M. K. Kaushik: Of a Different Genre

It is a hard climb for India's right winger Kaushik in the hockey sphere and his efforts received the right award at the Moscow Olympics.

M. K. Kaushik

Promoted as an officer in the Tata Oil Mills for his recent stint in the Olympics, M. K. Kaushik is actively engaged in office work.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Twenty-five-year old Maharaj Krishan Kaushik seems to be a pragmatic and down-to-earth person. He dismissed the public adulation and the admiration from friends and colleagues with a remark that once cricket gets into the sports pages of newspapers, hockey players like him would be forgotten. He went further to joke that after a few months if he introduced himself many would ask: Kaushik who?

Undeniably there is lot of truth in his remarks. He is sure as anybody else that the euphoria would die in a short time. It is in this knowledge that this Delhi lad, who eventually made good in Bombay, has taken all the tributes, the receptions and the awards in his strong and sporting strides.

As one expected of him Kaushik was doing the rounds when this correspondent visited him in the huge Bombay house - his place of employment - showing his medal and the piece of poly-grass surface to colleagues and other officials.

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When he came back victorious after an absence of six months - the period of two camps, the Spartakald and the Olympic tournaments - he was presented with the surprise gift of promotion as the Accounts Officer in the Tata Oil Mills. But success seems to sit lightly on his firm shoulders and it is hard to imagine if failure could change his cheerful outlook in the future.

M. K. Kaushik

With the Olympic medal adorning his neck, no wonder Kaushik wears a broad smile.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

 

Kaushik, who came from a big family of four brothers and five sisters, was influenced by the children playing the game in the neighbourhood in Delhi where his parents are still living. His keenness for the game when in school was discouraged by his parents who insisted on him to study hard.

But on leaving the Harcourt Butler Secondary School, he pursued his studies and the game at the Kirorimal College. In 1974 he represented the Delhi University and was selected for the Combined Universities the same year for the Nehru Memorial tournament.

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It was his performance in this tournament which changed the course of his career. His display against Tata in the semifinal was outstanding, though his team lost, and which influenced the Bombay club to request him to join it. He passed his B.Com. the same year and came to Bombay to join the Tata Oil Mills in April 1975.

He captured the hearts of the Bombay fans when after the league, his fine showing in the Gold Cup resulted in his being picked up by the sports scribes as 'the best forward award' given by the hockey association. This 5' 5" right-winger, whose forte is speed and control, was the automatic choice for Bombay in the National which he has not missed since then. He led the team last year.

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His first National in 1975 also earned him the spurs for India when he went to Kabul (Afghanistan) for the two 'Tests' and later in the Quald-e-Azam tournament at Lahore, the Esanda International at Perth and then the Quadrangular tournament at Kaula Lumpur and the Spartakald at Moscow. He also played in the 'Tests' against Pakistan in India.

The maturity that Kaushik has gained and the praise he had earned for his splendid performance in the Olympics should stand in good stead for the future. He is bound to wear the India blazer for many more years.

(This article was first published in The Sportstar on September 13, 1980)

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