Bardhan, Sarkar win gold on bridge’s debut at 18th Asian Games

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Sep 2018 08:31:32



PRANAB Bardhan became the oldest man in Indian contingent to win a medal at the 18th Asian Games as he joined forces with Shibhnath Sarkar to clinch gold in men’s pair event of the bridge competition on Saturday.

The 60-year-old Bardhan and his 56-year old partner finished the men’s pair event with a score of 384 as they edged out China’s Lixin Yang and Gang Chen, who finished with 378 points after five round of competition.

“I could not sleep last night and ate only fruit in breakfast. It’s tough, the blood circulation shoots up with tension, we beat China and Singapore, it’s great result for us,” said Sarkar.
THE incident happened some years back and it’s still vivid in the memory of Asian Games gold medallist bridge player Pranab Bardhan.

The 60-year-old Bardhan was then getting ready to represent India in an international competition in Montreal but he needed to renew his passport.
But the officer at the passport office, scrutinising his application form made an allegedly offensive remark.

“He (passport officer) asked me, aap jua khelne Canada jaa rahein hain (you are going to Canada to take part in gambling). I told him you have not read my file properly. He was an educated man but still did not know, it’s a sport and not gambling. Sensible people would not think like that,” Bardhan, who became India’s oldest gold medal winner at the Asiad, spoke about how perceptions rule our society. Quintessential Bengalis love their adda sessions along with a game of carrom or cards.

It’s a way of life in those rickety club rooms in the narrow bylanes of Kolkata where people learn their contracts and auction bridge with ease.
The old Bengali adage goes like this: “Taash Daba Paasha, Teen Sarbonasha”, whose loose translation will be “Cards, Chess or game of dice can lead to destruction”.

No wonder the perception is ingrained in people’s mind that it's a waste of time but Bardhan would tell you that a game of bridge requires more intellect than chess. “It is a game based on logic. It’s a mind game like chess but more challenging,” Bardhan, 60, said.