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Sethi trashes past, in ?right frame?

MOST GREATS when asked to look back and reflect say, ?no regrets!? Geet Sethi has one: That he got carried away by name, fame and money. On Saturday, when the man, who received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1992-93 and dominated the Indian billiards scene winning World Amateur Billiards Championships in 1985 and 1987, addresses students from top business schools at IIM-L, his advice would be, ?Don?t let it happen to you.?

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 01:47 IST

MOST GREATS when asked to look back and reflect say, “no regrets!”
Geet Sethi has one: That he got carried away by name, fame and money.

On Saturday, when the man, who received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1992-93 and dominated the Indian billiards scene winning World Amateur Billiards Championships in 1985 and 1987, addresses students from top business schools at IIM-L, his advice would be, “Don’t let it happen to you.”

In a brief chat with Hindustan Times late on Friday night at IIM-L, the man whose popularity once touched legendary heights had this to say: “I would now like to describe myself as a man with no ambition!”

What could have happened to a man who played the sport for 32 years with passion, brought India global recognition, to say so?

“Well, I did play for 32 years. But then after 20 to 25 years I started introspecting and realised that it was all a mirage. Those were heady days. I lived like a zombie. As money and fame started coming my way, I was on cloud nine. But I discovered that as my bank balance increased there was a corresponding decrease in my performance,” he said.

Was there something that he would rather like to keep it to himself? “No, I am quite frank about it. Corruption had started seeping into my system. When money, fame and success take you intheir grasp, it is difficult to break free.”

And after realising his “mistakes” he decided to broaden his horizon. “I read books, started knowing more about life and came to the conclusion that it’s futile to get carried away by success.” Isn’t it strange that he would be advising students of top B schools on Saturday not to run after money and success because that’s what they would be rolling in anyway?

“No, I am only going to tell them to remain focused and not let success disturb their mental equilibrium.”

So is billiards out of his life now? Sethi laughs. One never forgets one’s first love.
Sethi is raring to discover the touch with which he once played. Only that this time he would be ‘dispassionate.’ Right frame that?

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 01:47 IST