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Young hockey star’s tale of humble beginnings,B’wood dreams

Yuvraj Walmiki's life is the subject of a documentary aimed at bringing sponsors to the sport.

Written by Shahid Judge | Mumbai |
October 23, 2013 2:13:56 am

Those oblivious to hockey — but familiar with Chak De! India — witnessed the tension and stress that goes behind a dreaded penalty shootout. The one who scores cements a place in people’s hearts forever,and the one who misses is condemned. Yuvraj Walmiki,an off-on India international hockey player shot into limelight when he came out from his humble dwelling near Marine Lines station,to convert the penalty stroke that won India the 2011 Asian Champions Trophy final against none other than Pakistan.

Walmiki’s story is one that movies are made of. Now,Lens Flare Films have recognised the prospect and will actually film the Mumbai boy’s life.

Director Sachin Kotre approached the 22-year-old midfielder six months ago with the idea of making a documentary on him. After agreeing,Walmiki worked with the film team for eight days to make the 50-second pilot.

The idea behind the short video is for the director to introduce the film to corporates to bring in a sponsor for a full-fledged documentary on the youngster.

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Growing up in a 100-sq ft garage converted into a shanty in Marine Lines,and studying in the BHA canteen,Walmiki was picked at 20 to play for India,and starred in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy. The youngster with an inspirational story has been in and out of the team,but has been using these last few months to test his acting chops for the film.

Regardless of it being just 50 seconds,the camera-friendly Indian Oil player,who keenly posed for photographers after his side’s opening game win at the All India Bombay Hockey Gold Cup at the BHA Tuesday,claims to have been nervous during the video shoot.

“There was a shower scene in which I was standing in the shower for about 25 minutes,” he says. “I was quite nervous because I’m not used to having cameras around me,but I had to work hard to pretend there was nothing around and that I was alone. It’s very different for me as a player because I’m used to not knowing there is a camera clicking action photos when I play,or looking straight at cameras to pose after a game. This was just a different experience,” he adds.

The pilot is said to be a ‘universal’ clip set to be uploaded onto various social networking sites. The film is named Ritual after the Australian company that makes the hockey sticks Walmiki uses.

Citing this venture as his attempt to make the sport popular,Walmiki hopes to one day enter Bollywood. “It’s always my dream to act in a Bollywood film,” he says. “For now,I’m thinking that just as Chak De! India made the game popular,this documentary might help further,” he says.

shahid.judge@expressindia.com

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