For some a sport is just a recreational pursuit, but for some it is life. On that note, Amazon Prime Video unveils the trailer of their first-ever Indian sports-docuseries, Sons Of The Soil:Jaipur Pink Panthers, which showcases the team’s journey in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). And, of course, as the franchise owner, actor Abhishek Bachchan is standing right at the centre of it all!
All for the players
‘Once a panther, always a panther’ echoes quite literally in every word that Abhishek utters for his team, inspired by the stories of the players of his team — Jaipur Pink Panthers (JPP). In the stands or in the team related press-conferences, Abhishek has often walked away from answering questions that were not directed to him as a franchise owner. He says, “If I go back to the very first match of ours, which was against Mumbai team, many friends from Bollywood came down to show support apart from my family. While it was said this has become another star-studded, glamorous event, I have always stood by the fact that the real superstars are out there performing on the mat and are not those watching from the stands. As a celeb being associated to some sport or the other, the least we could do is to transfer the spotlight and attention to the game. It should be the players on the front foot.”
Which is why, the moment is sure historical for him, Bunty Walia, the team manager and the players of Jaipur Pink Panthers (JPP), as they have become the flag-bearers of kabaddi and will be able to connect to a wider audience through this docu-series, which will help this indigenous game propagate in the world.
From the trailer itself, the uncut, unfiltered, unbiased and raw approach to showcase the locker room views of the team is clear. As Abhishek goes says, “Nobody likes to deal with failure, failure has a nasty way to deal with you.” A one-time winner, JPP (won the first season) is struggling to repeat history again. Abhishek adds, “Win or lose; owner or player, trust in each other is far more important. After seven seasons, they are family… I am happy that this Amazon original will make their stories heard, which will inspire many others.”
Produced by BBC Studios India, the docu-series is helmed by British director Alex Gale, a double BAFTA Scotland-winning executive producer and director.
The head coach Srinivas Reddy explains the difference between national games and professional games. He says, “In the Nationals, the cream from different parts of India comes together, whereas in professional matches, there’s a balanced approach, wherein anyone could be the hero of a particular game. Each game is played as if it is the final.”
Bunty adds, “The tagline of Pro Kabaddi League — Le Panga — stands true for these players, who have taken many pangas in their life to be where they are today. It will provide a window into the players’ persistence, rigorous preparation and hard-work.”