01 May 2017


 Quest for a Medal:
                                                                        The national sports meet was to be held at Cuttack, Barabati stadium in the year 1970.The organizers were trying desperately to find a sportsman who could at least win a bronze medal for Orissa. Those days Orissa was just participating in the national tournament and no one got a medal in wrestling. There was one heavy weight sports man named Udit who used to play cricket. He was a wicket keeper batsman.He would kick the ball if it’s not up to his knee height. He was a big ‘dada’ of his time. No umpire could dare to give him out, even if he was bowled. His weight was more than hundred kg .An idea struck to the organizers that Udit could fit in to the heavy weight free style wrestling category, where the number of participants were very few. If Udit could just enter the arena and even if get defeated still then Orissa would get a medal. Udit agreed on one condition that he be given free breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two liters of milk everyday till the nationals was over.
                                                          Udit was given accommodation in the Barabati Stadium and practiced wrestling with his friends who were half his weight and height. He was provided a free track suit brought specially for his size from Calcutta.. For one month he was eating all the time with his friends and the organizers were repenting for their decision. He put on another ten kilogram in the next few weeks. On the D day there was an announcement for the heavy weight wrestlers to come to the Dias, there were only two of them Udit and Kartar Singh, an Asian gold medalist.Udit was only fat no muscles where as Kartar Singh was all muscles, V shaped chest with  a narrow waist.
                                                 Udit had come wearing a civilian dress covered with a black shawl and was sitting amongst the spectators. After the final call there was only Kartar Singh but no Udit, a sure shot silver medalist, the organizers thought. But no one knew where he was. The time was out and Kartar Singh was declared the winner and won the gold.
                                                          One month’s lodging and boarding, track suits, shoes, milk and special diet for Udit was washed away in minutes. The next scene which the spectators watched was organizers running after Udit for refund of the expenses spent on him. When Udit was confronted with a question why he did not go to the wrestling arena. His presence would have been enough to open the medal tally for Orissa! “Have you seen his biceps and quadriceps? He would have broken my neck in no time. I am the only son of my father.” Was the sharp reply from Udit.
                                                    I was a medical student during that time. The last sports job our hero Udit was actively involved was in cricket, umpiring and coaching. He is no more but a cricket tournament is being held every year at Cuttack in his name. There were many funny characters in sports at Cuttack those days but none to beat our heavy weight Udit! Now days this type of personalities are very rare.
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

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