MIDWEEK MASALA: Swami Ayappa & Lyndon Flora

This one comes courtesy the legspin legend B.S. Chandrashekhar. Chandra says then, as now, the cricketers were much sought after by the elite in every City they played. One of them was the horse owner and breeder, M.A.M. Ramaswamy in Madras.

Hearing M.A.M.'s stories, the cricketers got interested in horse racing, and some of them sooon began putting small amounts of money they earned from the game on races.

Once, says Chandra, they were tipped off about a horse called Swamiye Sharanam Ayappa. Apparently, the horse was of impeccable pedigree, well trained, with a top jockey, etc. With divinity also plugged into its name, it was a sure-shot winner.

But surprise, surprise, Swamiye Sharanam Ayappa did not win a single race, that season or any other season. In a last throw of the dice, its owner decided to change its name.

So Swamiye Sharanam Ayappa became Lyndon Flora, and surprise, surprise, it won every race after that. Moral of the story: there are no morals on the race track.