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The Indian players will aim to gift their skipper Sunil Chhetri a memorable 100th international match when they face Kenya in an Intercontinental Cup tie here on Monday.
India sit pretty at the top of the four-team table after their facile 5-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in the opening match of the football tournament. Kenya are second thanks to their 2-1 win over New Zealand on Saturday.
“I had a dream but never dreamt of playing 100 international matches. This is unbelievable,” Chhetri said prior to India’s practice session at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Sunday.
“Honestly, I never think much about milestones. It was only when I was having a chat with my mom the other night that she became a bit emotional. How big it was for her made me realise how big the occasion is,” he added.
Chhetri is the second Indian after former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia to achieve the feat. Bhutia, who represented the country from 1995 to 2011, played 104 international matches, scoring 40 goals.
“I need to thank my parents, friends, family, all my coaches, players, fans, media for their support in my journey in being able to be the second person in history to play 100 international matches for my country. It feels special,” Chhetri said.
“I just feel I will be able to keep my emotions under control, play the game as we should, stick to the plan and try to win the game for the country.”
Referring to his ‘mentor’ Bhutia’s accolades for Chhetri evolving as a player, the ‘disciple’ said that “as players grow older they start filtering stuff.”
“Once you grow older and you play more, you understand what’s not good for you rather than what works for you. As you grow older you tend to start filtering stuff which is not needed and which is not important for you. That’s what is learnt. So I do the things which work for me. It’s monotonous but I hope it continues,” he said.
“I still remember my first match for India. We were in Pakistan and Nabi-da (Syed Rahim Nabi) and me were the rookies. We were kind of chilling knowing that we may not be fielded. But Sukhi-sir (Sukhwinder Singh) made both of us start the game. I scored a goal and in my euphoria I ran to the Pakistani fans and started to celebrate,” he smiled.
Chhetri asserted that the Indians will go all out to ensure a victory against Kenya. The Indian forward line was impressive against Chinese Taipei, but the Kenyans have a stronger defence and should be much tougher to score against.
“As a player you are lucky if you get tougher games and the toughest one will be against Kenya. The matches coming up the next day are always the toughest. The Asian Cup in UAE will also be very tough,” he said.
“As a player I have been in many a tough match. The games against South Korea, Australia and Bahrain in the 2011 Asian Cup were so tough. We played Japan in Bengaluru and that was tough too,” he recollected.
“Sometimes I feel the importance of the match makes it tougher. The matches against Myanmar (away in Yangon) and the home match against Kyrgyz Republic were tough in our road to qualification for the UAE Asian Cup.”
Chhetri also informed that he enjoys the competition against the youngsters in his quest to get fitter and better.
“I feel good when I speak with Udanta (Singh) and sprint with him. I feel good when I try to get past Sandesh (Jhingan). I feel good when I try to score against the big wall (Gurpreet Singh Sandhu). All of them are true professionals,” he said.
“The desire in the present squad makes it special. The camaraderie is great and there is not a single ego clash within. There’s an ardent desire to improve and its really good to lead this bunch of players. We have the desire and the talent. We need to keep working hard,” he added. (IANS)
In 2009, the Centre had mandated that Central government officers travel via Air India for all official purposes including availing of LTC. On Monday, conglomerate Tata Group entered into a share purchase agreement with the Central government for buying out the latter's stake in national carrier Air India, Air India Express, and AISATS.
Earlier, a Letter of Intent was issued to the Tata Group. After the SPA, Tata Group would need to fulfill the conditions precedent in the agreement before taking over the airline. The rest of the transaction is expected to be completed by December.
Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace emerged as the highest bidder for the national carrier under the divestment process. Talace had quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore for 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Centre in Air India along with that of Air India Express and AISATS. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, air India, ministers, government, purchase, dues, Tata group, centre
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It is indeed good news that the book showcasing the wisdom of India in the eyes of Western intellectuals is getting due recognition and appreciation from other states and abroad. After Karnataka and Punjab, the Government of Assam has recently consented to translate the research-based book by Shillong-based author - Shri Salil Gewali titled "Great Minds on India". The Chief Minister of Assam - Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma was amazed to know that so many top western scientists and philosophers have drawn a considerable amount of inspiration from ancient scriptures of India, particularly in the studies of modern physics, linguistic and astronomy. In the recent meeting with the author, the Chief Minister had highly appreciated Gewali's book and promised to read it thoroughly. Gewali's book was also approved for translation in the year 2020 by the former Chief Minister – Shri Sarbananda Sonowal but due to COVID-19, the translation work was delayed.
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Furthermore, the two scholars from Canada --- Dr Hema Murty -- Air Space Engineer at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Harsh H Thakkar of Sheridan College of Brampton, Ontario have sought permission from Mr. Gewali for the translation of 'Great Minds on India' into the Sanskrit language. After the translation, the Sanskrit edition will be published and circulated and utilized by Samskrita Bharati of Canada, besides its other branches in India, USA and UK. Gewali says that the book that has been praised by countless scholars and publication by the Government of Karnataka and Punjab has so far been translated into thirteen languages, including German.
'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdomFile
A university scholar from Winchester, United Kingdom - Ms. Janet Murphy remarks:
" 'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdom, thought and way of life had an impact on western minds, especially those who are of great historical significance, such as Voltaire, Albert Einstein, Ralph Emerson, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Mark Twain, HG Wells et al. It is hoped all right-thinking scholars will find Gewali's work extremely applaudable."