Last updated: 
19th Jan 2018
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We will miss you
ATUL BHAI
Atul Kharecha, a good friend, an enthusiastic Carrom supporter and a passionate player left us on the 16th of January 2018 for his heavenly abode. The carrom fraternity in North America we will miss him immensely.

The memorial service will be on Sunday, the 21st of January 2018 from 2.30 pm until 4.30 pm, at Morello Funeral Home, 3720 Nicholas Street, Easton, PA 18045.

Atul’s passion for carrom was unmeasurable, he used to travel 7 hours from Pennsylvania to Markham, Canada to play with us. Most of the time his wife Hansa would accompany him just to satisfy his hunger for this game. Hansa would sit around or go shopping to pass her time whilst Atul would play. Once, Hansa accompanied him to play our random doubles tournament at Konkan Delite Restaurant on their wedding anniversary and as usual set in a corner without complaining – I guess she knew that’s the best anniversary gift she could give Atul. Atul made a black slam that day and during the Canada Open he had a White slam. He had number of Canadian centuries and enjoyed himself playing with us. We had to literally force him to go back to hotel to rest after our ridiculous endless sessions around 4 am in the morning. We in Canada have named his common shot he used to try – “Atul Kharecha shot” and I am sure this shot will be always remind us of our dear Atul Bhai. Atul was a former USA national player and always wore his jersey with pride at various tournaments.

He was the most competitive player and never would give up even if it meant complaining during the game to pep him up. This spirit always kept him in hunt for honors and usually entered the semis or quarter finals. He was a disciplined and an outspoken individual. He would mince words for the benefit of the game. He was precise in setting up the boards and Jay has noted below in his comments how articulate he was. He even designed carrom stands. He was always vocal in what he saw unfit by his standards and we got used to his suggestions which were usually constructive. He would organize sessions at his place and traveled all over USA and visited Canada to play carrom.

He was the most organized player. His mini kit bag included, his strikers, polish paper, nail cutter, medication, a sweater and a cushion. Apparently, during his last visit he left his cushion behind which he had never done before on his countless visits. Probably, maybe that was his way of telling us "I will not need this cushion anymore".  As far I know he didn’t play any competitive carrom after that.

As Dr. Neeraj Sampathy rightly said “He was very generous too and did not hesitate to send a donation during the Senior National Championship hosted at Visakhapatnam in 2009. He insisted that I put it down as a donation from an anonymous carrom lover”. When he played in the Canada Open he came and shook hands with me and palmed me cash along with his big smile and said “Francis, I hope I can assist you in my own way”.

His hunger to play carrom was immense that he was part of the Guiness record set for playing a marathon game of carrom which lasted more than a day with 3 more players from USA.

ATUL BHAI WE IN NORTH AMERICA WILL MISS YOU.

Jayadev Suryadevara, President, USCA

​     Atul Karecha also lovingly called as Atul Bhai by most of us, passed away on 16th January, 2018. His loss left carrom lovers in North America in shock and sorrow. He made a tremendous impact on the carrom fraternity across United States and Canada. 
     Most of us know him through carrom. I used to call him ‘Laser Man’, not only for his impeccable ability to focus and concentrate on the board but also on his unwavering, uncompromising attitude to produce quality in whatever he does. These qualities in him were very apparent while executing various tasks like organizing tournaments, hosting carrom guests at his home, carrom equipment design like the ‘lamp holder’, match format design and so forth. I remember the stainless-steel DVD stand, toilet tissue holder installed at his home that were essentially a no-nonsense, top to bottom utility based designs, at the same time simple & elegant, those were his own brain Childs. 
     On top of these un-pierciable qualities of focus, design & quality, he was a ruthlessly honest man. During US Open 2015 singles, I faced the bluntness of his ruthless honesty when he was upset for missing a straight coin and thereby giving away the match. He missed the coin because the surface of the newly designed green board was a little bent, a manufacturing defect. With frustration, he said to me “what good is this new green design if a player can’t even play”. Even though momentarily I felt it as rude, I did wake up to that honest call by Atul and later had the manufacturer agree to increase the thickness of the plank so as to further minimize the chance of having bent surfaces in future deliveries. Again, during US Open 2016 he pointed out a gap in our sponsor’s league format as soon as it was published, even though he wasn’t attending that tournament. His keenness, made us modify the format to include a minimum number of North American players entering into the sponsors league. 
     He more than anyone I know at USCA understood the importance of equipment, format, quality for the development of carrom technique. He was instrumental and central in supporting us moving from potato starch to boric powder. I still have some long emails he had written in this regard. As a player, he is one that never want to lose. Even if he does, he is not ready to accept quietly, instead he works harder and comes back to the next tournament with aggression & force to reverse his earlier defeats. Again, I did face his reverse onslaught when I lost 0 to 25 to Autl Bhai in one of the tournaments conducted at TV Asia in retaliation for an earlier loss. During that season, he had upped his standard so dramatically appearing to be invincible most of the time. Since then he won so many trophies as we all know, of course including in doubles. I had to smile about doubles because, most feared partnering with him on the board because of his intense nature as well as disregard for coin selection. But he had shown his ‘Laser Accuracy’ can turn ‘coin selection criteria’ into another old tradition in the execution of carrom skills. There is no count on great memories he had left for all of us as carrom lovers, HE WILL BE A PART OF US FOREVER.
     I know him mostly through carrom. He was a businessman by profession and was the founder of Accu Machining Center Inc. in Pennsylvania. But on the personal side, how much ever I knew him, he was extremely mannerly and gentle during encounters outside of carrom. He was a Hindi music lover including gazals.
Atul Karecha was born on Nov, 8th 1946. He is survived by his wife Hansa, son and a daughter.

Jayadev Suryadevara, President, USCA
We will miss you
Another Carrom Passionate Dr. Neeraj Sampathy

     Atul Bhai was one of the gentlest person I knew and a thorough gentleman.
     We bonded very well because of our shared passion for carrom and ghazals. 
     I remember fondly the trip way back in 2008 when he invited Jayadev and me to his house for a carrom session. He and Hansa Bhabhi are amazing hosts and we had a great time. One story he shared with us sums up his attitude perfectly. He told us that he had undergone a surgery and while he was yet to be discharged he enquired with his doctor if he could play a cricket match due in a couple of days. When the doctor retorted angrily that he would die if he attempted it, Atul Bhai replied “isse achcha kismet aur kya ho sakta hai”. That was his passion for sports!
     He was always committed to improving his game as far as carrom was concerned and he never felt that age or ill health was an impediment. It was an inspiration to us all. He was very generous too and did not hesitate to send a donation during the Senior National Championship hosted at Visakhapatnam in 2009. He insisted that I put it down as a donation from an anonymous carrom lover.
     I was fortunate to meet him again in Dallas during a tournament in 2010. He was a much-improved player then. We had a couple of days of great carrom. He had a soft corner for me and I held him in high esteem. He was always great company with his witty repartees and endless anecdotes. 
Though I did not get to interact with him much after that, I will always remember him as a wonderful person with boundless energy and passion for carrom and music. The carrom fraternity will feel his loss deeply.
     May God give strength to his family to cope with the tragedy. May his soul rest in peace.
​     Neeraj Sampathy

ATUL BHAI
Louis Fernandes

     Our dear Atul Bhai, was instrumental in encouraging me to pursue excellence in Carrom. I was fortunate to have him visit my place and vice versa. This just goes to show that our time here is so short and our pursuit in Carrom even shorter. I know everyone here only because of Carrom and this is my opportunity to reflect and understand that we should thank our stars that Carrom has given us so many friends and that we should love each other and cherish every moment that we get to share together.
     I will miss Atull Bhai and his pattern phrase "unbelievable".
     Rest in Peace.
     Respect! , Louis Fernandes.