Sports can sometimes guide us to unreal fates and endings. While many sportsmen earned fairy-tale endings to their sporting careers full of awards, honour and a better lifestyle, life had stored something unprecedented for a former Indian hockey player.  Once in his life, 30-year-old Paramjeet Kumar was part of Sports Authority of India, PEPSU and Punjab teams and won medals in four junior hockey nationals and was also named in the Indian junior hockey team in 2007, but he is now lifting sacks to make a living.

Kumar gets only Rs. 1.25 for loading and unloading each sack. Paramjeet Kumar has said in a recent interaction that he wants to give a better life to his son, who often plays with a plastic hockey stick and ball at home. “Not many people know about my association with hockey, but when they get to know they pat me on my back. That’s the only reward I have got from Hockey. When I return home, I see my five-year-old son Vikrant and I make him play with plastic hockey and a ball. Whatever happened to me, I want him to change that,” Kumar told Indian Express.

Kumar is a native of Faridkot in Punjab and started playing hockey with coach Baltej Indepal Singh Babby at the Government Bijendra College. He later took coaching from Baljinder Singh. In 2004, Kumar was selected for the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre at NIS, Patiala, and was then selected for the Centre of Excellence for Hockey at NIS, Patiala, in 2007. Kumar remained with the centre till 2009 before he played hockey on contract for Punjab Police and Punjab State Electricity Board for three years.

During his time at Patiala, Kumar was part of the SAI Combined team in U-16 and U-18 Hockey Nationals where the team bagged a silver medal in U-16 nationals at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. He also played for the PEPSU team and the Punjab team in two nationals returning with medals and was also part of the Indian junior team named for the Junior Asia Cup which was to be held in Bangladesh in 2007. The tournament was cancelled due to administrative reasons. Kumar played in the Nehru International Tournament with the Indian junior team in Delhi.

In 2012, Kumar suffered an injury to his left hand and took rest from the game for over a year. He made a return after his injury and played at the state level and local levels. In 2015, he took his time off from the game and started working as a labour.  He currently stays in a rented accommodation of her sister along with his wife and son and is hopeful of getting a job when he meets Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on February 1 in Chandigarh.