BRIG JAGDISH: SINCERITY, CLARITY & COMMITMENT

Brig Jagdish Winning Tournaments Against Young People

I first met Brig Jagdish when he was a Lt Col & I a Capt in 1988. We were Tennis team mates & trained together for about a month & a half. Let me share some credentials of Brig Jagdish. He was a Gold medalist from NDA. In Project work in NDA he had been given 100/100. In Army courses he had attended, he had always topped. In fact if he went for a course, other officers gave up the hope to top! He had represented the combined Services in National competitions in 3 sports- Cricket, Sailing & Tennis. He was very calm, never appeared to be in a hurry & a very humble person; he was always eager to learn from others. We sometimes held practice matches with young Delhi players. I enjoyed watching him beat his young (high on adrenaline, Agassi fan)opponents, more often than not, 6-0, 6-0. Who got more flustered by his calm demeanor, than their unforced errors! I always learned about his several accomplishments in diverse fields from others. He never spoke about them. Whenever he spoke, he was trying to learn something from me! I once remember he was foot faulted in a match. Generally, players get annoyed at being foot faulted. Jagdish did not even blink & continued to play. At the change- over he went to the foot fault judge & asked him exactly how he had foot faulted. He understood his mistake & never repeated it in the match; no tantrums, no scene creation, just efficiency!

I knew for certain that Brig Jagdish had topped M Tech & had simultaneously been playing Cricket for the Services team in Ranji Trophy. Once I was with him & before he could ask me about how I used Eastern grip for forehand & how he could generate more power by modifying his grip, or some such stuff, I asked him to explain how he had managed to accomplish this. He told me that it was actually quite simple. This is what he said,

“When I sat down to study, I also exercised by using a dumbbell to do curls & extensions. Generally, my attention span was such that I needed to take a break before one hour of study. I had hung a cricket ball in my room with a string. When I took a break of 10-15 min, I used it to practice the stroke which was giving me trouble, square drive, square cut, etc. After the break, I was refreshed & again got back to studying!”

I did not ask him anything further, no explanations, etc. I got my answer. For Brig Jagdish life was quite simple & uncomplicated. He was sincere, committed & clear-headed. I have never studied while doing dumbbell curls & extensions. I have also not practiced my volleys & ground strokes on a Tennis ball hung in my room. I also am no Gold medalist from NDA, nor have I represented Services in 3 sports. If someone asks me how this is possible, then I know the answer!

Wait, I have something more to tell! No parent or student can convince me that involvement in sports implies lowered performance in studies, because I have been in the company of Brig Jagdish!

–BY COL M M NEHRU

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