My Fundays 12-09-2007

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By Dola Banerjee In August this year, she won the gold medal in the archery world cup held in England. she also won the arjuna award in 2005 AS TOLD TO SUDIPTO CHOWDHURI
  • Published 12.09.07

I was born in a joint family in Baranagar and had a cheerful time with all my cousins. But life changed a lot after my parents moved to a different house, though in the same locality. I missed out on a lot of fun — basically doing little else besides going to school and coming back.

My brother, Rahul, was born when I was six. Suddenly, I felt important — as if I had grown up, with a sense of responsibility towards him. More than that, I felt that I could finally could boss over somebody! As it turned out, Rahul was very obedient and listened to whatever I said. I don’t remember us fighting. Actually, he was a very lazy person, preferring to sleep most of the time.

On my mother’s insistence, I was sent to a local music school to be trained in classical music. I had a good voice and soon turned out to be a good singer. But life was pretty average for me until, when I was nine, I joined a local archery club. It was my father who took me to the coaching centre.

During my early days in archery, I positively disliked the sport because of its slow pace. I even tried to skip classes, citing some excuse or the other. Though I disliked the game, I won my debut tournament. It was a mixed feeling for me: more than anything, I was surprised. On hindsight, I think that it was the turning point in my life. My entire take on the game changed from that point and I slowly started loving it. I started dreaming of being better.

Gradually, I started practising hard. I used to go straight to the coaching centre after school for hours of training. At an age when all my friends used to play, go out for excursions, picnics and just hang about, I was hard at work, practising.

My school, Baranagar Rajkumari Memorial Girls High School, played a big role in letting me pursue my dream. I am indebted to my school and all my teachers who used to help me out during examinations. They even prepared notes for me when I had to stay away from school because I was participating in several national and state-level tournaments. The school authorities even allowed me to skip tests before my Madhyamik exam.

All in all, my childhood was pretty different from others. And though I missed out on many things, I would want the same childhood if I were to be born again.

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