Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Start to Finish..

The Indian occupation of tending to thorns, harvesting them, making a throne out of them and then sitting on that ...and still smile...

Why! I always wanted to be an athlete...I wanted to feel that adrenaline rush when thousands in a stadium would cheer my name as i go on to hit the bulls I fill the hexagon shaped netted structure with a ball kicked by my I break a world record I bolt across the winning line..!!! So much i wanted to do ..
Probably a story of many youths across the streets of India..They all want to bring glory for the country that is so very impoverished for sporting recognition. What happens to these dreams? Do they get lost in the ever increasing depths of school bag ,or become indiscernible in the huge passel of achievements that this society have stamped their seal as "Must Haves”, or are lost in the stampede of life wherein saving ones life takes precedence over living it.All of these could be the reasons. But apart from the incidence of this virga,there`s one more ball of thorns that is pinching the very flesh of the sporting soul of this country.
                          Why PT Usha has to cry to get decent facilities? Why the hockey team has to call upon an uprising to have their dues? why a certain Vijender is given padma shri and his fellow is gently brushed aside ? Why M Maricom has to remind all of us of her achievements on the world stage to get a sponsorship? Why we consider only the cricket world cup as a fitting event to give our "all the best india,dikha do" messages?
                 The partisan behaviour that our athletes in India are meted out with is at best a midget in comparison with the struggles they have to undergo as they aspire to bring glory to the nation.
      It all starts from the strange stares your father and other elders would give you when you tell them that you are about to take up sports(which they till now encouraged as an hobby only offcourse!) as a career.Ofcourse cricket is the prima donna amongst the choices that parents would approve, but convincing your family that you giving up on a parchments you will receive from a university and the greenbacks from the MNC`s in lieu of the sweat, struggle and frustration that a sporting life ensures apart from the one off award sans comparable remuneration to buy yourself a new sporting kit is like scaling the Everest without a oxygen mask.
                   Still some brave souls convince their agitating (not a case if your elders were players themselves!)family folks and venture about on the dusty road towards sporting glory that has full of potholes and have lots of puncture potential pins waiting for your tyre to roll on to them. The kneejerk reaction that an athlete gets when he gets to taste the rudeness of the officials, the uncalled for dry and sarcastic comments from the fellow players makes him to come out the reverie that he so very well preserved and dreamed about in over the years.
             The rat race that an athlete goes along with is a slap on the face of those talented ones who have to give way to their feeble images or to loose out to those who are politically inundated with support. Still he finds the courage to keep the dream alive, to run along the track, to keep his gaze on the bulls eye, to keep his sword sharp. The heart breaking inefficiencies of the system are all but a part of the daily routine that he goes through.
                        Body aching from feverish practice the other day cant keep him out of his sporing arena. He knows his time will come. He loves the game. He loves to be there when the sweet clunk of his bat hitting the ball, when his opponent is found wanting on the other side of court, when he mesmerises his counterpart with his moves, when his fluidity on the field makes for the most amazing visuals ever. He likes to be appreciated. He waits for his countrymen to see him, recognize him, support him.
                   Is he talking to empty walls? Is he beating on the doors of a deserted village? Is he encroaching upon your Ac groomed dreams, is he disturbing your lovely EMI supported and luxury laden life which goes about criticizing him most of the times? Is he an alien to you or is a part of you? That’s the problem of india.We don’t make our athletes a part. We have them worshipped as heroes. We have them climb the podiums, we godify them. We strip them of all these monikers when they don’t perform. We never let them enter our realms of reality. They remain to us an enigma that is bound to entertain and then fade away. We don’t forgive them the same way as we so conveniently forgive our gaffes. We love to crucify our Christs!!
           The dearth of world class equipments, unavailability of funds, jinxed coaches who never seem to go beyond the paid vacation, lack of infrastructure and facilities (lack is an understatement here!) are some of the death knells for an athlete.
Wonder how these superhumans get hold of their instincts to tear the system apart. Being subservient doesn’t help either. Lack of players coming out in open about their grievances makes it easy for the weasels in the administration to burrow through with their sly teeth into the aspirations of sportsmen.
               After manoeuvring his way through all the roadblocks ,when a sportsman finally gets to live his dream and goes on to lay that first foot on the sacred grounds of his sporting arena, he has still to face that last hurdle. To please the countrymen!
            A dot ball, a missed penalty, a weak forehand...and you can hear the booes can almost not hear the praise amongst the spate of invectives. A lost match...and you can hear the stones being pelted at your home. An incorrect medication...and you can hear vilification being directed at you of you being a cheater. A wrong move..and you can almost feel the heat of your effigy being burned. Indian audience although very enthused about few sports takes a red eye towards most of the other sports.The absent crowds from the stadium does nothing to invigorate the spirit of excellence amongst the athletes. In a country where those who dont play are the handlers of the games, its hardly surprising that more often than not the players have to face the ire of his countrymen. With no one to back him up, he performs under pressure. We need captains like Dhoni in every sport who would back players, we need coaches like maradona in every sport who are ready to put on stake their modesty for his team’s performance.
           It was great to watch many youngsters receive the coveted sport awards this year. They smiled as they got their much deserved recognition and respect. But its high time we see the thorn forests in the backdrop they have hiked through to reach this summit of light and give them their due in terms of patience and support.
      Gold will follow the claps....Silver will sliver as you see the effort beneath it ....Bronze will brace itself for a new tricolour ...

1 comment:

ЅΗΑЅΗІ said...

Brilliant writeup!!!