Sunday, December 27, 2009


There used to be an annual sports event of the Indian Telephone Industries during our times. This used to be a full fledged flood-lit tournament held in the pre-midnight and was an event every one looked forward to. It was a very rare and unique feature of ITI with no other public sector conducting such an event in this scale ; will full fledged preparation and co-ordination. I think these games were discontinued somewhere in 1986 or almost immediately later to this year when ITI went ito a down swing. Every summer the matches would commence during the end of march and progress till the middle of may . They used to commence some where at about 6:30 in the evening and last upto about 10:00pm. It was a national event and many participating teams would arrive from all over the country. By around 6:00 crowds begin to flow into the stadium and the stadium would be full a little later. It should be pointed that this event was absolutely free for all with no fee being charged from the spectators and was open to any one who wanted to view it.

There were three games played namely basket ball, Volley Ball and kabaddi as a rule year after year. I think the public favoured these games in this order with crowds largely dwindling for kabaddi matches. Baket ball was highly watched sport because of theaura it created and the pace of the game. Beagles; Bharath; HAL;HMT were all local teams along with the hosts ITI for basket ball matches. the teams from outside the city would be TISCO; Western Railway; Indian overseas bank; Madura coats - to name a few as year after year the teams participating would be different. Number 13 Arvind of Bharath and Somashekar no.14 of ITI team are names I remember from bangalore who were favourites with the crowd. There was a person Abbas and An arjuna award winner Kataria from western Railways. I think some of these teams who came from outside walked away with the rolling trophies during some years of these matches.

This event had a special significance and meaning to the boys growing up in the locality; the urge being to make basket ball posts and play with some improvised form of ball and also several rounds of meetings held among these boys of what name should be given to their teams and some of the over-enthusiastic boys swaering to continue playing with absolute determination and some of them vaguely trying to act and behave like players they saw at the tournament. Strategies were discussed and swords were drawn and there the many elders who passed the way whomhad to pacify the boys telling them they were not playing an imternational match and only one that too in the bylanes of where they stayed with hardly any defined court. This was the heat these games created in the kids only to die away when the sporting event was over and to be revived and remembered the next year. The tournament at ITI in the summer was not just a game - it made kids behave in weird ways and parents were drawn into this fever invariably.

In bangalore those years there used to be an unwelcome shower in the evenings and it was the prayer of every boy looking at the clouds that it did not rain and the games could progress well. However I remember a volley ball match that was fully washed away between APSRTC and KTC (kerala transport corporation..Kunjalikutty was a key volley ball player for this team) by the rain. DDCSM (dharmapuri district co-operative sugar mills) and ITI were other contenders in the semi finals. There was a player panneer selvam who used to play for ddcsm and would single handedly turn matches in the favour of his team . Panner selvam used to play for ITI earlier. Ashwathappa was a retired and old player who was still at his guns for ITI.

Many guests used to come to inaguarate these matches. Mr. Karthikeyan who was commissioner of bangalore police at that time did the honours once. Mostly the guests were dignitaries from within ITI like CMD Mr. C S S Rao

No comments:

Post a Comment