The 24-year-old has transformed himself into one of the biggest names in the footballing circuit since the advent of ISL.

Picture a typical 23-year-old urban guy. Parties, discotheques, loud music, fast cars, you get the drift. But not Sandesh Jhingan!

His on-field exploits attract a fair share of the limelight, but, off it, he likes to stay away from the hustle and bustle. A soft-spoken guy is actually a man thousands of words.

“I love to write; anything — be it short stories or perhaps a poem. I began writing when I was 13 or 14 and that love has continued.”

You give him a pen and something to write on, that’s all he needs to let his creative juices flow. “A pen and a piece of paper are my best friends. I find sukoon in them,” citing the true reason for his passion, peace and solace of the mind.

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But doesn’t he indulge in anything which is the conventional norm among guys of his age? “I’m not a party person. Loud music, dizzying lights does not attract me. I prefer to be in a calm place. I like to sit on the beach and watch the waves. Maybe good music and perhaps a good company to go with it,” dismissing any notion that people may have otherwise.

“I wish I could speak all languages. That way I could understand everyone, as well as read and write in every language,” the tough defender reveals his secret desire.

“My outlook towards life was different from what it is today. A knee and an ankle injury within a span of a year changed everything. I’m actually glad that it happened as it made me what I am,” he looked back in retrospective. You almost expect a tonne of self-pity, but no, Sandesh is totally bereft of any such emotion. To him, it was a part of the growing up process.

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“Paolo Coelho is my favourite. His writing is quite inspirational,” Sandesh shifts to literature. “I like all his books but The Alchemist is my favourite,” he states his love for a book which has been translated into 83 languages & has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.

In the novel, an old king tells the lead character of Santiago that, ‘when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true.’ Jhingan believes in this philosophy. All the hard work that he has put in have helped him become the player that he is but he has his sights to become better, both as a player and a man.