From the moment Viswanathan Anand retained the World Championship, in Bonn on Wednesday night, the telephone at this parents' home hasn't stopped ringing.
Like in 2000, when one met them after Anand became World champion, the road outside their modest home wore a festive look. Vehicles from almost all media houses in Chennai were parked there, and the house was full of people. Everybody waited for his/her turn to talk to the proud parents of the World champion.
Though quite aged, Viswanathan and Susheela (in picture) were not tired. Smilingly, they obliged.
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Having met with Anand and his parents for the last 15 years, there is no doubt about from where Anand imbibed the kind of humility and simplicity that is hard to find among other sportspersons. He may be World champion, but Anand remains the same, warm person with a disarming smile that makes him true youth icon of India. You experience the same warmth from his parents too.
Shobha Warrier spoke with Anand's proud mother first while the father entertained other media persons.
Congratulations to the mother of the World championů
Thank you very much.
Anand had been preparing for the championship for almost a year. Were you following his preparation?
He prepared very hard for the last 2-3 months. I won't say it was different from what he was doing earlier. The intensity was more because he was preparing to face [Vladimir] Kramnik, which is unlike preparing for a general tournament. For a general tournament, where he has to face many players, he prepares what he has to do. But this time, his preparation was mainly for Kramnik's approach to playing black and white.
But he was very relaxed, and whenever he finished his training, he would come on the Internet to chat or ring us up.