His love for athletics drew him towards the track even when failing health demanded recuperation and rest. His deep knowledge of the sport evoked awe and admiration among athletes, coaches and athletics followers.
It is difficult to imagine that Suresh Babu is no longer with us. It looks only the other day we had discussed Indian athletics. That death snatched him away just when he was all set to take charge of an ambitious project being launched by the Kerala Government (“Go for Gold”) is just cruel.
Suresh was wedded to athletics. So much so that he interrupted a three-month-long course of ayurvedic treatment midway last August and came over to Patiala to witness the National inter-State championships. Despite his tough exterior, visible in an imposing six-foot-two-inch frame, and his ‘can't-be-too-bothered' demeanour, he had a fair share of health problems during the past few years.
Back in 1978 when we first met, off the field, at the Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, where he had brought an injured T.C. Yohannan from Patiala, one could make out how committed Suresh was to the task of ensuring the best possible medical attention for his long-jumping training partner, rival and friend. He also knew then that it was the end of TC's career.
Suresh showed the same commitment through the years as a coach and administrator. From 1986 through to 1990 he had a stint as a senior coach in the National camps.
He came in, rather reluctantly, as the Junior National Coach in 2004 and continued in that post till he quit in 2009.