Courting tennis over the years

From the albums

Courting tennis over the years
This photograph was taken at the Bowring Institute tennis court in 1953 during a tennis training camp organised by the All India Tennis Association under ‘Rajakumari Amrut Kaur’s’ Scheme. It was a 15-day camp and I got to meet some interesting people during camp.

This picture has all of those who trained at the camp. Dechu Appaiah went on to play some serious tennis and later, married Ravi Moola.

She then represented Mysuru as one of the topmost women players. Next to her is Nalini Iyengar who then lived on KG Road, where now stands the Alankar Plaza.

There was also Leela Eswar, daughter of AB Eswar, who had an agency on SJP Road by name Eswar & Co. Next to her is Muttanna, son of the then chief conservator of forests. There was also Jagannath, son of late KT Shame Gowda of Shivamogga.

Jagannath and I used to hang out together after the training at Victoria Hotel located near Bowring Institute. We used to relish the ‘fried mutton’ and ‘fried rice’ served there.  Also, seen in the picture is Noor Mohammed, who was the all-India coach who represented India in tennis in 1940.

I became a student member of the Bowring Institute those days by paying Rs 20 as deposit and a monthly fees of Rs 5 per month. I never knew of Bowring Institute until a friend introduced me to the place.

I used to cycle from where I stayed in Chamarajpet to go to Bowring whenever I got a chance. There was no traffic on the roads those days and cycling was a memorable experience. Today, one can’t dream of peacefully riding on a cycle, on the busy stretches across the City.  

I did my degree in Science from Central College and graduated as a paper engineer in Germany and served in Canadian Paper Industry before joining as general manager of Mysore Paper Mills (MPM) in Bhadravathi. On deputation from MPM, I also served as the managing director of Mysugar, Mandya.

My interest in tennis continued through college and I occasionally played the sport otherwise as well. I am now 82 years old and keep myself busy in a host of activities. This picture reminds me of a time when I was not only introduced to the game of tennis but played it quite actively during those days.  

(The author can be reached on mohandaschandra@gmail.com)

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