Registering for the Asiatic Games

While I was in Delhi, they were having the Asiatic Veterans Athletics Competition for athletes over 40. I read in the newspaper that athletes who wanted to participate had to be invited. Otherwise, they had to register for two rupees, the equivalent of ten or twenty cents.

I was not feeling well, but I thought that by the time the competitions started in two days I would be all right. So I went to register. Unfortunately, registration was closed. I said, "Fine! It is a hopeless case."

India has no money; that is absolutely true. But when it is a matter of a stadium, the new stadium in Delhi can compete with any stadium in the West.

Always I carry with me my five-cents-worth Galaxy of Luminaries, the tinier-than-the-tiniest book that shows pictures of me with many big shots. I showed Galaxy to someone at the Asiatic Veterans Competition office. He said, "Oh, you are a great man!" Then he told one of the officials how great I am.

Immediately everything changed. Five minutes earlier registration was out of the question. Now they were telling me only that I needed three pictures.

I said, "Where am I going to get three pictures?"

Then the official said, "He does not need pictures."

I entered my name for the 100, 200 and 400-metre dashes, as well as for the shot-put, discus and javelin.

The registration fee was twenty rupees if you joined one item and thirty rupees if you joined more than one. By mistake it came out in the newspaper that the registration was two rupees. So I paid thirty rupees, a little more than three dollars.

— 31 March 1983