Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Morgan Effect

Back in 2004-05, when Sachin Tendulkar was facing continued failures, mainly due to his tennis elbow problem, Indian fans condemned him and some wanted him to quit cricket. We know what all he achieved after that! Ten years later, when a Russian tennis star confessed she did not know who Sachin was, the entire nation exploded. Forget Sachin, Sharad Pawar who is a living legend for the corrupt, was supported by one and all in India when he was pushed from the stage by the Champions trophy winning Australian team in 2006.

We Indians are a funny lot. We are so patriotic that we let not one bee sting our country and its integrity. But among ourselves, we love to do that one thing: stab one another in the back nicely. Well, India's got talent too, Mr. Morgan. Lets not blame him, it is a natural wonder for any person to see one and a fourth billion people celebrating two medals. But Piers Morgan does not know the Indian way in which we are used to sharing one Roti over ten people in a household and we love the bonding. There is similar bonding in the country men after two Indian women succeeded at the wonderful sporting event that is the Rio olympics, a true banner-man of  world peace and health.

Health reminds us of two unhealthy things about India. India has a gift (?) of population, the best renewable source of energy. Those people have gotten themselves a beautiful gift of laziness, the enemy of sports. Sports is human nature but laziness isn't a human virtue. We Indians eat a lot of sweets. That is probably the reason why PV Sindhu failed to win the gold medal, she is too sweet to snatch away victory from the Spaniard. But seriously, does she require so many gifts? Crores of rupees, BMW cars, plots for house. Do we want to turn her into a cricketer? What are we encouraging? medals or sports? It is one thing to encourage players to win medals and another to encourage people to play sports. If one had followed Deepika Kumari in the archery re curve, one would have known the amount of focus that she had. But no one remembers her because she has not won any medal. It is like our athletes are remembered only once in four years, during the Olympics. Can we imagine Kohli's name chanted only once in four years for the world cup? Talking about cricket, even though Sachin has come out of other sports now, why could he have not done that while he was an active cricketer?

Missed the BMW target!? :(
It is the medal that got them the BMW, not their passion!

How can other sports pick up in India? Unlike cricket, many of the sports are post-independence games and it is true that we need more time before India becomes a strong presence in every game. We have enough coaching academies; maybe not; but still, focus should be on developing the players physically and mentally; For example, what do the archers need? better focus. Mental training is required than physical - mental training to tune the body physically; This would prove to be quite cheap and in fact quite indigenous. We fail to identify the greatness hidden in our backyard. The US athletes do yoga whereas ours pray to gods; they have a control over their physique whereas we eat junk food - all possible junk food. Since, we are an open minded nation, we eat the junk from every corner of the world: Mexican, Italian, Chinese and of course, Indian.
We should encourage sports and sports players than medal winners - that might be good in another sense as well that is, with more competition at home, there is better quality from the country. Star sports is taking good steps towards this. This might get us more medals. Because, in the end only medals matter!!