I am Dr. Madhav Ghate. I started playing tennis when I was in High School.
Actually, the Deccan Gymkhana -- a sports club in Pune -- started a scheme. They selected 4 or 5 students playing sports from various schools with the help of the Tennis coach, Mr. Anantrao Jog. I was one of these students. We all were given the courts, the Tennis balls and Mr Jog was our coach. My association with this energetic and sincere person started there. This was way back -- in the mid-1960s. Till then, no other club had had taken this sort of initiative.
I still remember the shadow practice he taught us to begin with.
I want to say something about this person, Mr Anantrao Jog.
His is an inspiring story.
Born in 1930, the present photo shows him from a few days ago. He is now 93 years running, still going strong. But that is going too far ahead.
Mr Jog completed a B Sc. in physics from the S P College, Pune. He was a renowned Kabaddi player in his school and college days. He took up tennis in his thirties. That was quite late, but he became an excellent player and was a civil services champion for quite some time. He was then working with the weather observatory in Pune which is part of the Indian Meteorological Department. He worked there till his retirement.
But tennis became his passion. He attended the National Institute of Sports, Patiala and became a qualified coach. A tennis coach for many years, Mr. Jog was coaching in Pune and held many coaching camps all over India and abroad.
He was invited to be a referee at Wimbledon, one of the first from India ( in 1981). He served at Wimbledon for quite a few years.
All this time, Mr. Jog had been extremely fit and always set an example for us students, even after we grew up.
One peculiarity I must mention here. He was not just fit but had a phenomenal metabolism. In the sense that he could digest huge amount of food -- like 40 to 50 jalebis at a time and still remain the fit and slim.
Even after retirement from work and coaching, he continued to exercise regularly, had a small gym at his home and always remained healthy with an army-like upright posture. Always smiling and ready to converse, Anantrao has been one of my favorite persons.
He, as in the photo, defies his age even now. One can't believe that he is 93 years of age!
He regularly practices yoga, still goes every day for a walk in a park and also goes for swimming regularly. And he swims one kilometer every day. On top of that, he goes to these places on his scooter!
Hats off to this 93 year old young man. Did I not say his is an inspiring story ? Was I right or was I right?