Tournament Director Paul Hutchins is blogging from India as the four qualifying events for the Road to Wimbledon in India 2015, supported by HSBC, move onto Chandigarh...
The 10th day here in India has to be the most memorable because we met a genius. A great man of 90 years of age, a little frail and one had to speak up so he good hear, but one who inspired us all.
His name is Nek Chand (pictured above with Tim Henman), and he is the founder of the very famous Chandigarh Rock Garden. Please google it and his name and you will see why I refer to him with such emphasis.
An audience with the great man is rare but through the friendship of Mr Rajan Kashyap, one of the founders of the Chandigarh tennis academy, Nek Chand came to his Rock Garden and met Tim and Dan and the coaches and junior players and watched a tennis clinic.
I then went to his modest office nearby and was honoured to be given a signed book detailing his amazing life story.
Too much to really say about him for this blog but he is a very famous creator of the 12 acre Rock Garden, a site of statues, sculptures, waterfalls, a maze of paths and all made from discarded household waste materials.
It was back in 50s when he, without anyone knowing, started to create his dream of using waste material creatively. He used to collect waste on his bicycle and transport it to his park and over the years it has been built into a famous Indian landmark.
Millions of people have visited the Garden. It is hard to describe and why important to take the time to go have a look for yourself.
What has this got to do with the Road to Wimbledon?
Well as well as the competition we do tennis clinics at academies, schools and iconic places of interest, all the time promoting junior tennis through the Road to Wimbledon and HSBC.
Tomorrow we are at a well-known local school so more in my blog after our visit.
Find out more about the HSBC Road to Wimbledon.