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Rediscovering my writing itch

The year 2006 was a period when I rediscovered my writing capacity which was in limbo for some time now. We had acquired a personal computer at a cost of Rs.37,000, thanks to Supriya’s insistence and munificence. Ambika had a good knowledge of computer operations having done a course in the College. She brushed up her knowledge and also taught me a few elementary things. The marvel of the machine should be seen to be believed. There were umpteen applications and what interested us much was the internet facility. We could be in regular correspondence with Supriya without much effort and cost. We could also chat with her as if she was sitting with us. More than anything else as far as I was concerned I could indulge in a lot of writing which I did to my heart’s content. During the latter part of 2005 and throughout 2006 I was regularly writing to the newspapers on a variety of topics. I was involved in long drawn out debates in the columns of the newspaper VIJAY TIMES on Christian missionaries’ conversion activities and other related topics. The debate went on for over six months and a number of writers contributed intelligent and informative letters. I shared a good part of this correspondence and was hungry for many more when all of a sudden the correspondence was closed abruptly. The reason was not told specifically but the change of ownership of the fledgling VIJAY TIMES which was bought by the publishing firm of TIMES OF INDIA to add it as one more newspaper from the TIMES stable and also the change of the Editor had a lot to do with it. It was rumoured that the TIMES group was more interested to kill off competition to its own daily TIMES OF INDIA as VIJAY TIMES was gaining popularity and was on way to becoming a widely read people’s newspaper in Karnataka. Its sister publication VIJAYA KARNATAKA, the large selling Kannada daily was indeed the target as the TIMES group wanted to enter the field of language journalism with the well established VIJAYA KARNATAKA in its stable. Meanwhile, there was an interesting write up on me in the sports pages of a local newspaper highlighting my interest in promoting cricket along with a picture of mine. Many of my friends who recognized me in the photo congratulated me. In a way I could say it was the last hurrah as thereafter my contributions to the newspapers dwindled and I lost interest in writing.

My cricketer friends arranged a gala get together at the State Cricket Association’s Club House to felicitate me for the yeoman service rendered by me for cricket and in particular to State Bank cricket. They presented me a silver plaque on the occasion. I made an emotion filled speech thanking the “boys” for the fine gesture. Many of the cricketers recruited by me to the Bank in the sixties and seventies have made it good some of whom even became international players. Besides assuring them a permanent well paying job in the Bank to take care of their livelihood till the end they got all facilities to build their career in cricket as well. A few of them even went on to make it big at the State and International levels earning big money. As one who toiled for them day in and day out I was fondly hoping that one day they would repay me for all the work I did for them. It never happened. Even on the occasion of my retiring from the Bank there wasn’t even a token farewell by them. My children would even today say that they were such an ungrateful lot. So when this idea of a get together (15 years after my retirement) was mooted I was very happy. Most of the original set of cricketers who were great champions of those days had retired from not only cricket but from the Bank as well but they enthusiastically responded to the invitation sent by the organizers.

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