Bapu, on an umpteen number of occasions in His pravachans has emphasized the importance of playing various sports and outdoor sports in particular. We all know that Bapu was a keen sportsman Himself during His younger days, particularly distinguishing himself in the outdoor sports. A couple of weeks back I was fortunate to see Bapu in ‘action’ once again, when we a few of us had gone for a week’s outing along with Bapu, Nandai and Suchitdada at a resort located not very far from Mumbai. The monsoon had just begun and the whole place was lush green. The resort had a great facility for various sports, with a huge indoor court. Bapu, Aai and Dada had a great time playing various games such as badminton, table tennis and even cricket. It was indeed a beautiful sight to behold watching Bapu and Aai playing badminton and then Bapu bowling to Aai and Aai hitting a ‘sixer’ off a ball. More than enjoying the game, playing it, we all enjoyed watching Bapu, Aai and Dada playing.
While playing a game of cricket, Bapu asked all the ‘boys’ to participate, and bowled to each one of them; and in the process completely bowled them over. I am attaching a video clip that, I’m sure, you will not only enjoy watching but will also treasure it for the rest of your life.
Bapu preaches what he practises. Bapu has time and again stressed upon the importance of sports in our lives. Bapu himself was an expert badminton player. He also excelled in football, cricket and Indian sports like kabaddi and kho-kho. You will be surprised to know that Bapu was an excellent rugby player and is an expert swimmer too. Bapu is also an expert in Kushti (wrestling) and has even prepared akhadas for kushti contests. During our last picnic at Umergaon I also enjoyed playing pool with Bapu and Suchitdada. My thoughts go back to the time when the Gurukul in Jui Nagar was under construction. One day when Bapu had gone to Juinagar to check the progress made on the project, he called for an impromptu game of cricket with the volunteers at Juinagar. Bapu, as many of you may be knowing, is an expert in the ancient Indian martial arts.
Bapu has always maintained that, “the family that prays together stays together and the family that plays together stays together”. To make all of us play these outdoor games Bapu has himself taken the initiative and established Aniruddha’s Institute of Bonsai Sports. This Institute is the brainchild born out of Bapu’s research. Here Shraddhavans are taught and made to play various outdoor games within minimum available space and even with less number of players.
Bapu has always maintained that playing outdoor games develops and hones our personality, inculcates in us a sense of team spirit and prepares us both physically and mentally to face the tough challenges that might come our way.
Published at Mumbai, Maharashtra - India