All in the family

K.V. SRINIVASAN

When elder sister Meenal wins, can the younger one, Anuja, be far behind? Meenal Thakur won the national billiards title and a couple of days later Anuja bagged the national snooker title.

How is it to be returning home with each being a national champion?" "Nothing new for us," said Meenal. "Two years ago, I won the snooker title when Anuja took the billiards," she said.

Thakur sisters' achievement must be a special chapter in the history of the cue sport in India, more like the Krishnans and Amritrajs in tennis.

The sisters believe standards will pick up on the distaff side. As the first woman player to get a job with BPCL, Anuja feels recognition is gradually coming her way.

Both sisters, who have won the Maharashtra state awards, feel there are very few tournaments for them to hone their skills. Participating in tournaments abroad can be very expensive without government help or sponsors. Incidentally, Anuja had won a world title in England.

From table tennis to billiards and snooker was a small shift of interest but a giant step towards gaining recognition.