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Dil ki ‘Malik’a-DC Exclusive [sania-shoaib after marriage interview]

Article appeared on deccanchronicle. Exclusive DC

Normally, we don’t allow anything to come between us,” jokes Shoaib Malik as you slip in the recorder in the little space available on the sofa shared by his wife Sania Mirza.

On a serious note, that line pretty much sums up the chemistry between the newly-weds who are having a ball of a time.Being a sporting couple obviously has its own advantages and Sania has a long list of them. “Lot of things can be left unsaid; they don’t need to be explained. You understand each other’s lifestyles, mood swings (sportspersons go through a gamut of emotions during matches). A lot of things are similar — we understand the importance of training, rest, practice and having a good time… He’s been around when I’ve lost matches and I’ve been around on the phone when he has lost games. You know sometimes, it’s ok to shut up — you don’t want to talk about shopping when someone’s lost a match. It’s a bit difficult for non-sportspersons to understand that. There are so many small things which I think are much easier in life,” she reveals.

“I think she said it all,” Shoaib bursts out when you ask him for his take on the subject.
What is it that they have discovered about each other? “The biggest difference between both of us is he’s very patient and I am not,” Sania is off the blocks. “Thankfully, we are yet to find something about each other which is irritating. I have not felt that I need space or suddenly I am spending so much time with someone and sharing a room with… I think nothing has changed. Before we were married the only difference was that we were not living together,” Sania continues.

Shoaib adds with an assured smile: “Same here.”
Given their sporting backgrounds, training sessions have been fun. “He’s become my trainer, actually,” Sania chuckles.

“She has been working hard at the gym and practicing over the last few days. I have heard her say that she’s feeling a lot better and stronger,” Shoaib says as he attempts to drown Sania’s infectious laughter. “Actually, he’s much stronger than he appears to be,” Sania returns the compliment.
In the little tennis that they have played together, Sania has discovered that Shoaib hits the ball well and has a good forehand. “Honestly no,” Shoaib replies when asked if he knew what a forehand was in tennis earlier, only to trigger a full-throated giggly protest from Sania: “What a liar!”

“She taught me quite a few things about tennis in the three days we practiced together,” Shoaib continues before Sania interrupts, “Then he got injured — he dropped a dumbbell on his foot at the gym. That was the end of his tennis career,” she hits the roof.
“The training is very similar; the only difference is that he picks up heavier weights than I do. In both our sports we don’t require to be big and bulky, need to be lean and strong so we do a lot of cardio almost everyday. It’s a lot of fun to workout with your husband and definitely helps you go that extra mile,” Sania explains. “That’s one of the incentives, we can spend 24 hours together,” Shoaib chips in.

Both Sania and Shoaib prefer to stay at home. “We’ve been out a couple of times but we both are home bodies. One night we went to my best friend’s birthday party but were back home within 45 minutes. We’d much rather watch a movie than go out or something like that,” Sania says.
Shoaib’s taste? “The food is so nice here, a bit spicy, but manageable,” he says throwing a playful glance at Sania. Does she cook? Sania grabs her chance. “I don’t cook because I love him,” she laughs. “If I hated him I would cook,” she adds doubling the laughter level.

Right now, setting up their new home in Dubai is on Sania’s mind. “We (Pakistan) have played quite a few home series in Dubai so I am quite familiar with the place. It’s also not far, just a two-hour flight from India and Pakistan,” Shoaib says. “It’s like living in Delhi,” Sania adds, before elaborating, “It’s neutral to start with and he already has a house there. So, it made the most sense for us to live there. In Dubai you don’t feel like you’re out of India. You feel you are in some sort of posh India with a lot of Indians and Pakistanis living there.”

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