Advertisement

HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

Riding high

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu , Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, March 10, 2014
First Published: 15:48 IST(10/3/2014) | Last Updated: 15:56 IST(10/3/2014)

If we replay his journey as a polo player, we would have to travel all the way back to 1989, when Samir Suhag was barely 17 and his schooling had just come to an end. This juncture led to the birth of his passion for polo, for which he thanks his Army officer father, General BS Suhag, a zealous polo player who would often motivate his son to take up the game.

Advertisement

In fact, Samir wasn’t altogether unfamiliar with the sport, having accompanied his father to various tourneys as a small child.   

On Friday afternoon, Samir landed in Ludhiana to participate in the three-day Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Premier Cup, which marks its pioneer edition in Polo Championship post independence in Punjab. Before he stepped on the field, Suhag agreed for a chat with HT City about the game.   

Elated about Punjab playing host to the event, Samir feels that the game of polo - associated mostly with the royals - would make a comeback in Punjab if the state continued to host such championships annually. “When I was told by Maninder Sethi, president of the recently launched Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Federation, that his federation is all set to launch the polo championship here, my excitement knew no bounds.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2014/1/Samir%20Suhag_compressed.jpgThis is a perfect effort to revive polo in Punjab,” expresses Samir, 41, adding that polo is by no means an ordinary game. “It is more than just a ‘royal game’, teaching one many lessons, such as those in judiciousness, patience, team spirit and coordination,” he says.What qualities should one have in order to excel in the sport? “Interesting question,” he remarks, and replies, “Firstly, a passion for the horses is a must, followed by an understanding of their nature to enable one to offer them kindness and respect.

In my case too, I first fell in love with the horses and then with polo. This helped me learn the sport with enthusiasm.” Samir adds that one should keep trying various equestrian sports which can boost confidence and add courageousness to one’s personality, an essential ingredient for this game.    

Samir has many feathers in his cap, having represented India across the world in various world polo championships. A recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2012, Samir has made his country and family proud on more than one occasion.   

To boost polo’s popularity in India, he hopes that all the states, including Punjab, would take interest in hosting events and championships. Meanwhile, another reason keeps him happy, the fact that his 15-year-old daughter Saniya Suhag is already following in her father’s footsteps.

comment Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.hindustantimes.com
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement
more from Chandigarh

New Delhi, 1984. New York, 2014.

In my parent’s bedroom is a framed photo that seems a bit out of place. The small image has an aged yellow tint and displays my father at the young age of 24, standing proudly atop the GB Pant Hospital in New Delhi, India. He looks just as I do now. Tall, skinny, his not-yet full beard kept neatly on the sides of his jaw as he sports a clean pair of glasses and a neat turban matching his shirt. That year (1984), my father was in his medical residency pursuing a specialty in anesthesiology. His eyes shine of dreams of the success that would come from his hard work in the future. However, what could not be captured in the photograph is what my father had seen in that year, 1984. Writes Manmeet Singh Gujral
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved