the-south-asian Life & Times                       Oct - Dec 2010




 Editor's Note


 Cover Feature
 Early History



 Chandni Chowk
 South Asia's Oldest Bazar

 Kashmiri Gate

 Lutyens's Delhi Turns 80

 The Super 4 of 2010


 Arjun Atwal

 Bopanna & Qureshi

 Photo Feature
 Kulwant Roy's
 Priceless Legacy


 Revving up India's

 Arunachal Pradesh

 Sport is a Sport





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Bopanna & Qureshi
- a top-flight doubles team

They were both born in March 1980 – in different countries, to different cultures, and different faiths - Rohan Bopanna in Bangalore (India), Aisam Qureshi in Lahore (Pakistan) - the former in the southern Indian capital of Karnataka and the latter in the capital of Punjab province – to nations that had not been on the friendliest of terms for over 60 years. Thirty years later they were to create sporting history and set an example of unparalleled peace initiative and cooperation between the two countries by pairing as a doubles team with their message ‘Stop War, Start Tennis'.

On September 9, at the US Open, they achieved a significant first. They defeated Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos, 7-6 , 6-4, to advance to their first Grand Slam final, to play the top-seeded team of Bob and Mike Bryan. In the stands of the Louis Armstrong Stadium were Hardeep Singh Puri and Abdullah Hussain Haroon, the Indian and Pakistani ambassadors to the United Nations, who watched the match together – yet another remarkable first. "If we both can get along," Bopanna said, "why can’t they, as well?"

However, at the final at Flushing Meadows, Qureshi and Bopanna lost to the American twin brothers – Bob and Mike Bryan. But they had scored a victory, which had evaded diplomats and politicians for more than six decades. "What they’re doing," Bob Bryan said, "is a lot more important than winning the U.S. Open."

Amidst the crowds cheering for Qureshi and Bopanna, for the second straight match, were the Indian and Pakistani ambassadors to the United Nations – together yet again.

Just a few weeks prior to the US Open, they had defeated the Bryan brothers in an ATP tournament in Washington. The Bryans, who run a charitable foundation, pledged to donate a portion of their earnings from their US Open win to a Pakistani flood relief fund.


Read their conversations with Scoop Malinowski  in the print edition of
The South Asian Life & Times






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