• Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:32 am

From Shanghai to Rajshahi with Henry

  • Published at 06:33 pm April 2nd, 2020
Prithul
Henry Prithul Mondol

The Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan alumni is a tennis coach of a Shanghai academy for four years now, and was scheduled to fly back there on March 29, just a day before China temporarily suspended entry of foreign nationals with visas into its land.

Henry Prithul Mondol could have been in China with his students when he turned 31 Wednesday. 

Rather, he spent the day with parents being self-quarantined at his hometown in Rajshahi.

The Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan alumni is a tennis coach of a Shanghai academy for four years now, and was scheduled to fly back there on March 29, just a day before China temporarily suspended entry of foreign nationals with visas into its land.

Prithul is however, eagerly waiting to get back to work as his club started resuming activities limitedly since last week. 

The migrant workers including Bangladeshis began to return before the new restrictions were put in place and the businesses also repeatedly reopened.  

"Some classes resumed last week but the system is changed for some time. For example, when it was five-six students for one coach before, the ratio now is one coach for two students," Prithul said to Dhaka Tribune on his birthday.





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Prithul instructs young kids in Shanghai 

"I maintain regular contact with my students, they told me Shanghai is one of the safest places now. I hope to join them very soon," added Henry, the surname chosen by his Chinese friends to refer to him.

Prithul was virtually present to his students through online tips of physical exercises at home since he left China at the end of January (29th) when Shanghai was quite prepared to deal with the suspected spread of the virus from Wuhan.

"It’s like a movie," Prithul started describing his final week in Shanghai. 

"I was one of the last persons to realize what was happening until my boss asked me to get a corona-protected mask.

"I went out alone to search for face mask but it was sold out. Then I went to a market where I was the only person present. There was everything but no mask. I called a friend who explained me about what this new virus is about."

Prithul got the chance to rejoin his parents who were too worried since the initial news of the coronavirus reached the global media and a day before his departure, Shanghai reportedly identified its first Covid-19 patient.




1
Prithul conducts a tennis session in China

His initial month in Bangladesh was good as there was no case of coronavirus reported at that time. 

But things started to change from the second week of March before the countrywide lockdown was imposed in the following weeks. 

"I left China amid the fears of the virus and now the situation is reversed [laughs]. It's getting worse day by day. Don't know how long I’ve been stuck in the house. It’s boring," said Prithul.    

Prithul, who mostly takes classes at the beginner's level, is one of the eight coaches of Think Shots Tennis Academy that has another coach from Bangladesh named Shahnewaz Ahmed who managed to reenter China in March when the travel bans were temporarily lifted.    

His mother, Elizabeth Biswas, a nursing instructor, was fond of tennis, as was his son who got admitted to BKSP in 2000. 

Like many of the BKSP graduates, Prithul got a job in Guangzhou at Gallop Elite Tennis Academy in 2013, spent three years there before moving to Think Shots.

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