Leander Paes speaks on ‘My Tennis and India-US Relations’

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): Taking another step forward with the Indian Consulate’s ambitious “Media India: 2014-15” series, the audience was treated to an electrifying and memorable lecture by one of the most illustrious sportsmen of India, the Tennis player Leander Paes. The legendary Paes has the honor of winning the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award for his outstanding contribution to tennis in India.

He is also the oldest man to have won a grand slam title and is the recipient of Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award. Consul General of India in New York Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay in his opening remarks said that the Consulate in New York will work as champion of promoting Indianness and Indian arts and culture, whether it is ancient martial art of “Malakhambh” which has been introduced in the USA by its support and performance in the Consulate or the Media India lecture-series which presents renowned personalities like the then Time Magazine world editor Bobby Ghosh, the oldest man to win Grand Slam Leander Paes etc. The step to promote films and literature has also been taken by the Consulate through the Club “FilLit” which was launched by Member of Indian Parliament Hema Malini in July 2014.

Consul General Dnyaneshwar M Mulay speaking on the occasion

Leander Paes was introduced by the United States Tennis Association High Performance Team player Ms Neha Uberoi who dedicates her time to volunteering, mentoring and teaching youth around the world about the importance of physical fitness and education through sport. Ms Neha cited the achievements of Paes and described Paes as a ‘Living Legend’ as well as her role-model during her early days in tennis since 1994. She invited Leander to speak on “My Tennis and India-US Relations”.

Leander Paes speaking about “My Tennis and India-US Relations”

Paes spoke about his birth, childhood and his transition from a footballer to a tennis player. He shared experiences of his life and how he arrived in USA in 1990 and continued here to rise to the present status. He described his early life in Chennai with old friends that he still cherishes. He still enjoys “to teach a child in candle light in the orphanage” run by him back home in India. While answering the questions of the guests, he frequently quoted other tennis players of repute and his learning through intra-personal relations.

A view of the audience

He advised the President of Carom Association to move ahead with innovative mind for launching any new career or profession or area of interest such as carom. In the last, Paes gave his guidelines for the new generation too The session was moderated by Vikram Rajadhyaksha Raj, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DLZ Corporation. Rajadhyaksha earned IIT Bachelor’s Degree in 1967 and received his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1968. Tennis-fan Rajadhyaksha was present during the first match played by Paes in London.

He mentioned that now he doesn’t play tennis, a power game, due to his age but he watches the matches frequently and he was very glad to be here to moderate a Tennis-event. The event was attended by a galaxy of tennis players of new generation including Ms Lavanya Khanuja, the youngest Indian to reach Grand Slam, and renowned personalities, educationists and students from different universities whose participation during the Question-Answer-session made the session lively and informative. Consul General Mulay offered to host the Carom Championship too.

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