P.V. Sindhu felicitated by her alma mater

"I will forever remember the warm send off the college gave me before I left for the Olympics," recalled the lanky shuttler. "Here’s what I brought back," said P.V. Sindhu, flashing the famed silver medal.

While acknowledging the management’s backing, Sindhu singled out Mrs. Vimala Reddy, Head of Department, Physical Education, for praise.   -  Special Arrangement

The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton: Arthur Lord Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

No university, leave alone college, across the country, dare challenge St. Ann’s, Mehdipatnam, Hyderabad in women’s badminton. Its line-up, past and present is invincible. Rio Olympics silver medallist P.V. Sindhu, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and Sikki Reddy, to name just three internationals, have all thumped books within its walls.

By far its most famous daughter to date, Sindhu dropped by at her alma mater on Tuesday afternoon to a felicitation reserved for royalty. “I will forever remember the warm send off the college gave me before I left for the Olympics,” recalled the lanky shuttler. “Here’s what I brought back," she said, flashing the famed silver medal.

A slide show in the backdrop traced her life and career. Seven years in the college flew, adorned along the way by an Arjuna Award and subsequently the Padmashri. After-hour tuitions was not just for its star pupil but bolstered by lecturers visiting homes of the college’s sportswomen, noted Sindhu’s mother Vijaya. Papa P.V. Ramana nodded in approval.

The two-tiered St. Joseph’s Auditorium was packed. “Support from the college has been phenomenal, its staff kind and helpful. A big thank you to those in yellow,” she said to screams of rapture from hordes of her die-hard fans, who adopted the dress code to match that of Sindhu’s jersey in the Olympic final against Carolina Marin.

While acknowledging the management’s backing, Sindhu singled out Vimala Reddy, Head of Department, Physical Education, for praise. Not surprisingly, when the college’s various departments feted her, the loudest cheers were reserved for Mrs. Reddy, under whose tutelage the institution has been Osmania University’s overall champion since 2002.

The department announced the instituting of a gold medal named after Sindhu for the college’s outstanding sportswoman of the year. The Hindi head recited a poem penned for the champ. “For every bead of sweat that Sindhu turned to silver, she will be a model for several generations,” said Sr. Dr. Amrutha, Principal.

The hour-long programme, distinctly feminine in presentation, was a spontaneous outpouring of affection, especially since it was staged with just a day’s notice. Three enchanting dances were dedicated to her, the first a very traditional one.

The second was laced with wisecracks and one-liners, set to a foot-stomping song, seamlessly slipping from bhangra to rock and retro. The third, staged by her MBA final year classmates started off with Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. The curtains came down with the hostess hoping the next celebration would be for Sindhu’s Olympic gold.

In the Sports Room, chock-a-block with shields and trophies, selfies with the star were 'strictly' prohibited. The ban was short-lived though, Sindhu obliging even a mother and her infant !