play in front of such amazing fans.

Host: Was it tough for you to be in the bubble?

Virat Kohli: Personally, it was very tough for me. Not that I like to go out a lot, but just the sense of not being able to step out from certain places, it was confining me in a way that it wasn’t healthy at all. Plus, there were many things that were happening in the background when it came to cricket with me, which eventually came to the surface later for everyone to know. So no one knew at the time what I’m going through. And in general, we had our daughter. And just not being able to take her out and show her the world was also very tough on us. So yeah, the bubble, I don’t know how people reacted to it. But personally, I was not in a good space in the bubble.

And after the bubble as well, I realized not that, as I said, not hanging out every evening, going for dinners and get-togethers or anything, just the fact that you can go to the lobby area of a hotel and just have a cup of coffee in normalcy, or just sit by the pool and you see random people around you, not confined spaces. And it was just like, yeah, you’re part of everything. Just that bit was so important. And I realized that later. Bubble was very difficult.

Host: We’re doing this campaign, Let There Be Sport. And I know that you spoke about it in the conflict we did at Taj West the other day. But to this group of people, we are in the sports business. And we believe the sports impacts much more than… You know, you’re an athlete. It’s an everyday life. I know you feel very strongly about it. I want you to quip on that for this team.

Virat Kohli: So we spoke about the values that sport can provide you with on a daily basis. If I hadn’t gone on to become a professional sports person as well, I would still continue to play sport as regularly as possible. Because of all the things that I’ve experienced in my life, nothing has taught me more than sport. And why I say that is because there’s a chance to fail and succeed in every moment. And that’s a very rare thing to have.

That’s where your composure is tested the most and your character is tested the most. And then once you overcome those fears and those doubts, you become a better version of yourself. So this is the discussion we had the other day, that… for all of us as people, we work towards certain goals.

But there’s a degree of success and failure attached to it. If you talk about exams as well, there’s a certain kind of nervousness we feel when the results are about to arrive. You don’t feel that sense of nervousness when you’re actually giving the exam. Yes, you might or might not know what you’re doing. But there’s still a space where for a few days, you’re like, okay, whatever happened, happened. And then I’m going to get the result later. So you just need to be composed in that moment when you’re getting the result as to how you react to it. But with sport, you can do that in potentially every moment.

So if you’re able to overcome those fears and follow your heart, not your mind, your mind can help you make a plan. But your heart will help you apply the plan. That’s my experience. So the more I did that, the more I realized that what my strengths are as a person and what unlimited potential we have as human beings, if we don’t put any tabs on ourselves. And only sport could teach me that, to go beyond your limitations.

The known limitations of the mind, that the mind tells you, oh, well, code runs in four innings, so the fifth one might not work. I never thought like that. I felt like every day was a new day. Every moment was a new opportunity to do something special. And then only sport could help me accumulate moment by moment by moment and go beyond my fears and teach me what fearlessness means. And then I could apply that to everyday life as well. I’m not saying that there’s a guarantee to succeed with this way of operating.

But there’s at least one guarantee that when you walk away from that particular event or that particular result, you’ll be happy with what you did because you followed your heart. Every time I followed my mind and tried to calculate my way out of things and I failed, I’ve not been able to process it. Every time I followed my heart and I failed, I knew that I did what I wanted to do.

And then I could accept the situation the way it was. So it taught me things about processing success and failure more than anything else could in life. And that made me a more assured person that not everything is going to go well all the time. But that doesn’t mean that you stop moving forward. You have to keep taking those steps to be in the moment. And I think sport can teach you that for every walk of life, whether it’s studies, business, anything that you do. It helps you create that fearless mindset.

Host: In the meantime, we have Anushka joining us. I would like to ask you a question about… a very stressful professional career. What is your mantra for balance?

Anushka Sharma: You know, it’s not easy. I’m not going to say it’s easy. And I think a lot of pressure is put on women. And somewhere, this… women being a multitasker is seen as a very good thing. And I think it’s true. We are able to multitask because we can gather a lot more information and process it and then execute it. But I also feel like there’s a lot of pressure put on us to excel in everything. And we put that pressure on ourselves also.

People really celebrate, oh, she’s doing this, and she’s succeeding here, and she’s a mother, and she’s doing that. But I think it’s a lot of pressure. So whenever you do so many things, you are going to not be doing all of them. If you were doing one thing, you would obviously be doing it in a certain way. And doing a lot more things, while it’s possible, it takes a lot out of you.

So I think the important thing is to prioritize, which I think I have managed to do in our lives. I know what’s important. I know that my daughter is at this age that she needs a lot more of my time. And Virat is a great father. He’s very involved as a parent. But she’s at that age where… we’ve also seen that she just needs me more. She needs mama more. So we recognize that. So I’ve taken those steps. I enjoy acting. But I don’t want to do too many films as much as I was doing earlier. I want to do one film a year. I want to enjoy the process of acting, which is what I like. And balance my life out the way I am. Give time to family. And even Virat does that, just as much as he can. And I do it as much as I can. And one cannot compare.

It’s really individually how you’re looking at your life and what makes you comfortable. The way I’m leading my life makes me happy. And ultimately, I don’t want to prove a point to anybody, whether as an actor, as a public figure, as a mother, as a wife. I just want to do things which make me happy and make sense to me. And I think understanding that is a long process. And it takes a lot out of you. But I think I finally figured out what it is. I do things which feel right to me.

And I don’t look for validation outside of myself anymore. And motherhood has given me that. Because you have to trust yourself so much as a parent, as a mother. Because you’re taking decisions for someone who is so small and, frankly, incapable in a lot of ways. So you end up becoming very gutsy. And you start trusting yourself a lot more. So I think I’m braver than I was before. I take decisions which… which I wouldn’t have earlier, which I would have been afraid to. I feel more fearless now. And I’m not looking for validation from anybody, nobody. It’s just what feels right to me. I think that’s very important for women.

Host: I just want you to tell us two things that you want, in general, people here should take from you and get inspired in their life. Like two things that you believe or you do that people should inculcate. And one thing that they should inculcate, should not inculcate.

Anushka Sharma: So first thing I don’t think you’ll want to do is to sleep early. I sleep between 9, 9:30 at night. I think that’ll be hard.

Host: Is it true? Every day, every night you’re sleeping at night?

Anushka Sharma: I don’t have a social life. I’m OK with it. I don’t care. But I think it’ll be a little bit harder to do, so don’t do that. But eat early. I eat early dinner. And I think it’s doing wonders for my health. So I eat with my daughter. She has lunch at around 11, 11:30, and that’s when I eat lunch.

Host: You don’t even start at that time.

Anushka Sharma: But I feel like I rest better. I sleep better. All my sleep issues are gone. I wake up fresher. I have more energy. I think clearer. I would attribute that to eating early because that’s the only change, really, that I’ve made in my life. Yeah. So it might not work for everybody. So obviously, don’t follow celebrities when you talk about them, unless they’re athletes. But do what’s right for you.

This has worked for me and has worked for a few other people I know. Yeah, that’s one thing you should do. And the one thing that you should not do, I think, early on, not now, but a few years ago, I would react too quickly to situations. So I think now I’m learning to respond rather than react. So that has changed. I think that’s really changed the quality of my life and yours.

Host: Virat’s on-pitch celebration.

Anushka Sharma: Sometimes the bowler is not celebrating as much as Virat is.

Host: I must say, it was fantastic. Thank you so much.

Virat & Anushka