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Sunil and Reeth Abraham (May '99)

The AbrahamsThe 80 ft peripheral road in Koramangala now takes the brunt of most traffic that passes through here. A touch point is the new ring road connecting Koramangala and Indiranagar. It's natural therefore, for this portion to be a bit noisy.

But inside the cozy and elegant home of the Abrahams, the buzz of the world outside is hardly felt. There is a calm and quiet around. Or maybe, the concentration is more on the plethora of awards, medals, mementos, trophies that adorn the tastefully decorated living room. Symbols of triumph. Recognition of accomplishments and achievements. And the victors? Sunil and Reeth Abraham. Whose pursuits on the field brought many an honour and glory to the state and the nation.

Sunil, a self-trained athlete, started his athletic career at the age of 17. Right through school to university, he remained an outstanding sportsman, winning many a medal, scorching the track with his unbelievable speed. His grit and determination made him Karnataka's fastest sprinter from 1977 to 1981 and for Delhi between 1981 to 1983. The event where he excelled most was the 100 and 200m sprints and of course, the team relays. He represented India on three occasions and the highpoint of his exploits was in 1982 at the New Delhi Asian games when he turned up for the country in the 4 x 100m relay event, when their team was placed 5th. He hung up his spikes in 1983 to concentrate on a sports movement called SURE, which he founded with other like-minded sportsmen, aimed at providing talented children a future in athletics.

SURE is an acronym of two names. Sunil and another International sportsperson - his attractive wife, Reeth, an Arjuna Awardee in 1997 for the Best Sportsperson. Her accomplishments have been many. Hailing from Mysore where her favourite sport was Kho-Kho, her athletic career spanned for 15 years. She represented the state and country in many events, 2 Asian games included. However, Reeth, besides breaking many records, is best remembered for an extraordinary feat. She became the first Indian woman athlete to break a national record ten months after giving birth to a child. As if this wasn't enough, she went on to become the first Asian woman to win an Asian medal in an event as a mother. No mean achievement that, considering the fact that athletics, even at the Asian level is fiercely competitive.

SURE, the foundation for sports training which Sunil spearheads has a fairly good list of achievements, if one goes by the nation's big name athletes who have been trained by them. Significantly, Reeth is one of them. Both, Sunil and Reeth have received the prestigious Rajyotsava award for excellence in the field of sport. A team effort indeed.

The Abraham ChildrenRetired they may be. But their fitness today, is not something to be scoffed at. Sunil, who now works as an executive with TELCO, spends time at the stadium with the wards of SURE. Reeth wouldn't miss her morning jogs for anything. 20-30 minutes at least, each morning. And to keep them occupied otherwise, are their two wonderful children. Daughter Shilka, who is 11 and their son Shamir, who is 5 plus. Sunil prefers to stay at home most times. In the company of his music and books. Unless of course, if there is an interesting play in town which he wouldn't miss. Such is his love for the theatre.

There is another thing they both love. Koramangala. Not even for a million bucks would they leave this place. Who would?

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