Hasan on Indo-Pak hockey and everything around the rivalry

Nov 30, 2018, 09:20 IST | Ashwin Ferro

Hasan on Indo-Pak hockey and everything around the rivalry

Hasan on Indo-Pak hockey and everything around the rivalry
Rajiv Gandhi

The Mumbai 1982 World Cup experience
India and Pakistan were in different groups and we thought we would meet in the final, but India didn't make it to the knockouts and we went on to win the title. We were fascinated by Bombay because that was where the movie industry was. Actor Pran was a big hockey fan so he called us over. We even went to Dilip Kumar's house. I also remember meeting Saira Bano, Reena Roy, Smita Patil and Parveen Babi.

Rajiv Gandhi, such a sport
In 1982, Rajiv Gandhi was heading the youth congress and he told us that the Asian Games was the first big job his mother and India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had given him so he wanted everything to be perfect. We used to share jokes and enjoyed each other's company. Then, when he became the Prime Minister, he called our team to Delhi for a series and sent a special lal batti (red beacon) car to pick me up. Then, after Benazir Bhutto became Pakistan Prime Minister in 1988, Rajiv came to Pakistan and I was among the invitees. He saw me and hugged me and Bhutto was surprised at how we both
knew each other.

Indira Gandhi's humility
There was a brilliant aura about her. Once she walked into the lobby at the New Delhi 1982 Asian Games reception centre and was stopped by a guard as she had not worn her accreditation card. She promptly went back to the car and got her card. Later, she praised the guard for his sincerity and even rewarded him with a promotion.

Free clothes for us!
We didn't expect to win 7-1 but India's two full backs were playing parallel to each other. Goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Negi was helpless in one-on-one situations. Negi can't be blamed for that loss. The next day, despite India having lost, when we went shopping to buy salwar kameez, the Delhi shopkeepers firstly opened their shops early for us so that we avoid the crowd and then didn't take a penny from us.

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