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'Golden Boot' in the lead up to Chak de! India (9/16/2007)
--K. Arumugam
In order to introduce my books to Jaideep Sahni, the script writer of famous film Chak de! India, I called him over phone up on Saturday night. To my pleasant surprise, he recognized me and even talked about my year books. He said he has read ‘Golden Boot’, which I co-authored with Olympian-friend M.K. Kaushik. “you might have forgotten. One of our office persons came to your home in Delhi and got all your books, as we could not get any hockey book in Mumbai’, the great writer said. My memory really failed me, and I cursed myself for that.

Surprisingly on the next day morning, Indian Express brought out an interview of Kaushik. Kaushik has said there that Jaipdeep met him after reading the Golden Boot. He also tells the interviewer Shrea Chakravertty: “Perhaps the disgrace that Kabir Khan is made to face after being branded a traitor finds its resonance in the following extract from The Golden Boot: ‘I, who was the chief coach less than a month ago, was reduced to being a spectator in the stands. This was the humiliation I got for doing the right things for India’s national game.”

The piece reveals many things that the main media has overlooked. That Kaushik was the chief coach when India won the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998, he was also in charge of the girls’ team in 2003 and 2004, when Afro-Asian Games and Asia Cup titles came to India. Kaushik says: I told Jaideep the truth – the whole package that comes with coaching a women’s team. Some scenes in the movie are facts. Like the fighting sequence at McDonald’s. Something similar happened when we were returning to the SAI Centre in Karnataka. The girls are subjected to a lot of eve-teasing –it is the societal mindset. Many of the other events in the movie are from What I narrated to him and what he saw himself. He spent around a month and half with us at one of the camps ion Bangalore. He saw how we operate and coach, watched a lot of our videos, and a lot of that has been translated into the movie The characters are real and believable; that is what makes the movie such a success”, he has said.

As writer am happy my books contributed, in whatever way, to the architect of the film, Jaipdeep understanding the nuances of Indian hockey.

A part of 'Golden Boot'can be accessed at bharatiahocke.org

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