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Nov 19, 2008 at 10:59pm IST

Book on Dhyanchand hopes to inspire players

New Delhi: In India's sporting folklore there are few men who are revered as much as hockey wizard Dhyanchand. Although much has been written about his exceptional skill on the field, now comes a personal account of the man behind the legend.

Sports Minister MS Gill on Wednesday released a book Hockey ke Jadugar Major Dhyanchand: Kahani Apno ke Jubani on the three-time Olympic gold medallist.

Indian hockey fans affectionately called him the jadugar (magician) in his playing days and later he became Dada Dhyanchand.

The book has been written by Dhyanchand's daughter-in-law Dr Meena Umesh Dhyanchand.

"I have tried to make a small contribution from my side to inspire and encourage hockey players, " said Dr Meena.

The name Dhyanchand is still remembered with awe by hockey world but it was different at home.

Forever a simple man his children didn't know for a long time that their father was a colossus of the game.

"We subscribed Hindi newspaper Navbharat Times and we used to read his name sometimes in a week or two. Sometimes we used to feel very proud that our father's name has come in papers," Dhyanchand's son Ashok Kumar, who represented India in 1972 and 1976 Olympics, said.

Dhyanchand ruled the hockey field and when he played India never lost. Yet he was never well of financially amd even today not much has changed and the next generation has found new heroes. So have we forgotten Dhyanchand?

"Unfortunately yes, we have forgotten the contribution of Dada and we have forgotten that period, that particular moment in 1936 when he waved the Tricolour when we were not even independent. I believe it was August 15, if I am not mistaken. After many, many years we realised what independence is," said Olympian Jagbir Singh.

One can only hope the book never lets Indian sports fans forget the man who taught us what winning meant.