- Santosh Trophy, started in 1941, is probably the oldest football tournament in India. It is named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, a place located in today’s Bangladesh. The Maharaja, who donated the trophy, was once the President of the Indian Football Association. The runners-up trophy is called the Kamla Gupta Trophy. The third placed team receives the Sampangi Cup; it is named so in the memory of Sampangi, a renowned footballer from Mysore.
- You must have seen Hindu sadhus smoking narcotic substances, like charas. Do you know why? Sadhus do it to suppress and eventually destroy their sexual desire and just concentrate on meditation.
- Why are apples polished or wiped before
eating? This is done to wipe away the devil’s finger-marks on the fruit skin to
avoid misfortune. This originates from the belief that Satan gave Eve an apple
Ian Cook, Chairman, President & CEO of Colgate-Palmolive
- Colgate-Palmolive was formed from a merger of soap manufacturers, Colgate & Company and Palmolive-Peet. Peet was dropped in 1953. Colgate was named after William Colgate, an English immigrant, who set up a starch, soap, and candle business in New York City in 1806. Palmolive was named for the two oils (Palm and Olive) used in its manufacture.
- A little note on Dhyan Chand, India’s greatest Hockey player
India’s National Sports Day is observed on the birthday of Dhyan Chand,
nicknamed the ‘Wizard of Hockey’. He was born Dhyan Singh. He joined the Indian Army at the age of 16. The Hindi word Chand literally means the moon. Since Dhyan Singh used to practice a lot during night after his duty hours, he invariably used to wait for the moon to come out so that the visibility in the field (during his era there were no flood lights) improved. Hence he was called “Chand” by his fellow players, as his practice sessions at night invariably coincided with the coming out from the moon.
In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Dhyan Chand, who was the captain of the Indian Hockey team, had the distinction of scoring 11 out of 38 goals scored by his side. Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer, was very impressed by Dhyan Chand’s performance in the final, where India whipped Germany 8-1 in front of 40,000 peoples. At a dinner party after the final, Hitler offered to elevate Dhyan Chand to the rank of a Colonel if he migrated to Germany. Ever the patriot, Dhyan Chand turned down the offer.
In 1956, at the age of 51, he retired from the army with the rank of Major. After he retired he coached for a while and later settled in Jhansi. However, the last days of Dhyan Chand were not very happy, as he was short of money and was badly ignored by the nation. Once he went to a tournament in Ahmedabad and they turned him away not knowing who he was. He developed liver cancer, and was sent to a general ward at the AIIMS, New Delhi, where he died on 3 December 1979.
India’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports is the Dhyan Chand Award, which has been awarded annually from 2002.
Residents of Vienna (capital of Austria), honoured him by setting up a statue of him with four hands and four sticks, depicting his control and mastery over the ball. (I could not find any image on the Web for the statue; hence, I am deleting this idea.) ‘Goal’ is the autobiography of Hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. (Please note that this note on Dhyan Chand has been taken from Wikipedia.)