Behind every successful man there is a woman. In the case of world chess champion Viswanathan Anand there are two women.
Before he got married, it was his mother Ms Susheela, who initiated him into chess and travelled with him to tournaments. Now, it is his wife Aruna, who takes care of his needs and lets him focus on beating the world.
Also, it is not that easy for a daughter-in-law to earn the praise of her husband’s mother. Aruna is different. Ms Susheela Viswanathan was generous when she told Deccan Chronicle that Aruna deserves all credit for Anand’s success. “I will give 100 per cent if not 120 per cent credit to Aruna for Anand’s success,” she had said in an interview.
Aruna is not only the most important person in Anand’s life, but she is also his Man Friday. She acts as a buffer to him from the worldly issues. “When we got married in 1996, Aruna knew nothing about chess. But she has been a huge support to me. She takes all load off my back and allows me to concentrate only on chess,” said Anand.
“She knows what to say and what not to say to me. She is a huge help,” he said, adding that her moral support was enormous after he lost the seventh game against Gelfand at the world championship recently in Moscow.
Known for her extraordinary communication skills, Aruna has been managing Anand’s career for the last 16 years. Before every world championship match, she takes the responsibility of checking the venue and hotels for Anand and his team.
Seen waiting anxiously outside the tournament halls, Aruna probably might have faced more tension than Anand because, at times the spectators will have no idea what is happening on the board, while the two players would be enjoying the game.
A warm and friendly person, Aruna is always approachable by all people including the media, who yearn for a byte from Anand every time he wins.
“It is very difficult for me to say what I do for Anand. But then, one big moment was when I kind of helped him calm down after game seven and brought some balance before game eight,” said Aruna about her role in Anand’s success.