RAHUL BOSE, who plays the game with the same intensity that he shows on the silver screen, tells AVEEK BHOWMIK about his upcoming tournament and the most serious injuries he’s suffered on the field
Rahul Bose is a very happy man. He has just been selected to represent India at the World Cup qualifier for the Asian zone rugby tournament to be held in Bangkok.
Now, Rahul, with his team, is all set to take on the other top Asian teams and emerge as one of the top five nations in the continent. “This tournament is a qualifier to proceed into the next group among the Asian nations of the world. It would be a big step for India. It’s a quadrangular knockout tournament. The other teams are Malaysia, Thailand and Pakistan,” he says.
However, when told that a certain section of the media had reported that a win in this tournament would guarantee Rahul and his boys a place in the world championship, he shoots back saying, “That’s not true at all. It’s utterly inaccurate and highly exaggerated. The best 32 nations play the World Cup. India is ranked 83rd. and has been playing rugby for 100 years. We were recognised only 10 years ago and have decades to go before we reach the World Cup.”
He immediately adds, “Whatever be the outcome, it’s definitely my last international tournament. I am 40. I guess I am the oldest international player in the world. By next year I will be fit to be dropped. So before that happens I think it’s better to leave gracefully.”
Playing rugby entails a lot of injuries and Rahul has had his fair share. “I have had two major arthroscopies, six broken fingers, including two shattered thumbs and three broken noses. The most serious one was when dirt was kicked violently into my eyes. I almost lost my eyesight because there were 210 pieces of stones stuck in the corneas of both my eyes.”
Rahul’s film career has also been on a high. He has received critical acclaim for two of his recent releases – the Bengali film Anuranan directed by Aniruddha Roy-Chowdhury and the American production Before The Rains, directed by Santosh Sivan.
Interestingly, Rahul almost lost out on the role in Before The Rains because the makers wanted him to audition for the role and he was not too well. “I sent them a 7-8 minute video only for Santosh as I respect him enormously. The next thing I knew was I was a part of the project.
The only other time I had auditioned for a film was 15 years ago for Midnight’s Children. Coincidentally, I bagged that role as well. But unfortunately the project could not take off as the Indian and Sri Lankan governments wouldn’t allow it.”