The hockey community mourns the loss of Rajiv Mishra, a prominent figure in the sport, who tragically passed away in a series of puzzling events. Today, we pay tribute to this remarkable striker, whose contributions to the game have left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who admired him. As we reflect on his life, let us delve into some lesser-known aspects of Rajiv’s journey.
In 1997, Rajiv led the Indian team to an impressive second-place finish in the Junior Hockey World Cup held in Milton Keynes, England. This achievement was particularly significant as it marked India’s return to the tournament after a hiatus of 12 years. Despite the heartbreaking 2-3 loss to Australia in the final, Mishra’s remarkable performance, scoring six goals throughout the competition, cemented his status as a rising star in Indian hockey.
Within the domestic circuit, Mishra showcased his skills while representing Northern Railway. His debut for the senior team came during the Indo-German test series in January 1998, a momentous occasion that marked the beginning of his journey on the national stage.
Hailing from Kolkata, Rajiv was deeply rooted in his family and hometown. Having grown up in the Leeludabait village of Hajipur, Bihar, he learned the sport under the tutelage of Ashim Ganguly at Kolkata’s Entally Athletic Club. Later, he transitioned to the Sports Authority of India hostel in Varanasi to further refine his abilities. Just earlier this year, Rajiv had returned to Kolkata for a family wedding, a poignant memory that his loved ones now hold dear.
Tragically, Mishra, a chief inspector of ticket (CIT) with Northern Railways’ Lucknow Division, passed away in his home under perplexing circumstances following a brief illness. He leaves behind a grieving wife, a daughter, two elder brothers, and a sister. Rajiv’s absence will be felt not only by his family but also by the countless fans who adored him both on and off the field.
In addition to his sporting prowess, Rajiv was known for his distinct style, characterized by his curly hair, bandana, and a flair for fashion. His fans adored not only his skillful gameplay but also his unique sense of personal expression.
Mishra’s body was discovered in his Benaras home, where he was employed with the Railways. Some of his teammates speculate that he may have passed away several days before his neighbors alerted the authorities due to an unpleasant odor emanating from his residence. At the time of this tragic incident, Mishra’s family was residing in Lucknow, adding to the heartache of their loss.