Lockdown Diaries: Ajay Jayaram exchanging badminton racquet for Ludo!

The shuttler has spent his isolation painting, ‘trying’ to cook desserts and watching Netflix.

By Naveen Peter and Rahul Venkat ·

Things were looking up for Ajay Jayaram at the start of the year.

The 32-year-old had slipped down to 81 in the Badminton World Federation rankings towards the end of 2019 but came back to form at the Spain Masters in February.

He was the only Indian badminton player to make the semi-finals, beating compatriot and former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth 21-6, 21-17 in the pre-quarters before falling to Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

Ajay Jayaram had moved to Bengaluru from Mumbai to train with former player Anup Sridhar before the lockdown in March.

The Olympic Channel caught up with the Indian badminton star to know his lockdown routines.

When was the last time you have been home for so long?

I have been laid off from badminton due to my injuries for around seven or eight months at a stretch before but apart from that no, there never really has been a break so to say.

How have you been spending time at home?

Oh just the regular, I have tried to keep fit, been painting a lot of course and watching some Netflix.

I also played a lot of Ludo, that’s been the fad during lockdown (laughs)

What's your diet been like in these times?

Honestly, I got lucky because my cook is also the manager of the apartment building I stay at, so she is there all the time.

So the diet has not suffered much, it is mostly the same as pre-lockdown.

What has been your go-to workout at home?

The thing is, you are always excited to do a new routine but then it gets repetitive and monotonous when you are confined to the four walls without badminton to accompany it.

That said, I thankfully got a bike at home so that takes care of my cardio, which has been a welcome change apart from the agility drills and skipping.

Any new skill that you have learnt recently?

I have tried to cook – prepared some payasam (a type of pudding) to be specific – but I don’t think I’m very good at it.

It is not my passion as such so I don’t really go all out. Some people have really got into the process but not me.

A TV Series that you have enjoyed on Netflix.

Oh, one of my favourite shows to watch has been Ozark. I just got done with the third season sometime back.

It is a slow build-up kind of a show but as it progresses into the second and third season, it gets super interesting. I loved the character transitions.

Someone you have video-called with the most.

I have mostly spoken to my family since I am away from them now.

It is not a daily thing, I’m not much of a call person, but it has happened more often than in usual circumstances.

First thing you will do after isolation ends.

I know it will be a gradual process of lifting the restrictions and I’m looking forward to meeting my friends at a pub or a restaurant with music when the whole thing dies down.