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Watch: A candid Ashish Nehra interview that shows why he’s such a legend among fans

The left-armer is at his candid best while recalling his near-two decade career in this video.

With a carefully constructed brand image and politically correct PR-driven scripts shaping up to be a must-have in the off-field personality of every young Indian cricketer, the now-retired Ashish Nehra is astoundingly different.

It is quite evident throughout his recent interview with television presenter Gaurav Kapur, that the World Cup winner, quite evidently, cares scant little for perhaps ruffling someone’s feathers with his rib-tickling candour.

Despite being in and out of the side for the last 18 years, the Delhi pacer has played only 120 One-day Internationals and 17 Test matches. This unfiltered talk also has Nehra joking about the hardships he faced, his failure to grasp technology. “I have been operated upon 12 times. I had broken my finger and even to this day I have a screw inserted in my finger.” Nehra casually quips his battles with injuries that nearly threatened to throw his career off the rails.

Nehra is truly in his element when he talks about his former teammates, fellow veterans Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag. He has a rich history with the latter, having graduated to Sourav Ganguly’s Indian side around the same time. Nehra’s quick-wit has seen his legion of fans crying out for the veteran to take to Twitter, considering that Sehwag’s tongue-in-cheek comments have gone on to build a cult following on the micro-blogging site.

Nehra remarked: “[I] barely use my phone, just learnt to use Whatsapp. I just know the red [cut] and the green button [receive]”.

The 38-year-old’s iconic 6/23 against England at Durban is widely seen as his finest hour on a cricket field.

Nehra has a different take on his greatest feats. “In 2002, I smashed an Andrew Flintoff delivery out of Lord’s. Even though we were losing [India lost by 170 runs], I could see that our balcony was in splits after watching the ball sail over the roof.”

Nehra caps it off with a tongue-in-cheek shrug when pointed out that he joined a club that features batting icon Viv Richards with that shot off the England all-rounder.

Nehra had promised that he would play his final game when he would turn 40, a plan that didn’t materialise. What good is a Nehra story without surprises after all.

Watch the entire interview here:


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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.


During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.