Squash is rarely shown on television, its small scale coverage has made the life of certain players difficult. Tamanna and Masoodullah, two aspiring squash players from Allahabad, do not have formal training. Hence, the duo along with their mother Tehrunnissa — who is a police constable and an athlete —have been recording the matches with their small digital camera in the third edition of the NSCI Squash Open Championship here.
“The idea occurred to us before coming here. We cannot afford internet at home, the kids told me to get a small camera and shoot the matches of their idols as it is rarely shown on television,” said Tehrunnisa.
Tamanna sulked saying, “There was not much memory, chhota camera hai na (it is a small camera), so we could not shoot all the games.” But they did shoot their idol Saurav Ghosal. “We met him for the first time in Kolkata last year. He is our idol since then,” said Masoodullah.
The helpless look on their faces when asked about the facilities in Allahabad summed up the story. “There are only three courts, sab toot gaye hai, koi repair bhi nahi karta time pe (all are damaged, nobody repairs it on time), added Tehrunnisa.
Tehrunnissa, who is the sole bread earner in the family, claimed that only people who are members of the clubs possessing the courts get better treatment.
Tamanna and Masoodullah just have admission there in exchange of Rs.350 per month. They cannot afford the membership fees. “The coaches are uninterested and do not take much effort in teaching,” she said.
However, the outing at NSCI, Worli, has changed their lives, they said. “We are sad that it is the final day and we have to go back, this tournament gave us recognition. The people here have become family. Sab log acche hai (everyone is good),” said Tamanna, who now believes that their problems will be taken care of and they will get better rackets.
They are used to playing with worn-out rackets. “They repair the old ones and use it. We know a person who fixes it for Rs 50,” said Tehrunnisa.
Results: Men's Singles: Saurav Ghoshal bt Ravi Dixit 11-4 11-5 11-3; Men's Doubles: Ravi Dixit / Deepak Mishra Bt Saurav Ghosal / Madhav Dhingra 8-15 15-9 15-10;Women's Singles: Joshana Chinappa bt Urwashi Joshi 11-3 12-10 11-9