Gagan Narang turns 37 with eye on the sky
Gagan Narang ushered in his 37th birthday in a rather unique way. Tuesday was the night of Eta Aquarids, and the avid photographer that he is, Gagan kept clicking away late into the night and into the wee hours of his birthday on Wednesday.
The London Olympics bronze medal winner, though cooped up at home in Secunderabad due to the coronavirus pandemic, is happy to be able to spend his birthday with his parents.
“I have been home for a while now. The lockdown has given me enough time to spend with my parents, something I missed during my years of travelling and active shooting. I missed their company and so did they.
“I also had some time to do photography. Yesterday was the night of Eta Aquarids, so I had my eye on the sky, was clicking away late into the night,” he told The Telegraph. The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by the debris from Halley’s Comet and it peaked on Tuesday night.
With little or no practice possible at a shooting range now, Gagan is keeping himself busy with his photography and the backend work for his academy in Bhubaneswar.
“I am trying to keep a routine for my work. There is a lot of backend work for Gun For Glory, my academy, which I am finishing now. Now is also the time to plan ahead. When sport resumes, there will be a lot to do. So most of my days are spent in planning... Also, I am trying to turn in early in these days of the pandemic,” he said.
But for an Olympic medal winner, who is still trying to make the cut for the Tokyo Games, fitness is extremely important. “Right now, I am following a basic fitness schedule that would keep me functional, not what would require me to be match fit. I do my basic stretches and walking. Also am having meals at regular intervals,” he added.
Gagan, known to be a mentally strong and focused shooter, said: “We all know these are tough times. At least people like us are fortunate to see through these times, stay away from active contact with the virus. That should be reason enough to stay sane. At another level, time with no sport can be excruciating.
“However, now is the time for life and death and we all have to be practical about doing things that are a priority. We must abide by guidelines that are being issued. Frustration won’t yield anything, so we have to be safe and secure right now.”
While his passion wildlife photography is now on hold, it is this hobby that is keeping him grounded. “Actually photography is an area I am still getting to explore while the world has hit a pause button. I am clicking nature... some exotic birds, change in the sky. The meteor shower yesterday was a thrill. Of course wildlife photography has to wait for a while,” he said.
Gagan normally brings out a calendar every year featuring his own photographs. “This year I still have some time to plan it out. With no wildlife photographs will have to plan differently. I can only comment on that later at a more appropriate time.”
Still waiting to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Gagan said: “I have not made the cut as yet. Post the pandemic, once sport resumes I will know where I stand. At that time we will get to know the selection criterion. I think it will be a few months before we know where we stand... And only after that can I plan my preparation.”