There is nothing like young children quizzing a celebrity. Innocent, harmless questions asked without any baggage, without any preconceived notions or expectations.
Today, it is was the turn of Anil Radhakrishna Kumble. The son-in-law of Mysore took questions from children attending the very innovative Chinnara Mela summer camp held by Rangayana each year, and as usual Kumble showed he was a thorough professional.
"Before coming here, I asked Javagal Srinath about the probable questions you may pose," Kumble told his young audience. "Srinath said that I may have to face quick ones from Shoaib Akthar and tricky ones from Shane Warne!"
The question and answer session, as reported by Star of Mysore, went thus:
Nikhil S. Murthy: Why you don't sport a moustache?
Kumble: I want to look young as I grow old so that I can play for some more time.
M.R. Rakshit: Do you want to make your son also a cricketer?
Kumble: He is just two years old. He can hold a bat and play for fun. Education is first; other talents will follow.
M.R. Rakshit: You never seem to get angry.
Kumble: My team mates also say so. Anger is no good but controlled aggression is.
N.S. Veekruth: What are the preliminary steps to becoming a good cricketer?
Kumble: First you should enjoy the game. Proficiency comes with effort. Sports should get importance in schools. Basic passion for sports is needed among children.
Akshay and Ajay: Who is the toughest batsman you have faced so far?
Kumble: I am lucky I am in India. All the toughies are in India be it Dravid, Sehwag or Ganguly. (The children shouted the name of Dhoni and Kumble accepted it with a smile).
Bharat: Do you and Dravid speak in Kannada?
Kumble: Of course. We have developed a few code words in Kannada and all the teammates are familiar with them. They come handy during crucial moments in matches.
Harshit and Amruta: What are the most memorable moments of your career?
Kumble: When I made my debut for India against England in 1990 and when I took all 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan in New Delhi.
Sparsha Pai: A batsman hits a ball. It breaks into two halves and one piece is caught by a fielder. Will the batsman be declared out?
Kumble: Interesting question. I think he will be declared out. Anyway, the third umpire is there.