As people in India and globally, are gearing up to embrace the new normal, the question on everyone’s mind is — how do we greet friends and family when we meet them? With hugs and handshakes being a thing of the past, traditional greetings like Salaam/Namaste have never been more relevant. Rising cricket star and youth icon Shafali Verma recently took to Instagram to encourage followers to use contactless Indian greetings like Salaam/Namaste to ensure social distancing and yet maintain connections responsibly.

Shafali can be seen grooving to the tunes of a catchy jingle which tells people “handshake ko zara tum change karo, thoda distance maintain karo, salaam namaste haste haste saare bolo”.


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Aaj kal Salam namaste karne mein hi swag hai @pepsiindia #harghoontmeinswag #socialdistancing #swagsesolo

A post shared by Shafali Verma (@shafalisverma17) on

The video is an extension of beverage brand Pepsi’s recently launched digital forward campaign which aims to make contactless Indian greetings a part of popular culture.

Former BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry on Saturday lauded teenage batswoman Shafali while talking about women’s cricket in the country, saying the 16-year old Haryana girl would go places. “Shafali Verma will revolutionise women’s cricket in India,” he said.

With the country under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shafali has been working on her fitness as the Haryana Cricket Association has given the girls customised fitness routines.

“I have been working hard on my fitness and it helps that HCA has given us customised fitness charts keeping in mind the areas we need to work on. With us staying indoors at this point in time, the chart further helps as it has workouts planned in a way that we can easily do them at home and don’t need to go to a gym,” she told IANS.

This apart, HCA also organised a session with sports psychologist and Shafali feels it was the need of the hour. “At these times, a lot of negative thoughts can seep into the mind. But speaking to the sports psychologist helped a lot. The motivation has helped stay positive in these tough times,” she had explained.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill and the sporting arena is no exception. Most of the high profile tournaments including the Tokyo Olympics 2020 stand postponed.

Even the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet, the Indian Premier League (IPL), stands suspended indefinitely owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, Bundesliga became the first high-profile sporting event to resume after a 65 day period with almost no sporting activity.

The move comes after governments are beginning to realise that the coronavirus is here to stay for quite some time and sports among other businesses will need to find a way to co-exist with it.

The virus has already infected more than 6 million people around the world while claiming over 3.6 lakh lives. There is still no sure shot treatment of the disease and social-distancing, self-isolation and maintenance of basic hand hygiene remain the only potent weapons of protecting oneself from contracting the infection.

(With inputs from IANS)