Shankar Das keeps revisiting a momentous occasion these days.
It is about a victory eight years ago this time, but for the seven-time winner on the Professional Golf Tour of India, the circumstances under which he turned up at the Panchkula Golf Club mattered more than the winner’s cheque.
The 38-year-old from the Royal Calcutta Golf Club has bigger pay cheques to his name than the Rs 4,84,950 on offer that week; it was about a dutiful son carrying out an ailing mother’s wish.
Mother Aruna had been sick for a while but her condition worsened and confined her to the bed for almost two months. Visits to numerous doctors hadn’t helped and a diagnosis eluded the harried family.
It was finally discovered that the cause of her immobility was serious wear and tear of the spinal cord. Surgery was the only way out and was fraught with risk. Panchkula loomed and Shankar had made up his mind to be by his mother’s side till Aruna told him to pursue his first love.
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Shankar did what was expected of a son by making all arrangements before he left, but he was restless, nonetheless. “Without fail, before tee-off and after the round I used to call and enquire about her health; that was a harrowing phase,” recollects Shankar.
Powered by Aruna’s blessings from the hospital bed, Shankar shot under-par on all days and won by two shots. Aruna too recovered with time and not a day passes when Shankar doesn’t say a prayer in gratitude.
Photo credit: Shankar Das