The first thing you notice when you meet Indian hockey forward Abhishek is his calm demeanour and his incredibly shy nature. Every answer is precluded by a sheepish smile as if he himself can’t believe the things he has done on the hockey field.
The second thing you notice about him is a scar on his left hand which runs the length of his forearm, a remnant of a rare instance of indiscipline from his childhood.
“Once during practice, our coach hadn’t arrived yet. Next to our ground, there was a jamun tree and we were plucking fruits. The wall next to it had glasses and barbed wire on the top and I fell and cut my hand on a piece of glass. I was scared my family wouldn’t even let me play hockey after that,” Abhishek told Scroll.in during an interaction before CWG 2022.
“I had gone with the senior team for a tournament and I rushed to the hospital as soon as I came back,” Abhishek’s childhood coach Shamsher Singh told this publication, recalling the incident.
“He was in the operation theatre and I met with his mother and aunt. His mother was very scared and did not want Abhishek to play hockey again because they were scared…