Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Hope...

One short forehand jab and that was it. The entire arena got inked with a single script that read: Minnows no more! Yes, Somdev Devvarman has won the Commonwealth Games (CWG, henceforth) Lawn Tennis Men's Singles Title in great style outdoing his Australian opponent 6-4, 6-2. Yesterday was a splendid day for India in the Commonwealth Games. BUT, this write-up is not to reflect on the NEWS.

I intend to dissertate on the CWG itself. Until recently, India's inexplicable romance with the business world,politics and cricket provided the masses with, generically, the only three potent avenues of altercations, in most cases, and discussions, in not so great numbers,over coffee tables, corporate lunches, family dinners, etc. at large. The much brouhaha surrounding the CWG Managing Committee and the games itself was, I thought, dissuasive enough to pull the masses away from the stadia but to my bewilderment and ecstasy, it was not to be. And I wish to adduce the humongous attendance at various arenas, stadia to accentuate the popularity of the games, in general and their flag-bearers (the players!), in particular. I see the CWG in the light of resurgence of games like Hockey, Wrestling, Boxing and the inception of public interest in games like Gymnastics. BUT, there are a large number of questions glooming around us yet to be answered.

Why is it that we follow and talk about certain games only "partially" (I am an optimist!)while some others rank much above in our priority lists. I don't think anybody who watched yesterday's Hockey match between India and Pakistan found it any less adrenaline pumping than any Indo-Pak cricket encounter( I say this with no disrespect or offence to cricketers or cricket lovers; I too belong to the tribe). The entire stadium was behind India (just for your information, the match was SOLD OUT) and what a match it was! I don't wish to digress from the central issue here.My friend told me about the plight of games like Gymnasium. Now that Ashish Kumar has won a bronze and a silver in Gymnasium, people's attention has been drawn to some extent. The Indian Gymnastics coach was complaining the other day that the Indian team is not being sent only to various international championships across the globe, then, how do we expect them to win? But, the big question is, who expects from them, in the first place. Issues like this ought to be addressed and discussed about, in public.

One thing that's disappointed me has been the absolute absence of film-stars (demigods, rather). Now is the time they should come up and pull the crowd towards the games. Now is the time they should  put their star power to use. Now is the time they should talk in public about the games, in general, participate in discussions, bolster youngsters to tale games other than cricket seriously. Except for Rahul Bose (who I saw appearing for an interview with some news channel on the state of Gymnasium in India, just because he himself has been a Gymnastics enthusiast), I couldn't see anyone else supporting the cause. Marketing can work wonders for anything and everything in this world and where do we need it the most? We need it the most to popularize different games in India where, unfortunately, its power is yet to be harnessed.

In an era of perfect "noise", I hope fellow bloggers discourse formally on this issue, I hope an epiphany of sorts strikes us all so we appreciate the existence and significance of games other than cricket, I hope our demigods come out in open and use their power to support the cause, I hope the euphoria surrounding the games doesn't phase out giving way to an ever-present gloom, I hope the central and the state governments pay heed to games and players, respect them, reward them (on merit) and help them lead a dignified life,
I hope...


"Hope is a good thing. Infact the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." ['Red' in 'The Shawshank Redemption']

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