A little girl; perhaps 6-7 years of age; running across one of the indistinctive by-lanes of Calcutta. She tries to catch a cricket ball high up in the air but drops it. And adding to the woe, she finds herself into a roadside sewer. With her legs down into the gutterish water, she waits for a series of events to follow-first her mother’s scolding and then dragging her into the bathroom and thereafter a strict warning of not allowing her to play again outside. But the next day she returns to her ‘arena’ with more vigour and more enthusiasm. 35 years has passed since then; that little girl has looked back to share this simple anecdote of her life with you all.
My love for sports dates back to those childhood days when I played gully cricket with my brother, football with my cousins and kho-kho, kabaddi, marble with my friends. It was the time when ‘Appu’ charmed the whole nation as the mascot of 1982 Delhi Asiad. Those were the days when television had only ‘Doordarshan’ and Indians witnessed history being created at Lord’s on 25th June 1983. As ‘Kapil’s Devils’ tamed the invincible West Indies, every commoner was on the road. I as well, joined the party, although not very aware about the intensity of the occasion. But it was the juncture when deep down inside my heart a passion started to grow. And then came the invincible Maradona of 1986. He conquered the hearts of Calcutta and the city bled white and blue. I was awestruck; I wondered that the man must be a magician! As years passed the thirst to know more about different sports grew and to quench it, I relied heavily on newspapers and sports magazines. The names of Martina Navratilova-Chris Evert, John McEnroe-Bjorn Borg resonated in my ears but I didn’t really understand what they actually played. A sudden broadcast of 1988 Wimbledon final between Navratilova and Steffi Graf changed my life. I became a die-hard admirer of Steffi and she became my hero. I followed her everywhere-in magazines, in newspapers, in television and wherever else it was possible. My admiration for her grew endlessly and so was my love for sports.
Sport is such a beautiful aspect of my life. It has given me so much pleasure and happiness. So it’s time to pay back a bit. ‘Sportsavour’ has been created to present before you those indigenous sports that are unknown to many. There are so many sportsperson who have made our nation proud but we don’t generally delve on them. I intend to bring forward those people, those forgotten or lesser-known heroes whose achievements should be counted.
To salute those heroes, I request every sports-lover to join me. I appeal to everyone to contribute a bit with their write-ups, photographs, facts and details or anything they find worthy enough to share. That will help me to take this social forum to a wider range of people.
With Warm Regards,