Tarun Nambiar: Columbia University's Sporty Scientist
Tarun Nambiar, studying Biochemistry at the prestigious Columbia University, New York, is not your average science student. A member of Columbia's squash team, Tarun switches his lab coat and pipette for his squash gear with ease. AOL CoolAge talks to the sporty scientist-to-be, who is participating in the ongoing AOL CoolAge Squash Open 2013, about squash, music and much more.
1. What do you love about squash?
It is one of the most demanding sports in the world in terms of mental and physical fitness. You need incredible stamina, composure and patience to succeed in this sport.
2. What kind of a squash player are you? Are you someone who likes to play long rallies and tires the opponent or someone who is aggressive and goes for kill shots?
I am a fairly balanced player. I changed my game strategy based on the strengths and weaknesses of my opponent. In general, I aim at keeping my opponent in the corners of the court while dominating the 'T'.
3. What's your gear?
No real preference but I have been using my Dunlop Aerogel Pro 135 g racquet for the last couple of years and I really like it for the balance it provides between pace and power. Gregory Gaultier and Amr Shabana both use this racquet.
4. Your squash icon?
Ramy Ashour. His short selection is unique and unbelievable at times.
5. Do you play/follow any other sport?
Football. I am a big fan of Manchester United and never fail to watch any of their matches. I also like watching Tennis.
6. Who is you favourite sports person outside squash?
Roger Federer and Nemanja Vidic.
7. Why should squash be included in the Olympics?
It is one of the most internationally played sports in the world. It's popularity is rapidly increasing, it's extremely demanding physically and mentally, plus the setting up of show courts in some famous locations (such as the Pyramids of Giza and Grand Central Station in New York) has provided for some incredible viewing of the sport.
8. How do you balance squash practice and college?
At Columbia, for whose squash team I play, we have two hours of training everyday, mostly in the mornings before classes. I have found that playing and excelling in squash has helped me manage my time more effectively, keep me more focused in academics and maintain a high GPA.
9. What can be done to popularize squash among students in India?
We need a lot more courts, especially in Bangalore. Due to the shortage of courts, kids do not have many options for training and excelling in the sport. It would also help to find sponsors and host a big PSA tournament in with a big prize money to attract the top pros to play in India- this would definitely help raise awareness about the sport. It would be incredible if we could mimic the tournament in Cairo and set up a court in front of the Taj Mahal!
10. When you are not playing squash, you are...
In college, probably studying, doing research or hanging out with friends.
11. Who would be your ideal date - a sportsperson or a non-sports person?
Either works for me!
12. Best meal you've ever eaten...
I once had food at a French restaurant in the US. Not sure what I ate (it was sea food) but it was one of the tastiest meal I have ever eaten! It was really expensive too, but thankfully my friend was treating me!
13. Music you can't stop listening to...
Album by Pink Floyd named 'Dark side of the moon'.
14. Smartest pick-up line you've heard...
Can't say I have actually heard anyone use a pick up line . I don't know any!
15. Your ultimate holiday destination...
Don't have any single place in mind. I would like to see as much of the world as possible!