It is really funny, how people like me, oblivious to what various sports stand for, suddenly start rooting for that one person who thousand miles away is living his/her dream. The dream which was neither easy nor rosy, the dream which was only about an individual’s determination transforms into a nation’s pride.
India’s middle class has a typical mentality and trust me, I am all for it, but there are places this mindset fails and abysmally fails. Sports is one of that areas, kids from an early age are asked what they want to be when they grow up. The kids usually know by the time they are in first grade, that being engineers, doctors, scientists, IAS officers, will please parents and hence that is the answer, innocently spelled out. There is absolutely nothing wrong in being one of the above but how strange it can be that very few say that they want to be boxers, athletes, swimmers and the like. Kids don’t know much and the society ensures that they don’t tread that path. But when there is this one person who rises, purely out of his/her own self worth, we all with bated breath, pray and hope that he/she wins.
Fortunately or unfortunately, if the person wins, its great and if he/she doesn’t then God save them. There are endless long posts about how a billion plus people are capable of producing no medals and how there is palpable difference between the quality of our athletes and the rest. The more stories I read about our heroes, the more it sinks in, that the stars who today are being hailed and watched for, never even got the basic equipment to learn, no encouragement, no support, little diet and unfathomable obstacles. It makes my heart swell with pride that if even 1 person can beat such odds then how many of my countrymen will shine when the nation will rise from slumber and they will get the enablers to reach the pinnacle.
I will wait for that day, and I feel it will be in my lifetime when girls playing in parks will say “main bade hoke Mary Kom banoongi”. For now, signing off and switching on my television to watch another spectacle. Go for GOLD Sushil J