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Sixteen days before Ajit Pal Singh turned 28 in 1975, he captained India to their maiden – and so far the only — World Cup hockey triumph. On the 46th anniversary of that momentous title win, achieved after beating Pakistan 2-1 in a fast-paced final at Siaran Langsung Dari Stadium, Merdeka (Kuala Lumpur), 73-year-old Ajit Pal Singh on Monday recalled the final and the celebrations that ensued.
Ajit Pal Singh also vividly remembers the reception and felicitations that the team received in various cities on its return to India. The team played 10 exhibition matches at various places in the country and were felicitated wherever they went. The MP Ganesh-led India had come close to winning the World Cup in 1973 as well but lost to the Netherlands 2-4 on penalties in the final. Ajit Pal Singh was a member of that team as well.
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Singh spoke to IANS on the 46th anniversary of India’s historic World Cup triumph.
Q: How do you remember March 15, 1975?
A: On this date, the best thing of my life happened — history was made. I get goosebumps recalling that day.
Q: Do you remember distinctly what you did that day since the time you wake up in Kuala Lumpur?
A: Definitely. Winning a World Cup comes rarely in one’s life. I distinctly remember the match, the celebrations, where all we went after the triumph, how we returned to India, etc.
Q: At what stage during the World Cup did you realize that the Indian team was capable of winning the title?
A: It was after we beat Germany 3-1 in a Pool B league match. We had beaten England 2-1 in the first league game and drew 1-1 with Australia. And after blanking Ghana 7-0, we lost to Argentina 1-2. But in the last group league match, against Germany, we had to beat them to qualify for the semi-finals, as Australia was at six points and had we lost we would not have qualified for the semis.
Q: How tough was the final against Pakistan?
A: It was a fast-paced match. We were in the field, playing, so we did not realize that. However, those who watched the game from the stands told us that it was a pacy game. The Pakistani team always had a strong forward line, and that team too was strong. We, however, defended very well against their forwards.
Q: How did you spend time between winning the final and till the time you went to sleep that day?
A: First, there was a celebration at the stadium. Then we returned to our team hotel. The atmosphere was different. Strictly speaking, there was no combined team celebration as such. Players were free to go wherever they wanted to; they went out with their friends and things like that. As you know, there were a lot of Indians living in Malaysia. Many of those Indians took the players to their either homes or clubs as part of the celebrations. One of my friends took me to the rooftop of a hotel where a few people were present. We opened the champagne there. By 10.30 pm or 11 pm, I returned to my hotel room. We were too tired after the final match. The next day again some people invited us, though I don’t remember the exact details now.
From Kuala Lumpur to we went to Singapore, where the Indian community, particularly the Punjabi community, organized a reception for the Indian team. We also went shopping there. Then we landed in Chennai, the home city of the Indian Hockey Federation president M.A.M. Ramaswamy (1974-1980), where there were celebrations in marketplaces and roadshows for a couple of days. From Chennai, we came to Delhi where receptions were organized at several places, including the airport. We also met Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and other dignitaries, before the players left for their destinations.
Q: Did the Indian players get any monetary reward for winning the World Cup?
A: Winning a World Cup is not a small achievement. We played 10 exhibition matches at various places after returning from Kuala Lumpur with the World Cup. They gave some amount of money to players. They should have commercialized hockey as they did with cricket later. They didn’t move with the changing times. One example is the introduction of artificial turf for hockey in 1972. In India, they installed the first artificial turf about 10 years later. In this interim period, we won the World Cup. Why didn’t they install it after the 1975 World Cup triumph?
Q: Indian hockey players still don’t get match fees.
A: I would rather say that all said and done, they are getting at least something now. Until some years ago, they wouldn’t get anything. When the team would come after winning something, they would only get Ishibashi (a pat on their backs) and officials would say “Well done, and now win the next tournament as well”. In my time – in the 1970s and the 1980s – players would be satisfied if they would land jobs by playing well. Also, in the 1970s and the 1980s, hockey was the No.1 sport of India and cricket was at No.2. But in the 1980s, cricket went up and up and hockey’s popularity went down.
Q: Are the members of 1975 getting together today to celebrate?
A: No, nothing as such. A few years ago, I used to invite players to my place for dinner, etc. (IANS/SP)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord