History matters

In Mint Lounge, Rohit Brijnath asks why India isn’t a bit more careful about preserving its sporting past.

Do you recall a first tennis racket? The first bat, the first clumsy pads? Do you have a sporting history? I remember entering Calcutta’s Gander and Co., buying hockey sticks that were then pitted by a divider and oiled, cork balls that cracked, heavy footballs whose only promise after the rains was concussion after a header. I had a scrapbook, with pictures of a balanced Sunny and a diving Solkar gummed across a page.

But memory dies and scrapbooks find their way into a kabadiwallah’s (scrap dealer’s) jute bag. So much fades. Not just our history, but more vitally the athletes. Their clippings, letters, jerseys, bats…it all becomes a precious past lost in a storeroom. Unless you reclaim it. Unless you start a museum, open a hall of fame. Unless you protect history. more

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