CHENNAI: After winning an Olympic silver medal in Rio and inspiring numerous youngsters across the country to pick up badminton racquets, P V Sindhu is now making sure her style game is also on point.
From fist-pumping aggression on court to twirling in a bright lehenga off it, the rising star has made a seamless transformation and is revelling in the spotlight.
Sporting trendy outfits and designer accessories, Sindhu is attending half-a-dozen events every day – meeting top leaders and travelling to different cities – and juggling them all in a different attire for each occasion.
It all began a few months before Rio when Sindhu befriended stylist Shravya Varma through fellow shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa, who played doubles along with Jwala Gutta at the Rio Olympics.
“Though I’ve wanted to style Sindhu for a long time, it finally happened when she called me a couple of days after her final,” says the Hyderabad-based Varma, who also styles actor Trisha.
“Sindhu was always comfortable wearing her tracks and jeans. But she was aware of the scale of her interviews and audience post Rio. She had no time to shop or decide on clothes. She wanted someone whom she could fall back on and that’s where I came in.”
Soon, the shuttler was attending public events in skirts, dresses, crop tops and anarkalis.
On a single day, Sindhu had a meeting with Sachin Tendulkar and then flew to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi before rehearsing for the Khel Ratna award.
The sartorial change was obvious but not jarring. “It had to be something that wasn’t too far off from her personality,” says Varma.
For instance, the leather biker jacket which Sindhu wore to the TOI Delhi office was from her own wardrobe. While Varma usually carries two or three options of clothes for her regular actor and model clients, she drives with a car full of clothes to Sindhu’s home, mostly beyond midnight, given Sindhu’s schedule.
Her mother is always around for trials and like any youngster, Sindhu has to convince her to be able to wear a particular dress out.
“I’m playing it safe and slow. I didn’t give her the glam that I would have on Trisha because the whole country has taken ownership of Sindhu and her achievements, and there are millions who are judging everything she does now,” says Varma.
“Fashion shouldn’t be stressful and that’s what I like in Sindhu. She wears her everyday watch. She forgets to wear jewellery sometimes. From being shy and restricted about posing, Sindhu is now slipping into anything with ease.”