Monday, October 13, 2014


As the Central Zone held at Indore ended, I kept wondering about the beauty of sport. Everyone has a scope of getting a 100 % in any exam, but in sport, there is only ONE winner. Yes, 1.2 billion people, but only one winner. That’s a bit cruel isn’t it? All those who took part had an eye on the title, but alas, only one can win. And that’s why sport is different. And this tournament made it much more exciting because there were winners who silenced the critics and won in style.

And how does it feel when one wins after a long long time?

 8 years!!! Devesh Karia. Hats off to his commitment.  This is his first Men’s singles title. No, I cannot imagine how happy and satisfied he must be. Not only did he win, he also won in style. He beat the reigning National Champion Sanil Shetty in semi finals and Inter Institution winner G.Sathiyan in the finals.  How did he do this? Well, of course Devesh can answer this best. But here’s what I feel. Passion, Commitment, Dedication, Hard work and the Zeal. “It feels amazing to have won this, I still cant believe I did it” exclaimed  Devesh.  He is posted in Bhavnagar (Gujarat), as an Income Tax Inspector and is married to Kanchan Thakkar. Although training facilities there are nowhere near to what he had in PSPB Academy, Ajmer where he trained for 10 years, yet, he battled all odds to make it happen. He has shown that one cannot always get the best of the facilities, but champions make the best out of what is available. Take a bow dear friend. 

Mouma Das, after 3 long years the Women Singles Winner! Last winning in 2011, this was definitely a special one for her. Missing out on the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games this year, she had a point to prove. Look at her journey to the title: She beat Manika Batra in Pre quarters, Poulomi Ghatak in Quarters, Ankita Das in the Semi finals and Pooja Sahasrabudhe in the Finals. 60% of the team that went for the CWG 2014!  Hats off to you Mouma. How did she do this? We have been training together in the National training camps in Patiala since January this year. She’s one player, with whom it’s super fun to practice with. She fights for each and every point and makes you run for your life. Making a comeback demands huge amount of hard-work, self belief, dedication and discipline.” I never took a session off for 2 weeks!” revealed Mouma. That’s what champions are made of. Big salute to you!

Mallika Bhandarkar, after 3 challenging years, won the Youth girls title. The magical girl from Nagpur, who had an almost 90% win in her cadets and sub juniors days, and also a successful junior career, struggled to make her mark in the U-21 category. I am sure that this win,after Bolpur in 2011, was very sweet. Even better, because she beat the top ones in the youth section en-route the title: Reeth Rishya in Semis finals and Manika Batra in the finals. “I stopped believing in myself, and there was a point when I was just not winning. This win is something different, it was definitely a long wait.” confessed Mallika. She has been struggling with her shoulder injury for the last 2 years which forced her to stay away from the game for almost 6 months earlier this year. Loosing about 38 kgs of bodyweight within a period of 1.7 years, she stood proud at the podium. When tears of joy roll down your eyes, you know it’s different. The nation is proud of you!

These are examples of perseverance, hard-work, dedication, passion and commitment. 

But the question here is, will they be able to continue the winning streak?

Good luck to all playing in Gandhidham this week!