Mayank moving on the right path

Mayank moving on the right path

TALENTED KID: Mayank Karthik won the State-ranking Sub-junior billiards title this month. DH PHOTO/ SRIKANTA SHARMA R

Mayank Karthik is a very shy kid who likes to keep to himself. Coax him to talk and you would get only a few words in reply. He likes the quiet more than the noise. It’s no surprise he instantly fell in love with cue sports.

“I don’t like outdoor sports at all and I don’t play them. I love snooker and billiards, the latter especially. I want to only play cue sports,” says Mayank, the newly crowned State-ranking Sub-junior billiards champion.

Mayank, aged 12 and a seventh standard student of Delhi Public School (South), fell in love with cue sports three years ago while accompanying his father Murlidhar to the Television Cultural Sports Club in Uttarahalli. Seeing his dad play, he too wanted to pot some balls.

Initially, Murlidhar thought his son was joking. But he soon realised his son really liked the sport. So he decided to introduce him to both billiards and snooker and taught him the basics. Mayank instantly picked up the early lessons and started to impress. In his maiden State-ranking appearance two years ago, he finished third in Sub-junior billiards. Last year, he matched his feat in billiards and ended fourth in snooker.  

Father coach

Murlidhar wants his son to train in KSBA -- the mecca of cue sports in the country that has produced many national champions and world beater Pankaj Advani -- to become a good cueist but time and distance are the major hindrances.

“I want to take him to KSBA and train under experts like Ravi, Jairaj and Arvind Savur. But, it’s not practically possible. Mayank returns home from school only by 3 and then drive all the way from Uttarahalli to KSBA is not possible. But KSBA has been very kind and they helped Mayank whenever possible,” said Murlidhar, an advocate by profession.

“All of them have offered pieces of advice at various stages. So for now, I only coach him. Whenever he has a doubt, I watch YouTube and solve it for him. The good thing about him is he loves to train. And, unlike other kids of his age, he’s not distracted by mobile phones. I hope his love for the sport only grows.”

Mayank, who loves robotics as well, said his next target is the national championships in Indore next month.

“I want to do well there. If I can win a medal it would be great. I’m going to give it my all.”