KOCHI: The Rama Varma Club here witnessed a unique get-together recently. Usually college mates or colleagues meet to remember and laugh over memories of the old days.
But the club hosted a gathering of middle-aged men meeting to reminiscence the time spent practising the nuances of their chosen sport in the 1970s at the Durbar Hall (DH) Ground, their favourite playground in the heart of Ernakulam city.
The DH Ground, which is more of an arts and culture space these days, was a beehive of sports activity in the 70s and 80s when youngsters honed their skills in cricket, football, hockey, athletics. It was also a practice venue for basketball and volleyball players.The ‘DH Ground Friends Circle’ first came together in 2012, when some friends - Mohan K, V J Paul and Peethambaran - decided to find the sportsmen who played various sports at their favourite ground.
“We have about 200 members in the club,” says Mohan, who played for Udaya Football Club, a leading club in the state. Mohan, who is retired from Nerolac Paints, says the DH Ground Friends Circle’s annual meeting has become a much sought-after get-togethers, where players who donned the cap for Kerala, India and other local clubs come from various parts of the country, to relive the good old days.
C C Jacob and M M Jacob, who played for the state football team, Jayaram, who represented the state cricket team, Vasant Shenoi, who was Kerala hocket team captain for six years, basketball players Moncy Varghese, Thambi, Jose and Prince are all ‘alumni’ of the prestigious club.
Paul, who played football for Udaya club, says most of the members are over 60 years, but recently men in their mid-30s have also shown interest in joining the club. “The meeting is nothing, just a get-together. We talk about the good old days, and some members spice up the meeting with song and dance,” he says.
The last meeting, held on September 9, also felicitated Babu Venkitesh, a 10-time Ranji Trophy player for Kerala.