Lounge Excerpt: ‘Koni, The Story of a Champion’ by Moti Nandy

The Story of a Champion
Book Excerpt 

Competitors for the ladies’ 100-metre freestyle event, please come to your starting blocks.’ The annual competition at Jupiter Swimming Club was always a lavish affair. The four gates in the middle of Kamaldighi had been closed off and a tin partition erected around Jupiter’s section of the tank. Wooden galleries rose up around three-fourths of the tank. Behind the starting blocks were three rows of chairs for distinguished guests, beyond which were more galleries. On one side of the blocks was a table, where the announcer was speaking into a microphone, while five-odd time-recorders stood by. Dhiren Ghosh, with a badge on his chest and a few brochures in his hand, was busy looking after the important guests. Haricharan was the chief referee for the competition.

Kamaldighi was jam-packed today. A part of the gallery had given way under the weight of the crowd, depositing a . . .