So, I began training under him. In my early days, I had a unique style of play that was based mainly on placements and variations. I rarely played an attacking game. A lot of people told me that my style wouldn’t work out in the long run. But, Chandra sir asked me to continue the same way and work on my strengths.
And, that allowed me to succeed in a number of tournaments. Under him, I became the Junior National champion and Sub-junior National champion. I was also ranked No.1 in my age category. I clinched the top prize at the Commonwealth Youth (Under-18) Games in Pune in 2008 as a 15-year-old.
In 2010, I bagged the bronze medal at the Asian Junior Championships in Bangkok. A year later, I was part of the team that won the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in Manama. Chandra sir was an inspiration and a great human being. He was strict when I was on court and brought discipline into my game.
Off the field, he was friendly and humorous. In 2012, I parted ways with him as I wanted a coach who would travel with me for tournaments. Chandra sir had a few medical issues at that time, so I met S Raman sir. He understood my decision and wished me luck.
Even after the end of our association, we were on good terms. He congratulated me for winning the Senior National Championship and qualifying for the Olympic Games. Chandra sir has left a mark not only on me but also many others. It is a personal loss for me as well as my family. Your teachings will always stay with me sir.
— (As told to Shrivathsan S)