Monday, April 19, 2010

CAGING HOUSEHOLD

Father Vivek Mehta is a player-turned seasoned coach, his two sons — Arjun Mehta and Ajinkya Mehta have donned the state colours already

Suhrid Barua, Pune Mirror, April 26, 2009

Basketball is one sport that is synonymous with the Mehta household. Father Vivek Mehta has been a Deccan Gymkhana coach for the last two decades, someone, who represented Ferguson College and Pune University in his playing days with some distinction before ‘caging’ took a backseat as a player that is, after which he dabbled into plastic business.
His two sons — Arjun Mehta turned out for Maharashtra in the last Senior Nationals in Surat, while his younger brother — Ajinkya Mehta has donned the state colours in the last Junior Nationals in Bhilwara.
Actually, both sons have outstripped their father by going to
represent the State — something Vivek missed out after he choose to devote his time into plastic business. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I played for Ferguson College and Pune University. I couldn’t pursue it anymore as I had entrepreneurial interests to pursue,” explains Vivek Mehta.
So, did Vivek exert any ‘you must play basketball’ pressure on his two sons just because of his passion for the sport?
“Not at all. I left both my sons to decide on their own which sport to pursue. I’ve never tried to put pressure on my sons to take up basketball just because I’m hugely fond of the sport,” Vivek puts things in perspective.
Any extra satisfaction
that both his sons have gone to play for the State team — something he couldn’t? “I’ve every reason to be happy to see them progress through the ranks. How they are going to take it further depends on them. I’ve have always given my sons a free hand to decide whether they want to carry on with basketball or pursue higher studies,” he insists. Both his sons are students of BMCC. Eldest son, Arjun Mehta who represented Maharashtra in the Senior Nationals in Surat feels making the ‘big leap’ from being a state player to being a national player is a tough ask. “I’m happy to have played for my state in the last nationals. But I also understand that making it to the Indian team is a massive ask. I don’t think it’s a worthwhile exercise to think about as I feel that pursuing my studies would be the right way to go about things,” he said.
His younger brother, Ajinkya reckons he would like to enjoy playing basketball for the time being. “I’m going to enjoy playing basketball for now. I’m yet to reach that stage where I decide on pursue basketball professionally or studies.
“All I can say is that making to the national team could probably land me jobs where salaries are not very attractive but then the joy of playing for the country is something different, so it depends.”


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