Ever since Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul made an appearance on the popular talk show, Koffee With Karan Season 6, they have been in severe trouble. Hardik’s sexist comments received a lot of flak on social media, and the duo was even suspended by the BCCI from playing the series in Australia. Things went out of control and even Pandya’s gym membership with Khar gymkhana was called off. Now during his latest candid chat with Bombay Times, the cricketer has spoken at length on his friendship with Hardik Pandya and many other things.
During his candid chat, when he was asked if Koffee With Karan controversy, reminded them that one needs to be more politically correct on a public platform, he said, “Did that I won’t lie. I was bitter for a bit; it affected and bothered me a lot. I was angry, but I came out of it all as a more accepting person. I understood that certain things are sensitive, and no matter what you do, certain people will find the bad in you. It was important that I spoke about it with those close to me, and I was happy to be in my little bubble — friends and cricket. And when I am not playing cricket, I switch off from the world and spend time with real people. I have learnt to keep my personal life to myself and not make it a thing to talk or gossip about.
Further, when asked if that controversy affected his friendship with Hardik Pandya. He said, “It was hard for both of us. We did speak to each other about it while this whole process was on (investigation). He was with his family and friends and I was with my people. We switched off from the outside world for those few weeks. We learnt from the situation, accepted it, and now we are back to being good friends. We literally spend 300 days together... travelling and playing cricket. Hardik is still a good friend and we enjoy each other’s company.”
In the same interview, Rahul was also asked if any actor would have made the same statement, had received the same criticism, he said, “I do understand that there were these things that we could have avoided (on the show). If I could undo, I would go back and undo those things, but I can’t. What’s happened has happened. We have learnt from it. I can speak for myself. It has made me a better man and has put me in a better space. I went through a lot emotionally and it was tough for me in the first few months to even get out of the house and speak to people. I didn’t feel confident enough as I wondered what to say. I didn’t want to talk about it or seek sympathy. It made me uncomfortable as I had never been in a position like that. Things happened and I didn’t really know the reason or couldn’t tell as to why we faced what we did, but I understood later that you need to be more careful about what you say.”
When asked about what he has learnt from the controversy, “It
taught me that you need to be aware of your surroundings and how certain things
can come across as sensitive to certain people. There’s a lot I learnt as a
person. I need to focus more on cricket, spend more time in the gym, on the
field — practising and training. It made me more focussed on my profession and
what I really need to do. As I told you before, cricket is the only thing I am
good at and there’s nothing else I can do to survive, so I need to give it all
I have. I am way too into it, I can’t have a plan B now. I am 27 years old.”
Images Source: instagram/klrahul