Thursday, April 24, 2008

Whites, Blacks and Red

In many places, they don't know about it at all. In several others, they do it behind closed doors, when the day's work is done and it is time for some relaxation. But it is only in Chennai that they do it in the open, through the day, with many onlookers.

No wonder then, that Chennai is home to the only Arjuna awardee in this sport, a 10-time National Champion and two time World Champion, whose name would make almost any non-Chennaiite go, "Hunh??". Did Maria Irudayam make the sport popular in Chennai or did he reach his destiny because of the game's popularity in Chennai? And how about Ilavazhagi, the newest world champion, also from Chennai?

It really doesn't matter. Carrom is so common in Chennai, and so apparently easy, that even a first time visitor to India falls for it in no time. There's Tim, on his second day in India, chasing the whites, blacks and red!!

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