Have played golf since 1997, fortunately or unfortunately, with the same bunch of dear old friends, with whom I have grown and lived life with. Those moments of happiness on the course and in the Gazebo, having a cup of tea (specially requested patila chai from the kitchen) with some butter toast, I am sure I will not be able to do justice to those moments as I pen down the emotions. Firstly a brief about each member of the gang as I perceive their personalities. Love them all.
Dr. Sahib I think one of the longest hitters on the course, he can hit a driver 325 yrds Plus, he plays very fast and we have to play catch up with him, his reading of the putting line is so good, hardly takes any time to putt. He is the favourite of the group because of some great distances with shorter clubs that he can get on the course, his caring nature and his love for food, he never forgets to order a samosa with tea, in addition to pakoras, masala toast etc., since he knows I love samosa with tea. He is one of us who has a hole in one to his credit.
SS Sodhi, the Guru ji of the group, Seven of the Sikh Gurus from Shri Guru Ram Das on, were Sodhis. Being fair to him, it is not only his lineage but as a personality he is Guru like, very righteous and fair, to the extent when he is right he does not compromise, which has lead to many road rages. On the course, he is my undeclared partner a reasonably long hitter, has a nice steady game. Amongst all of us he is the oldest member of the club. As of all of us, loves the pakoras and the cheese / omelette toast. He specially loves the egg dosa with a drink, we call milk miranda. Between the two of us, I noticed that I always find the food in his plate more tastier / fresher looking than in my plate, so to reduce my agony on this count, I always half the one that he orders.
Anuj Sethi, he is still in the corporate world and very busy, compared to the rest of us who are retired or near retirement. His request for a game is the last to come in and we all try and accommodate him and NP ( since he travels all the way from Jaipur). A reasonably long hitter and needs competition, to up his game. He keeps playing his normal game and discussing the various subjects the conversation is on until he is told the score of the game, in case he is on the loosing side he really ups his game by a couple of notches and makes it tough for the opponents, hence if you are his opponent best to keep him involved in discussions, automobile industry is what he likes to discuss the most, since he is from the Industry. He is the second one in the group with a hole in one to his credit.
TP Singh, is our golfer IT guy. An ex IBMer very good at software writing and generally an authority on the IT side, I do not think you can find a better IT guy than him, if he writes a software it will be flawless. Very logical and astute about his day to day living, very sure of what he wants to do and what he does not want to. Once he has decided on something it is very rare that anybody will be able to change his mind. Possesses a huge will power, for example he has been doing more than 10000 steps a day for the last more than 525 days in a row. Enjoys his golf, more for the friends that he plays with and the inhibition free discussions that we all enjoy on the course. Have to pull him to the course, but we miss him when he is not there. With a lot of love and affection, self & Sodhi in our discussions call him motu, which he is definitely not.
NP Singh, a hard core traveller and a socialite. A very tough nut. He is so used to and comfortable while travelling, that he sleeps as soon as his transport is in motion. A very helpful guy, loves to help people who ask help of him and is a philanthropist. A very keen golfer and plays his game seriously and plays to win. He is a member of the “GURU KA LANGAR” group led by Shri Sabharwal ji. A very helpful gentleman whenever there is something that you need from the telecom Industry, he has enough connections to get things done out of the way.
Dr. Ashish Bhalla, a rare appearance on the course, with the group, is a very busy Dr. tries to play as much as he can but it is a rarity. A fine gentle man and a quite golfer.
Now to the game,
Our game planner is SS Sodhi, whose word is the final Diktat, on when, how and who will play the game and TP Singh is our official tee time booking expert, believe me he is very efficient and normally gets you the time that you want.
For planning a weekend game, activity starts early during the week. NP Singh who works in Jaipur and comes all the way, for the week end (he comes every week) is the first one to make a request for a time slot, thereafter all start to give their preferences on the group. Finally SS & TP jointly take a call for tee off times to be booked i.e two slots to be booked or one, depending on the number of players. This activity generally happens on Friday for a game on Sunday. NP these days is less on the course and more involved with his socialising and philanthropy.
On Sunday the travel to the club for the game is an activity, which is meticulously planned by SS/NP/TP, they declare their start timings on the group and all else reach the pick up points en route to the club, thus practising car pooling methodology to reduce pollution. During this time we also decide, who will take a walk along with the players and be the official photographer, this only happens in case slots are not enough or any player cannot play for some minor injury etc.
We reach club well in time, thereafter we hire caddies or if we plan to pull the trolley ourselves, we get our kits ready and reach the tee off Gazebo, where a cup of tea is ordered and pleasantries are exchanged, means a round of laughter on simple small matters of booking difficulties faced by TP, delayed request for a slot by one of the members, why one of us has not chosen to take a caddy today and will pull his own trolley, brief discussions on where & what breakfast to enjoy.
The game is a lot of talk on varied subjects, discussions on politics, business, family matters in between shots and tee offs, tea and butter toast on the 1st Gazebo, planning for breakfast and by the way we are one of the few golfers on the course who do not bet, our simple rule is that who ever wins pays for the bill at the Gazebo. All of us want to pay the bill hence each one tries to play his best to be able to win and have the honour of paying the bill. Dr. sahib here also is the front runner, eager to pay the bill at the Gazebo, while we all try and persuade him to divide the bill.
The Food at the course with my dear friends is food for the soul
The 19th hole which is a famous joint for the golfers, so it is for us, we love the after golf breakfast / evening tea and it is planned well in advance while we are finishing the game. In fact NP has been bringing a lot of delicacies of Bikaner and Jaipur to the 19th hole which we all relished, the more we relished the more he brought finally we all, lost this race and had to tell him to stop bringing the same any more. Tp who is a great cook, also keeps bring his achars made at home along with Awla da muraba, so on.
The favourite amongst all is chole bhature, at the main Gazebo, after the golf game, each one of us really drools on them – they are so good, either they are really good or the hunger after the game along with the continuous laughter and chit chat as we play the game and the company of dear friends enhances the taste of the chole bhature, but they are good and we really enjoy them with a hot cup of tea after that. It is bliss, can’t say anything more.
The evening tea after the evening game, constitutes of masala toast, veg pakoras and of course samosas and the wonderful hot cup of tea.