Taekwondo united them; it also keeps them together - The New Indian Express

Taekwondo united them; it also keeps them together

Published: 08th November 2012 02:03 PM

Last Updated: 08th November 2012 02:14 PM

The life story of P K Baladevi and B Balagopal is a love story dipped in honey. Both of them, taekwondo trainers at SAI-LNCPE, Kariavattom, had to overcome several  hurdles to tie the nuptial knot seven years ago.

Both acknowledge that it was the love for the Korean martial art that brought them close. The couple, all set to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary this December, however, believe that they have a lot to contribute to the martial art, which is an Olympic medal event as well, and the best possible way is by equipping their students to bring laurels in the upcoming national senior championship.

Their devotion to the Korean art is deep-rooted as it was  taekwondo that helped B Balagopal, belonging to Thampanoor, meet Pukhrambham Kanon Baladevi, who hails from Imphal.  Cupid struck when they were working on daily-wage basis at the SAI centres in Kollam and Kariavattom. Though they had met before at NIS Patiala while doing a diploma, the relationship developed warmth after she joined Kollam SAI.

During short breaks, she used to stay at Balagopal’s residence as time and money did not allow her to visit Imphal. And, naturally, there sprouted a special relationship between the two, defying all opposition from both the sides.

But Baladevi was defiant, defiant than Balagopal, when it came to dealing with opposition from the family, and Balagopal likes to term it as ‘Manipuri sheer guts’. “There, women call the shots in vital issues like marriages. So, she blanked all the opposition from her family with a rare tenacity, the finest attribute of a martial artist, and won consent from her family,” he recollects.

All the while, the Manipuri lady was all ears, and nodded her head, agreeing to what Balu said.

Back home, it was not so easy for Balagopal. But he stuck  to his decision and finally his family had to yield. During a journey to Imphal in 2005 with the team for the national junior championship, Balagopal visited Baladevi’s family and garnered their consent. Thus began the saga of Bala and Balu, as fondly called by their students and colleagues. 

The recent achievement of the two was the success their wards registered in the state senior championship. The SAI-LNCPE products grabbed 13 out of the 16 gold medals. “We have really worked hard with the guys at SAI and they are delivering. If things go as planned, then we can see a few donning the national jersey in the next Asian Games,” said Baladevi.

The couple has two children, six-year-old Adithya Gopal and one-and-a-half-year-old Ananya Gopal.  Ananya has already shown glimpses of her talent  by the way she moves and kicks her legs. That’s genes!

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