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Rage for RUGBY

The Bollywood star, Rahul Bose, lent a touch of glamour to the Castle Lager All-India Rugby Sevens Tournament in the city recently. He plays with the intensity he brings to the silver screen



Rahul Bose: rugby, a shot he has done before — Photo: K. Gopinathan

IT IS not everyday that you get to see a celebrity such as Rahul Bose taking on the rough and tumble of rugby. The bruise that could easily down him did not bother and you saw a very surprising intensity and commitment in his game.

Rahul's contact with rugby commenced two decades ago. As a young student of the Cathedral School Mumbai, he "was forced to take up the sport as a part of the school curriculum. The rugby bug caught Rahul and there was no looking back. Within a year of picking up the oval ball, he was selected to the Bombay Gymkhana Squad. He has worked real hard since to watch his team grow from strength to strength.

"I have to take two to three months off from shooting to play rugby," a tired, but enthusiastic Rahul said in a chat with The Hindu. He had finished playing a tough semi-final against the Maharashtra State Police (MSP) in the Castle Lager All-India Rugby Sevens Tournament here recently. When he was asked to name the toughest opponent of the tournament, Rahul could not hold back a naughty grin considering that Bombay Gymkhana trounced all its adversaries in the tournament with consummate ease, excepting the semi-final. "We only feared MSP giving us a beating," Rahul admitted.

Rahul is not worried about not being robust and tough for rugby. Rugby, he tells you, is all about mental toughness, and if he has survived all this time, he surely has much of that. Four tries in a tournament is not a performance to rave about, but he knows figures do not matter.

But Bombay Gymkhana is also grateful to this right-wing player for his charisma.

The break and Rahul's fatigue does not matter: he never fails to "pump-up" his team through non-stop, animated encouragement from the sidelines.

Rahul likes ruby all right, but he squash is another of his favourites. "But I do not play squash with this sort of passion," Rahul is quick to admit.

Asked whether he enjoyed the event hosted by the city for the first time, Rahul gave his best smile and said: "Amazing. The hospitality and organising was just perfect. This is a lovely, green city with a mixture of intelligence and innocence. I loved it."

By A CORRESPONDENT

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