The episode, which aired in January of 2019, was removed from streaming platforms after Hardik Pandya’s remarks were labeled as misogynistic and unsavory on social media.
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, who starred in the episode together, were provisionally suspended by the BCCI and were called back from an ongoing tour in Australia.
In a recent interview, Hardik Pandya talked about the tumultuous period that followed the controversy and how he pulled through because of the support he received from his family.
“I really didn’t know what ‘misogynistic’ meant. At first, I laughed thinking it was some word being used to make fun of me. Then a friend told me it means someone who strongly dislikes women,” Hardik Pandya told the Times of India.
“How can I dislike women? Mom, didi (sister), bhabhi (sister-in-law), Natasa – they’re all women. I adore them. My home is all about women. We are, because they are,” Pandya continued.
“For the first time, I wasn’t in control of my own life. Everything around me started to crumble. I had to lock myself up. If not for my family, I’d have lost a great deal of everything. They were and continue to remain the backbone – the women in my family,” noted Hardik Pandya.
The 27-year-old all-rounder added that it is now his time to give back to his family. Pandya, now a father of a 4-month old son, said he will try to give his son the same decision-making freedom that he got from his family.
“Today, it’s my turn to be the backbone of my family,” Hardik Pandya added. “I grew up in a family where there was absolute freedom. We were taught to make our own decisions. I’ll give my son the same freedom,” revealed Pandya.
Pandya also talked about how cricket gave him and his brother something to fight for in life.
“We were raised in very tough times. Money was always an issue in the family. We struggled. But we were happy. Cricket gave me and my brother something to fight for. Cricket is once again putting my life in perspective,” he signed off,” Pandya added.
In the last few months, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have talked about how the incident made them more restful and mature. These qualities are also showing on the pitch as both have become a significant part of the Indian setup.