Appaji remembered his earliest days at IIT-B and how he had joined at a very young age. He was then one amongst all the students in every way. He mentioned how he identifies himself completely with IIT-B. Appaji spook about the generations he coached and the best moments. He also had a message for current students and players.
(Photographs — Courtesy: Hockey Secretary and Current team, 2014)
I had the pleasure of representing IITB hockey from 2001-06 ( captain 04-06). We won gold in 02 ( delhi) , 04 ( Madras), 05 ( Rorkee) and Bronze in 03 ( Bombay). KGP 01 was a disaster and best left untouched
Good to see More, Hathi and other recognizable names.
It is surreal that almost every IITB hockey alum has had similar experiences with Appaji.
Jeeezzz!!!! feels like yesterday.
Anagh ( aka Rocky)
Inter-IIT at Roorkee (2005) Gold
Inter-IIT at Madras (2004) Gold
Inter-IIT at Madras (2004)
Inter-IIT at Delhi (2002) Gold
BHA 3rd Div (2006) Runners up
The 1991 silver medal is still a prized possession as we beat a much superior IIT Mardi. All pleasant memories are flooding the mind…….I not only played 4 yrs during B.Tech 1989-93 but came back in 1996 for Master of Management with the added incentive to play hockey again…….
Will be fun to meet again on 12th.
For me, IIT-B Hockey was synonymous with Appaji!
Mr Arun Firodia from the 1965 batch informed me that he was coached by Mr. R.S. Gentle who had scored the winning goal at Melbourne Olympics.
I of course immediately looked around:
Great to hear that Appaji is following a great tradition.
Remembering Mr Khatri
Your mail remind me of an regretful incident and I wish we were as sensitive in eighties and nineties!
It so happened that I had to go and collect my Degree Certificate from admin office after two decades from graduation. I showed myself , told my roll number and a new employee in her twenties produced my certificate in a jiffy. But she would not part with it till I showed her some identity .
I was an out of towner and had nothing on me . But the lady was bright and asked me if I could find someone on the campus who would know me personally! I imagine , with all your batch mates out of school , who would know you personally and remember after 20 years ? But I used all my memories and started taking names of a few people whom I thought would know me personally .
A lady from administration who used to give me my scholar ship , my two HODs , a PG student who helped me with my project , a Professor whose experimental IC Engine was burned by me [ surely by mistake !] – – I went on rattling names and she went on checking with her own memories and that of her seniors around . No clue – – most were retired or unknown.
Then I suddenly remembered Mr Khatri , my Gymnastics Coach whose team I had captained for three years . I almost shouted his name and the lady quietly took my signature , handed over the Certificate and with some faint comment [which I did not hear] , turned around and walked away.
I went straight to the Gym to find that our Dear Khatri Sabu had passed away a few years ago !
And although in my forties , I almost cried!
Most of you on this thread are very young and may not know me. I was at IIT Bombay H7 from 1980-1985, in the last 5-year batch, played hockey all 5 years, and served as captain and secretary as well. I have very fond memories of Appaji and I wondered if something through Skype could be arranged in case there is a party for him.
I was from Delhi and was from the last 5 years batch but could not get into IIT Delhi first time around so came to IIT Bombay. Next year IIT changed to 4-year program and I gave JEE again and could have got anything at IIT Delhi. I remember Appaji sending then our Hockey Golie Satish Rahi also from Delhi to my IIT Delhi counseling and making sure that I did not fill out any choices as he did not want me to leave the IIT Bombay hockey team. It is amazing that against everyone’s wishes, including my parents (as my home was literally 5 minutes waking distance from IIT Delhi), this actually happened in that I had to turn in a blank ranking form! Rest is history. This was probably the best decision I have made in life thanks to Appaji. Living in a place where I did not anybody and with no cell phones and internet connect those days made my personality evolve in a fairly significant way. I think that aspect has carried through more than any technical IIT education in my life. He taught us discipline and value of being a complete human.
There are way too many stories from our IIT meets some of which I can tell you will be hard to beat, including one, where the night before our first game at the IIT Kharagpur meet, half of the team went to Calcutta. Missing the last local train and then hitch-hiking an express train by sitting in the guard compartment after generously bribing him to arrive at the Kharagpur station at 3 AM and literally giving Appaji a heart attack was something that cannot go out of my system. Most amazing was how Appaji handled all of us in a calm and gentle way knowing we had a game in few hours. This taught a very valuable life lesson but displayed the enormity of Appaji’s personality.
Anyway I can go on and on. All I can say is that you all look very sharp in the photos.
All the best,
I remember the toning up sessions on the hillslope behind Hostel 1. Appaji used to get the team their and we used sprint up and walk Down this patch of road until all of us could no longer walk…..
Was good experience in the MINIMUM level of training that is a must.
H3 • Batch of 1984
My best Wishes to Appaji on his 60th. I know he would still be looking like he is in his 30’s
I think my life at IITB changed significantly, when upon arrival as a freshie, I was recruited by Guruswamy and taken to meet Appaji as a candidate for NSO hockey. Over the next four years, Appaji played an important role in shaping my IITB experience. We met several times a week for NSO, and then later began traveling to Churchgate for the Bombay Hockey League games, and of course, to the various inter-IITs. As part of the preparation for the inter-IITs, we would also see and interact with Appaji over the month-long training camp in the winter. The highlights in the hockey achievements during my time were the silver medal at the Kharagpur inter-IIT and the elevation of IITB to the IIIrd division in the BHL (I would
also like to add on a personal note, the inter-hostel final in my first year where my hostel H3 beat H5 1-0; I had the satisfaction of scoring the winning goal. I remember Appaji was the referee for that match).
In all that time, Appaji provided a solid, dignified, mentoring presence. I
never saw him lose his temper, or even raise his voice at anybody. At the same time, he was an extremely efficient manager and was also able to be friendly with all the students, and took great interest in their personal and professional growth. I think there is no doubt that the fellow feeling among the IITB hockey community, past and present, is definitely due to the tone and example set by Appaji.
I consider myself fortunate to have come under the influence of such an educator,and try to put into practice what Appaji taught me, in my own work. I wish him the best on his 60th birthday, especially many more years of productive work.
With best regards,
School of Physics and Astronomy
Rochester Institute of Technology
From Abhishek Modi:
I have one from Inter IIT 2005 (Roorkee)… we won Gold there … (Few members seen in the pic: Anagh, Rajat Mathur, Nitish Jain, Diwan, Godara, PD .. )
Thanks for teaching me the greatest game I have ever played. Time spent on the Hockey field are the best memories from my IIT days … I remember those practice sessions preceded with those cross country or a run to the hill top. It used to amaze me how easily you used to beat many of us while climbing the hill top !!!
You have the pillar behind IITB’s success in Hockey. Wishing you all the best in life and the journey hereafter.