December 26, 2010, Kolkata (Calcutta Tube): Indian tennis icon Leander Paes is usually seen hammering his opponents in the court with his skillful shots. But on Monday afternoon, he was seen standing with students on Kolkata streets, urging people not to blow horns unnecessarily. IBNS correspondent Supriyo Hazra in conversation with Paes
You and Mahesh Bhupathi are teaming up once again. For how long are you two going to continue the partnership?
For me it is important that we play together for India. That’s why we chose Chennai Open. We want to showcase the game to the youths here in India.So, it is important for us to play in India.Speaking about how long we are going to partner together, it depends. It depends on the performance. If we enjoy the partnership, then of course we will have an open chance of playing together.We hope to have a good start, together, in Australia.
What do you feel about the performance of Somdev Devvarman?
His talent lies in his hard work. To go and see him perform is a fantastic one. He performed really well at the Commonwealth Games and at the Asiad. He of course has the mettle to carry out the flags of India on his own shoulders.
What are the chances of India at the Davies Cup?
Yes, Serbia are the Davis Cup champions. It will be a good challenge for India when they face them. They have a strong doubles team and also have lots of options. As far as I and Mahesh are concerned, we are unbeaten for long time in Davis Cup. It will be a good challenge to keep the record intact.
How are preparing for the Olympics?
I have already started my preparation for Olympics. It will be wonderful to win doubles medal at the Olympics.The grass court in London is awesome. Wimbledon is indeed the ‘Mecca’ of Tennis.
We have heard that you have been working in a film. Tell us something on your venture in the world of films?
Yes, I am working in a movie. I will be shooting in Kolkata.But I will not disclose much about it now. I want to keep the suspense. I want my fans to come and watch the movie and know about my role in it.
What is your reactions on Sachin Tendulkar’s 50th Test century?
What Sachin did yesterday was phenomenal. Truly, excellence takes a long time.The longevity he has showed is phenomenal.
Speak something about your opinions on blowing unnecessary horns?
Actually this ‘No Honk‘ campaign by PUBLIC (People United for Better Living in Calcutta), Kolkata Police and Vodafone, is not to shut out the horn completely, but to reduce unnecessary honking, specially around school or hospitals. It will allow better quality of life and gives the young mind the power to think. To give the space of silence and calmness for youngsters is important.I hope the pedestrians can also play their parts in this efforts by using the footpaths to walk and leaving the main roads for cars to move. The drivers also need to stop blowing horns when it is not necessary to do it.