Maharashtra State Open Squash: Small Steps To Potential Greatness

Maharashtra State Open Squash: Small Steps To Potential Greatness

Two kids from a remote village near Khopoli centre of attraction at Maharashtra State Open squash

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, September 02, 2023, 06:00 PM IST
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Two kids from a small, remote village set out on an extraordinary journey to play squash.

Their village, Kalote Mokashi near Kapoli, in Maharashtra is nestled amidst rolling hills and lush greenery, far removed from the bustling urban centers.

With a shared passion for the sport, they decided to venture beyond their village's boundaries to pursue their love for squash.

Thanks to Ritwik Bhattacharya who has set up a squash academy in this small village Kalote Mokashi, 15 kms from the Kapoli station.

Parshuram Lakaka and Rahul Shingam are the babies at the Maharashtra Open squash which got underway from Saturday.

Although, many kids take to cricket, these kids of labourers from Kalote Mokashi have picked up the squash racket.

And all because of Bhattacharya who provides them free coaching, besides giving them rackets and shoes to play the game.

These 10-year-old students of a Zilla Parishad school in the village are in V standard.

Inside the squash court, the kids marveled at the smooth, well-lit courts and the echoing sound of the ball as it bounced off the walls. They put on their squash shoes, gripped their racquets, and commenced a friendly match. Their skills may have been honed at the Ritwik Bhattacharya squash academy.

As they played, they attracted the attention of the regular players at the club, who were amazed by their dedication and enthusiasm. Parshuram shared his story of their rustic village life.

“I lost my father when I was five years old, but my mother has been the only bread earner. She has four kids and Parshuram is the youngest. She is a daily wage worker."

Their visit to the squash academy not only strengthened their friendship but also showcased the transformative power of sport. From a remote village to a squash court, these kids proved that passion knows no boundaries and that the love for a game can unite even the most distant corners of the state.

Parshuram watches a player getting out of his car at the Bombay Squash Centre, and the boy’s mother says ‘Hi’ to Parshuram.

And to confirm, she asks ‘Parshuram naa? And yes, says Parshuram.

Ritwik Bhattacharya was the flag bearer of Indian squash on Professional Squash Association tours and was the first of the accomplished players who brought great momentum in the Indian squash scene.

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