Tuesday, February 15, 2011

At Secunderabad Club for the Twenty 20 Inter Club Tournament

Was invited by my good friends Ashish Uniyal and Sandeep to be Chief Guest at the Secunderabad Club Inter Club Twenty 20 tournament which got kicked off today. Eight cubs are to participate in this tournament which include Nizam Club, Celebrity Club, New Club, Fateh Maidan Club, Press Club, Deccan Club and another club I cannot remember. It is the eight edition of the tournament and it is sponsored by Kingfisher. All matches are to be held at the Secunderabad Club grounds which is a lovely place to play over a three week period.

The program was short and sweet with the President of Secunderabad Club and another good friend Keerti Nasimhachar throwing the tournament open. It was compered by Varun Chinmala, very competently, a young lad studying sports management in New Zealand. Apart from members of the press, a few members of the Secunderabad Club, officials from Kingfisher and captains of other clubs, I could also spot my cricketing friends Swaroop, Chatterjee and Vidyuth Jaisimha. I was then invited to speak a few words and I did. This is the gist of my speech:

Thank you for inviting me here as Chief Guest on this occasion of kicking off the Secunderabad Club Inter Club Twenty 20 tournament. I know that all the clubs that are participating have a healthy rivalry, and compete keenly especially against one another. Also this culture of sports and games is being kept alive so wonderfully by all the clubs especially Secunderabad Club and they deserve special congratulations for the good work.

Sports is integral to society and its growth. In my opinion if we played enough sports there would be no war. If we did exhaust ourselves on the sporting fields then there would be no need for us to prove who is bigger, who is stronger. So better we exhaust ourselves on the sports fields than war fields. It is about the spirit of competition and while we are on that I would like to dwell on it a moment longer.

Another analogy to sports and war that I always make is that to me sports is all about war. One must approach each game, must compete, like its war. Only when we take it up with such passion, with such seriousness do we take it to the next level. And one will surely realise that this competition gets better and bigger when tehre is agreater cause than the self at stake - a school, a college, an institution, a club, a state, a nation. Give it your all all of you who will play this tournament and make it count for your club because it will not only bring in splendid performances for your club and the game, but you will grow as individuals as well.

It is important that we cultivate this spirit of competition because true compassion lies beyond fighting hard for a cause like this. As we practice it in smaller arenas we shall grow more comfortable in the bigger arenas. We shall feel prouder to be part of our club, society, state and nation.

I am reminded of a saying that goes - you know more about a person in one hour's play than in years of acquaintance. I know that for a fact. There are gentlemen here who are sitting on the dais (Keerti and Sandeep) who despite their gentle demeanour outside showed a hostile side to them when they had to fight tooth and nail for their club's honour many years ago.

So go for it. Give it your best and raise the bar with your performances. Also, I must assure you, that the beer will taste much sweeter and better if you compete to the best of your limits.

Thank you.

It is nice to be part of anything as elite as the Secunderabad Club. I must now get a couple of copies of 'If You Love Someone..' over to the club library too as Astad suggested.

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