Major Dhyan Chand
You are doubtless aware that I am a common man, and then a soldier. It has been my training from my very childhood to avoid limelight and publicity. I have chosen a profession where I have been taught to be a soldier, and nothing beyond that.I have chosen as my most favourite sport a game, which unlike other sports, has no statisticians or historians in this country. You will, therefore, forgive me if my memoirs have not been chronicled in the correct sequence, and if I have not been able to present all the statistics and records of matches I have played, and the goals that I have scored.I do not think mans intelligence could have conceived of a more fascinating game than hockey. Perhaps I am wrong because I have not played other games. But tell me which game is as fast as hockey? Which game is packed with so many thrilling moments in the short space of 70 minutes. In which game are you asked to wield dangerous weapons such as sticks, and yet use them with so much skill that no one gets hurt.Every since I started playing this beautiful game, I became one of its great devotees. To me hockey has almost been a religion. More than anything else, I owe to this sport a great deal for what I am today. But for hockey I would not have made so many friends, and I would not have travelled far and wide.
Hockey is a game of great skill. To play it well is an art by itself. It calls for intelligence, keen eyes, powerful wrists, physical fitness and speed of mind and body. It also calls for great sportsmanship, tolerance and coolness. In short, hockey demands the best in you, both as a player and as a man.Often situations arise during a game when you are provoked. But you should exercise tolerance and show sportsmanship by putting restraint on your temper, and then the game will go on serenely as if nothing has happened. But if you take one false step, the field becomes an ugly scene. You lose your value both as a player and as a man.I must here mention the invaluable help I received from the great centre half Manna Singh in the preparation of the instructions part, and Mr. Pankaj Gupta in writing the Memoirs. I must also express my gratitude to the Editor, Sport & Pastime, but for whose insistence I would not have undertaken this, to me, unimagined task of writing.