Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oh Nanna Chetana

M Subbannachar
M Subbannachar was the House Master of the residential school I studied. I studied in Sainik School Bijapur starting from 1970 to 77. I joined the school when I was 10 years. Mr.Subbannachar passed away two weeks back. Memories of fun, excitement, love, affection all come together rushing thinking of Mr.Subbannachar. He was mathematics teacher at the school; he had taken the responsibility of being a House Master of Adilshahi House. House master in school is in charge of the accommodation we stay in.

Entry in Sainik School Bijapur
I joined Sainik School after studying in Kannada medium Primary School from Hirekerur. Sri. Ramachandra Jannu, who then stayed at Hirekerur had put his two sons Aravind and Raghavendra at Sainik School. Sri. Ramachandra Jannu came one day to our primary school and picked up few boys to be taking the entrance test for entry into Sainik School. He was determined to put few boys to the school that he had seen and admired. Four of us from Hirekerur got into the school after two tests and an interview.

Adilshahi House
I joined the School; my guide during the joining period was MB Ravindranath of Adilshahi House. He went on to lead the troupes in Tololing and Tiger Hills during the Kargil war and was honored Vir Chakra for his team effort.  I was allotted a roll number 560 and house Adilshahi. After 30+ years from passing out of the school, the roll number and house are still our identity with all other Sainik School students, who are known as “Ajeets”. The Ajeets community is large and closely knit.

Adilshahi House became my house of residence for the next years of my stay at Sainik School Bijapur and all through my stay; Mr. Subbannachar was our house master. When I joined the school, I did not understand or know to speak English, but it was compulsory to speak English only. Publicly silent, we had to find private moments with friends to exchange notes in native language. The routine at school was rigorous right from waking up at 5.30 AM to going to sleep at 10.00PM.

Our House Master was our primary contact along with matron, whom we called “Aunty”. Waking up so early had not been our routine before we joined, so each day, Mr.Subbannachar would visit the dormitory, wake us up. He chased us to complete our morning routine in quick time to be ready for Physical Training or Parade, based on the day’s program. During these days, I had my first attempt in brushing my teeth using paste and a brush, washing my socks, polishing or whitening my shoes, wearing different dress for different occasions, properly belted, combing hair to be tidier than what we were used to. At the parade, he would say “left” “right” and teach us to be straight, chin up, elbows straight and digging our heels as we marched. 
He taught all of us the art of polishing shoes, whitening our canvas shoes, polishing our belts, combing our hair and to eat like gentle cadet. He visited our tables while we ate and ensured we ate well and did not waste any food. He knew some of us would not like few items that were served; he mentioned about the strength that we can derive.

We were growing and mischief was part of us, he was there watching us and just gave us a glance to discipline us. House competitions meant that he would give his best. His talent repository to train us in parade, in drama, song, art, public speaking, everything we needed to be trained in he was there. His eyes would not miss a broken button, unzipped trouser, unbuttoned flap amongst the 100 of us. I lost my father in 72 and my mother could not visit me and I was too young to understand all that. Subbannachar was there beside me, hugged me when I cried, perhaps I cried more to keen the embrace longer. Looking back, I now think, I did not miss my father because of Mr. Subbannachar’s presence. Subbannachar sir was the tower of strength, a power house of talent, warmth when we needed him most. I wonder sometime, how someone can be packaged with all of this. Adilshahi House was lucky to have him as House Master, batch after batch; he has done the same with all his energy. His family included Mrs. Subbannachar, always smiling, helped me out when my sister came to meet me at their house. I was also lucky to be classmate of Prahlad Subbannachar younger son, the elder one being Surendranath, both serving officers in the defence. Mr. Subbannachar’s daughters Uma and Usha stayed in touch with my sister long after I left the school.

What do I pray for Mr. Subbannachar, I don’t know, I want those moments back again. His soul rest in peace and make his family proud of Mr. Subbannachar’s service in nurturing many young minds.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Colonel's political lesson

Dilip Vengsarkar does not know to play the game, surprised, not this one, the game of elections. Cricket was his game, During his days, his bat would stamp authority, amass runs, his bat would do the talking, even the wiliest bowlers feared his work of art with the bat. He has faced many a bouncers, googlies, in the cricketing world. Elections of the association is a different game, he lost his wicket on the home turf, recently lost the elections he contested for the position of President, Mumbai Cricket Association. Dilip has played excellent innings as batsman representing India along with Sunil Gavaskar and likes. His records are definitely worth looking as great contribution to Indian Cricket. He contested for the position of President of Mumbai Cricket Association, Vilasrao Deshmukh as opponent. Deshmukh is a seasoned politician, he has won many elections and the game of election is not new to him. He is not playing cricket, need not play cricket to win a cricket board election, as it is won by voting and not by batting and he knew the game of winning elections means amassing the support of the more number of voters than his opponent.

Lesson for Ex-cricketers need to know some politics as well. Their cricketing abilities, contributions to the game , noble intentions are never under question, winning board elections is a different game, it requires the ability to muster support of the members of the board who vote can only ensure a victory. There is need for the former players to know the board members, build ongoing relationships before contesting an election. Anil Kumble contested the elections at Karnataka State Cricket Association, he formed a competent team, made his intentions well known, so the others who wanted to contest created space for him. He very well knew his chances when he made an announcement, but then Anil is a fighter, he doesn't like loosing, he ensured the support of the mighty, powerful and not so powerful. He campaigned his vision to every member of the board. No body had any doubts about his intentions and love for cricket.

Board games, Democracy, politics, new stance for the Colonel. Who are the members of the association, the majority are not players, please note.

Go on Colonel don't loose heart, there will be next match, know your opponent, take guard. You will play like you played at the Lords. ALL THE BEST.

Congratulations Vilasrao Deshmukh, engage Dilip Vengsarkar, use your victory for the game.

This post is also about talent, new talent that will be needed at changing times. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anil Kumble-Gentleman of the Gentleman's Game

Anil Kumble has done all things like a gentleman, when the world was talking about why he does not turn the ball enough, he just took wickets to silence great critics of the game. When his form and ability to take wickets was being questioned he stuck back with wickets. He played with unboken spirit and some times with broken jaw, with full heart before some heartless spectators and commentators. Cricketers accross the world respect him for his competitive spirit. There is no huge animated personal celebration when he takes a wicket. There is a just a smile and satisfaction of having achieved. Smiling Assasin and Jumbo were also his names. He has stood besides the WALL (Rahul Dravid) and travelled along the MYSORE EXPRESS (Javagal Srinath BABU).
This post does not record his achievements in numbers, like wickets, runs scored, captained, won, lost, averages etc. This post is to record the ups and downs of a sports person, who stood testimony to all criticism and remained rock solid with his sheer determination and sporting abilities. A GENTLEMAN.

Sports spectators want their heroes, here is Anil Kumble, who like a character actor, stole the show at times from the heroes, represented the pains and humilations of the team, his face always read the opposite of opponents score board. The determination you felt when you saw him, the generation has been lucky to see the emotions of Anil Kumble, everyone has a lot to learn from the way he moved, his expressions, all body language. All competitive, yet a perfect gentleman.

Karnataka Cricket team has been one of the strongest teams in the "Ranji Trophy" Elite Group. This team has good record in the "Ranji Trophy" tournaments. The dillemma that Anil Kumble had was how could he play for any other team other than Bangalore, Karnataka and India. Perhaps Anil belongs to a generation of professional cricketers who are still attached to the teams in wholehearted spirit. He perhaps cannot play for any other team other than Bangalore, Karnataka and India. He hung his boots in time, Gentleman.

The Karnataka team flourished with the availability of players in 1995/96 seasons, the team comprised of players like Rahul Dravid, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble. The team has also won 4 "Irani Trophy" tournaments. Team India has 5-6 players from Karnataka Anil, Rahul, Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Dodda Ganesh, Somasunder, Joshi, Bharadwaj who would be among the 16 at a point in time. Anil has been there, was the piller of strength to all. A great gentlemanly approach for a fellow state person.

Anil now is the president of KSCA, the association always been blessed with good administrators, now it has a team that comprises of Anil Kumble, Srinath, both of them have played long enough for Karnataka and India to know, what needs to be done. Mind you, not too many cricketers make this choice of serving an Association, as they could get more lucrative offers for their cricketing skills, commenting, coaching and many other skills. Anil and Srinath made a choice different from other cricketers and also a bit too early for an administartive posts. The beauty of their understanding of these positions is that these are not decorative and administartive positions but places that demand action. That's the reason they have chosen to be there. Another gentlemanly act.

Anil Kumble has been part of Indian Cricket Team, he is also amoungst the most gifted, as he could articulate the contract terms for players, he along with few other senior players negotiated terms of contract for players with the Board. A gentleman in approach.

He has a great number of friends in the cricketing fraternity who have benefitted in different forms, when they are not playing. Karnataka Cricket is a like family, the people who played in the team yester years have not made as much fortune as the current breed. There is a strong bonding, support mechanism, which helps people in need. A lot of these initiatives are bourne out of the gentleman.

The gentleman has a cirle to his name at the heart of the city in Bangalore, ANIL KUMBLE CIRCLE, Anil Kumble has come a full circle.

Wishing Anil Kumble success with his business(TENVIC), KSCA (President) assignment,, RCB Think Tank.

The Gentleman Jumbo has left large shoes to fill in cricket.

 My favourite images of Anil Kumble