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Talk with Yogesh Pardeshi - Carom Player

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A talk with Mr. Yogesh Pardeshi, World Champion Carom

Celebrity Profile

Mr. Yogesh Pardeshi

5 International Gold Medals

* SAARC Championship - 2008

* World Championship - 2008

* SAARC Championship - 2002

* World Cup - 2006

* World Cup (Swiss League) - 2006

4 International Silver Medals

* World Championship (Swiss League) - 2008

* World Championship - 2000

* SAARC Championship - 2006

* US Open International Tournament - 2003

2 International Bronze Medals

* ICF Cup (Swiss League) - 2008

* World Cup - 2001

1 National Title

* Senior - 2008

Executive Summary

Mr. Yogesh Pardeshi comes from a very humble background. He started playing carom at very young age and devoted his entire life for carom. Currently, he is employed with Indian Oil Corporation Limited as Assistant Manager. In our interaction with him, he shared some of his struggles and stories of his unflinching determination and devotion for the game. He did many odd jobs in order to keep his passion alive, his perseverance and self belief has finally paid off. After wining many international medals, he has become even more humble and focused. This interaction not only inspires but also enlightens students with the required components of success in all walks of life.

Transcription of the talk

Question: Carom is a very popular game in India and every child plays it. When did you realise that it could be a career choice?

My elder brother whose name is Rakesh, used to play carom. Whenever my parents wanted me to bring him home, I used to go to carom club to call him back. You know, I belong to a very poor family, because this poverty and being youngest in the family. Whenever, I used to go to club to call my brother back home, I used to watch the game. Slowly we together started going to carom club. Looking at this, my father bought me a carom worth 60 rupees because those days carom club was not considered to be a good place for children. Those days, response of other family members was not good as they considered playing carom to be a bad thing. Though, many good people used to come to the club but still a social stigma was attached to it. My brother used to teach me carom shots at home on our small carom. This is how, I started in carom.

Question: Sir, when did you think of making it a career option? How did you come to professional carom?

Career option was there in my mind, when I started playing carom. Those days, in carom club for playing an 8 broad game we had to pay 4 rupees. 4 Rupee fees were very expensive as we were studying in the school. We could not afford these fees for many months, and playing a game by paying 4 rupees was nearly impossible. One day, the carom club owner saw my interest in game. He knew that I am passionate about this game. I used to watch others playing the game continuously for many hours but did not play because I was not able to afford the fees. The club owner understood the money matter, he offered me a deal. He asked me to come early in the morning to mop all his boards and wash strikers and if I do so then I can play 4-5 game per day. So this way, I started playing carom on champion board. After this, I experienced the difference of playing on champion board and domestic board. This way, slowly I developed my interest in the game. My goal was to play well in the very limited number of games as I had very limited game per day offered to me. So I started focusing more. Then, there came under 18 tournaments for carom. I did not have money to pay for the entry fees but they exempted club players from paying entry fees. I was runner up in this tournament. Being a runner up, I developed further interest in the game and thought to go ahead in carom. Those days, there was no scope in carom in India then slowly I came to know that in our country we can get a job by playing carom. This propelled me further.

Question: You have won many championships like world championship, SAARC championship etc. Even today, most of your time goes in to practicing carom. So what is it that keeps you motivated? What is it for which you are so focused on the game?

(For reader's convenience we would like to highlight that even today, Mr. Pardeshi takes only a lunch break in a day and sleeps late in night, rest of the time he practices carom)

I would like to tell you an incidence of my life, when I was ready for a district level game. I mean, when I was prepared for a district level tournament. My father used to drink a lot of alcohol. So lot of bottles used to come to home. I used to collect all of them for paying my tournament entry fees. When this district level tournament came to news, I sold off my bottle collection but still I was short of tournament entry fees. I asked my mother, is there anything else in house by selling which I can arrange for entry fees? My mother thoughtfully, told me about an old bucket at home, which was useless now. Somehow, I managed the entry fees but this tournament was organised about 9-10 KM far from my home. You can understand when I did not have money for paying entry fees how will I arrange the travelling to the tournament venue? I was communicated that game will start at 9 AM, so I started from home at 7 AM after taking some tea and toast. I had no footwear in my feat. I did not know what is ironing a shirt mean? Ironing a shirt for us was to put hot water in a vessel and press your shirts with this hot vessel surface. Somehow, I walked to the venue. As there are umpire in cricket, similarly there is a board referee in carom. When it was announced that those player who are interested in becoming a board referee for a game, will be given a coupon on which they can take a cup of tea or a cream roll. I was very happy listening this; it was a dual benefit for me so I immediately enrolled myself for being a board referee. I told chief secretary in advance that I do not have any money with me, so throughout the day whatever I will eat, is because of these coupons. I requested him to give me



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