Golf lovers Ramesh Kohli and Gaby Juneja have brought out a coffee table book on the Delhi Golf Club
Journalists are known to record history in a hurry. Constraints of time and space make the job much more challenging. When golf writer Ramesh Kohli thought of recording the ‘history’ of the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), there were more challenges than he ever faced while sending his despatches for leading national publications. Help did come from many quarters but what truly enabled Ramesh’s dream project was the joining of hands with fellow club member Gaby Juneja.
In the absence of any archive of the Club, it took the duo three years to filter out the relevant information from the heaps of data and photographs collected over the years. At times, they “had to get surly with each other” while debating over the choice of format, use of photographs, what to include and leave out. Finally, after smiling at the “ridiculous suggestions” offered by two leading publishers, they decided to bring it out on their own.
The relentless pursuit of Ramesh and Gaby culminated in a stunning offering titled “The Lodhi & The Peacock.” This 209-page coffee table book, priced at Rs. 3500, is indeed one of a kind. As golfer Gaurav Ghei aptly put it, “A beautifully detailed and picturesque walk down memory lane and an absolute must on every DGC member’s coffee table!”
“I always wanted to write this book,” says Ramesh. “In the last 50 years of association with the Club, I came across several people who had something to say about the history of the club. Got lots of facts and history from old-timers like (past presidents of DGC) Dr. Bharat Ram, Dharma Vira and Virendra Singh, Vikramjit Singh, with whom I played a lot of golf. Over the years, I had a collection that was lying in a suitcase. I had to get on with it otherwise my wife was threatening to throw all this material as I was not doing anything with it.”
Initially, Ramesh wanted to bring out the book in 2000. But “somehow the idea was dropped.” A few years later, Ramesh discussed the idea with Gaby, an avid photographer and a writer. “I jumped at the offer,” says Gaby. “My first question was about the photographs because I’ve been clicking away for years. Thanks to the Club authorities, I had full access to the club. I could go around it at different times of the day. That’s when you get to capture the monuments, the flora and fauna.” She makes it clear that the attempt was never to write the history of the Club. “For it to be a history book, you’ve got to have very accurate records. It has facts based on personal interactions and personal experiences.”
Before heading for the golf cart, Ramesh smiles and says, “The politics (of the Club) has been left out.” Gaby adds in jest, “many people were disappointed to miss out on the gossip…”