Parimi Nirmala: aiming to
player Parimi Nirmala broke the record of 4 national singles
titles held by Vijay Lakshmi Somanchi from New Delhi when she won
the Women's National Singles title in Jalandhar in September 2000,
for the fifth time in her career. She captained India to victory
against Sri Lanka in two Test series held in 1994 and 1998, in India
and Sri Lanka respectively.
to Nirmala, "One should always take aim to win".
Not surprisingly, she has an unfulfilled dream. She wants to win
the World Carrom Championships in the individual category. Nirmala
ended as runner-up in the Women's Singles and Doubles category of
the World Championships in Colombo in 1995 and in New Delhi in 2000
. However, she led India to victory in the prestigious Team championship
event of the World Championships held in New Delhi this year. The
Andhra-born Nirmala says "There is no short-cut to success.
One should posses a burning desire within the heart and work hard
with sincerity to achieve one's goal".
migrated to Mumbai from Hyderabad in 1991. Her husband P Srinivas
is an employee of Airport Authority of India in Mumbai. She completed
her post-graduation in Mathematics from Osmania University. At present,
she is employed with Life Insurance Corporation in Mumbai. Nirmala
spoke to mumbaibest.com about her illustrious career and her future
How did you start your career?
At the age of nine, I represented Hyderabad in the sub-junior category
in 1979. I won my first singles title in the junior category in
1983. I beat international Anu Raju in the team championships and
the singles category of the Inter-State South Zone Championships,
enroute to my victory in the competition in 1986
Who inspired you to take to carrom ?
My father M N Balakrishna, who worked for the irrigation department
in Andhra Pradesh, was a sports enthusiast. He played almost all
the games including cricket, tennis, football, table tennis, carrom,
etc. He always encouraged me towards sports. As a child, I took
lessons from established carrom players like Satishchand and B S
Chidamabra Rao, who were my father's close friends. They taught
me how to play carrom.
Does a coach make a difference in carrom ?
A player can analyze his or her performance only under the guidance
of a good coach. In the early part of my career, people remarked
about my inability to convert a break into a slam. However, K V
R S Murthy, who was the veteran champion from Hyderabad, taught
me the technique of an effective slam. Under his able guidance,
I was transformed from a good player to a champion. In the early
1980s, B K Haranath, who was the president of Hyderabad Carrom Association,
also coached me.
How do you maintain your cool during contests ?
Like every other game, carrom requires mental strength and endurance.
If you are nervous, it can affect your play. It is unlike other
games where you can escape a dicey situation with some physical
display. If you are nervous, your opponent will seize advantage
of your nervousness. So, I have learnt to remain calm, and I play
an attacking game, if I see that my opponent is nervous.
Who is your favourite carrom player?
I like Vijay Lakshmi Somanchi from New Delhi, who recently held
the National record of four National Singles titles. I also admire
Arun Deshpande and Suhas Kamble, who coached the Indian team just
before the World Championships in Delhi.
Do you think the prize money for women should be on par with
the men's category?
There are generally 300 to 350 entries in the men's category, which
makes the competition very tough. On the other hand, there are only
60 to 65 entries in the women's category. So, I think it is justified
to have greater prize money in the men's category.
What is your opinion about the media coverage of indoor games
like carrom ? What steps can be taken to increase the popularity
The media has been doing a good job for the past few years.
Some newspapers do offer comprehensive coverage of all the major
carrom tournaments. Similarly, Doordarshan has also done the needful
while telecasting major tournaments live.
Carrom tournaments should be organised in large numbers.
I think people do not take carrom seriously as a game. Perhaps,
a nominal entry fee should be charged from the public for the tournaments.
What are your future plans ?
The World championships are held every 4 years. I had bagged the
second position in my previous attempts in the championships. So,
my aim is to win the next world championship. Right now,
I want to concentrate only on the game and have no plans as far
as coaching is concerned.
By :Wasim Siddiqui