Guest column | Old guard vs change | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Oct 24, 2017-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Guest column | Old guard vs change

It is quite trifle, inconsequential and non-impacting , but interesting. The other day, we eavesdropped on a discussion at the tenth-hole gazebo . Oblivious to other occupants of the hut, the most vibrant of the four ball, before biting into his chicken ham sandwich, threw open the debate, asking: “So, what is the election scene yaar?” “I think Ravi is on a strong wicket,” replied the one sitting closest to him.

punjab Updated: Feb 26, 2017 13:00 IST
Col Avnish Sharma (retd)
Chandigarh Golf Club.
Chandigarh Golf Club.(HT File Photo)

It is quite trifle, inconsequential and non-impacting , but interesting. The other day, we eavesdropped on a discussion at the tenth-hole gazebo . Oblivious to other occupants of the hut, the most vibrant of the four ball, before biting into his chicken ham sandwich, threw open the debate, asking: “So, what is the election scene yaar?” “I think Ravi is on a strong wicket,” replied the one sitting closest to him. The third folded the newspaper he was browsing cursorily and questioned, “Which Ravi?”

It took time for the wiser fourth to enumerate the distinctive identities of both Ravis in the fray, that is, Ravibir and Ravi Virk. Then, he issued a fatwa: “Gentlemen, henceforth whenever we get into a discussion regarding elections, we address the two rival contestants as Ravibir and Virk.” It was thanks to such inputs that my take on this second piece of mine on the golf club elections, scheduled in April, shall steer away from the confusion generated by the namesake contestants.

The battle lines have been drawn. Rival groups have finalised their teams for committee posts. Ravibir, true to his congenial and consensual traits, seems to have stuck to his group’s incumbent team, albeit with an unavoidable addition of a couple of new names as some have turned ineligible for another mandate. The fresh faces are all nice guys and accomplished golfers.

However, there is a catch. Ravibir is treading a beaten path with a presumption that a ‘known devil is better than an unknown angel’. Such presumptuous perceptions have their pros and cons. The most fearful of cons is complacency, which is an obvious malaise in the light of a thumping victory last year. We only hope, they are aware as to how and why it happened. First, it was the leadership of a popular person in late IPS Mann, who led them to victory. Second, there was no contest at all, thus making it possible for even the most average candidates to make the mark. Last, an unsavoury legal tangle worked in their favour.

Ironically, the situation is transformed this time. Virk promises a formidable fight. His choice of team members may not be flawless, but definitely comprises some credible members. The most important factor of all is that Virk has come up with a clear USP: “Bring in a whiff of fresh air.”

The present team with Ravibir as its acting president is a well-knit unit with most of them vibrant and wellmeaning. Maintenance of the course and renovation of the club infrastructure are being well attended to. They are upfront to resolve the long-pending lease issue with the UT administration to the best interests of the CGC. All this, however, does not guarantee a cake walk for the old guard. The members at large have become more discerning. Most of them, given to enjoyment and good times, are oblivious to political overtures. A change of existing guard spells excitement. Virk recognises this and, in his own humble way, is trying to pump up the sentiment through a personalised campaign.

A third front is still nowhere on the horizon yet. But the club does have a history of last-minute spoilers. To the chagrin of many, the once prevalent culture of ‘peg and leg’ to appease members seems to be dwindling. A mugwump veteran, who used to quaff, had this couplet to narrate: “In naadanon ko koi bataye... dur rakhoge bar, chunav jaoge haar (tell these naive contestants, they can ignore tippling at own detriment).” His friend and bar mate was, however, cautious. “Paaji, upar wala sab dekh raha hai,” he used to say.

(avnishrms59@gmail.com)

(The writer is a Chandigarh Golf Club member. The views expressed are his personal)