Sukesh Hegde: A journey from obscurity to stardom
The Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League is serving as a rich incubator of talent and stardom. Unknown outside their circles just a couple of years ago, many of the established players of the league are basking now in radiant glory. Among them is the Titans raider Sukesh Hegde.
The young man from Karnataka could greet you in a Vijaya Bank branch in Bengaluru, soon after the league is done, for that is where he holds a day job. But after a couple of successful seasons in the fastest growing league in India, Hegde is looking towards the future with hope and aspiration.
Not that he lacked either of it in the past, but even he may have found it difficult to believe that a professional kabaddi career was in the realm of possibility. Having played at various levels, he was resigned to all, but keeping the flames of his passion alive, even as he earned his bread through his work at the bank.
The arc lights are shining though and a spring of new prosperity is greeting the young man and his ilk. Barely conversant in English, Sukesh is the quintessential model of the newest generation of stars being fostered in this era of television driven sport.
On prime time every night, the shy young man is quickly turning into one of the faces behind the success of the Titans. Hegde is from Mangalore and having grown up away from the fanfare of India’s modern cities, he is a simpleton who is still seeking to discover his own trail in the crowded world of stardom.
It is an endearing experience, speaking with Sukesh. Conversant in Kannada, Tulu and Tamil, he responds with a radiant smile every time reporters drench him in an avalanche of English. In the days and weeks of traveling the country, Sukesh is learning the ropes of dealing with the flood of attention that is invading his life.