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Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s world— Where Popeye meets Thunberg, Redford and Shri Padma Shri Chhetri

In addition to Indian football team’s highs and lows, goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s tweets also gave a glimpse into his multiple facets off the field.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: December 31, 2019 8:40:14 am

 

Where Popeye meets Thunberg, Redford and Shri Padma Shri Chhetri “Drawing cartoons and sketching makes me happy. Forgetting about everything, even the game, and shifting your focus to simple things like sketching helps so that you can learn to channel your focus,” Sandhu said in a 2017 interview.

90s kid

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was the only millennial to use the word ‘boomer’ unironically in 2019. A fair distance away from the cacophony of Gen X, Y, Z, the true blue 90s kid instead was making a reference to the Wrigley’s chewing gum Boomer, and the elastic man.

Sandhu’s timeline is littered with sketches of classic cartoon characters such as Daffy Duck, Popeye, Goofy et al, a habit he picked up when he was gifted a Dragon Ball Z pencil box.

“Drawing cartoons and sketching makes me happy. Forgetting about everything, even the game, and shifting your focus to simple things like sketching helps so that you can learn to channel your focus,” Sandhu said in a 2017 interview. “It eventually helps on the field too when you need to stay focused for 90 minutes.”

Captain Planet

There’s more than just saving goals on Sandhu’s agenda. Last week, he retweeted environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s call to change in the wake of Australia Fires tragedy. Earlier, on September 24, Sandhu had also shared Thunberg’s #HowDareYou speech at the United Nations summit with his 57k followers.

It’s not about chasing social media clout either. In July, Sandhu answered a rapid-fire question from stuff.tv: “If I were to choose to be a superhero, I’d wish to be Captain Planet. I wish I could use my powers to reverse the effects of climate change and pollution.”

Sandhu also declared his support for Thunberg’s ‘School Strike 4 climate’ movement. “Kudos to the @StrikeClimate for taking this important initiative, it’s time to act together and take initiative to protect our planet #ClimateChange

Good Guy Gurpreet

Sandhu isn’t one for emojis. The one he’s used most — ‘namaste’ — is common to most athletes. He’s into gifs, though. His go-to being the Robert Redford nod of approval from the 1972 film ‘Jeremiah Johnson’. He used the gif six times this year: accepting compliments, celebrating Kean Lewis’ contract extension at BFC. The most wholesome usage of the gif was the day after the Game of Thrones finale aired. India captain Sunil Chhetri, like millions worldwide, was coming to terms with the disappointing final season. “…I have absolutely no problem with Bran as King, but the build-up to it should have been more solid. In fact, so many major moments lacked a good build up…” Chhetri tweeted. In response, Sandesh Jhingan asked the all-important question. “Paji @chetrisunil11 “GOT” chorho, quinoa kaun la raha lunch pe yeh btao.” Enter Good guy Gurpreet. “I’ll bring it,” with the Redford nod to boot.

Connected to the roots

It was also a year of multiple trips down the memory lanes of Norway. Sandhu retweeted a photo of John ‘Budgie’ Burridge and Espen Granli hanging out together; the former a goalkeeper-turned-pundit who recommended young Sandhu to various scouts across Europe, the latter his coach at Norwegian club Stabaek FC. “The discoverer and the maker, both in a single frame!” tweeted Sandhu. On September 18, he also tweeted a photo of a police report he had filed during his time in Norway. “Was going through some of my archives and found this Police report that i had filed back in Norway, when i could only afford a bicycle?? and that too got stolen!? #ToughTimesDontLastToughPeopleDo”

It wasn’t all overseas either. Sandhu also documented his trips to the St Stephen’s Academy in Chandigarh, where his footballing journey began.

Dear brother

Throughout 2019, Sandhu also expressed his adulation for Sunil Chhetri. The captain-goalie duo continued to rule the roost at BFC, and Sandhu tweeted out a photo of the two walking out of the Bengaluru airport with the ISL trophy and “Dhai kilo ka” golden glove trophy in tow.

In another throwback post, Sandhu recalled ‘#TheDayIMet @chetrisunil11’. But the crowning glory was on the Republic Day, when Chhetri was conferred with the Padma Shri award. Sandhu congratulated by updating the contact info in his phone to ‘Shri Padma Shri Chhetri Bhai’. In return, when Sandhu received the Arjuna Award in August, Chhetri wrote a heartful post. “Let’s keep the height or the lack of it aside for a minute. A few years ago, I saw you walk into the national team as a kid. And today to see ‘Arjuna Awardee’ go beside your name, gives me immense pride.”

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