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 Ram Bahadur: A hockey player to watch out for  

Ram Bahadur of Khalsa GymkhanaSixteen-year-old Ram Bahadur draws an interesting parallel with his father, Devi Singh, who manned the gates of Ruia College as a watchman. Blessed with eagle eyes and presence of mind, young Ram plays as a defender for Khalsa Gymkhana hockey team. Like his father, he guards his castle with great panache and style. Ram lives in Ram Seva Sangh Colony in Matunga. As you enter Ram's sweet little home (his humble possession that is barely 10 feet by 10 feet), the family is there to greet you with a smile.

His father, who has been living in the city for the past 30 years is the sole bread-earner of the family with mother, Hira Devi, being the obedient housewife. Devi Singh understood the significance of modern education despite being illiterate. While patrolling the territory of Ruia college as a watchman, he observed students making a beeline to their classes. This led him to procure a modern education for his son Ram who completed his matriculation from the prestigious Don Bosco School, Matunga.

Ram Bahadur shows considerable promise as a hockey player. As captain of Don Bosco, Ram led his team to victory over St. Anne's in the final of the inter-school hockey championship in the under-14 category in Mumbai, last year. It is no wonder that he won the hearts of teachers and friends as well. Ram also represented Mumbai in the All India Jagtar Singh Tournament held in Ludhiana last year and earned the appreciation of his coach, Iqbaljeet Singh.

Like his father, Ram is an uncomplicated youngster. He does not harbour any inferiority complex and enjoys the company of his well-to-do friends. He reminisces how his father would take him to Ruia college and plead with senior students to help his ward in academics. After completing his matriculation, Ram could have joined elder brothers Prem and Ajay who are self-employed in Nepal. However, he opted for Khalsa college to pursue higher studies and his favourite sport (hockey) as well. This F.Y.J.C commerce student of Khalsa college is also conscious of his responsibilities. He wants to work in his spare time or give home tuitions to meet his pocket expenses before he gets a stable job. This shows immense strength of character as the family survives on a measly pension of his father Devi Singh who retired a couple of years ago. Ram undergoes strenuous practice sessions conducted at the Khalsa Gymkhana ground every day. His aim is to emulate his idol Anil Aldrin and play for India.

Author : Wasim Siddiqui





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