Our Defining Golden moment-Thank You Abhinav!
I was returning from work today when I heard about the first ever Olympic Gold medal for an individual event India has got . A newsitem says, it is something we have got after a 108 years waiting period.One billion of us and it has taken us so long.
The reasons may be many but a lack of talent is NOT one of them. The event is air rifle shooting and the young man who has made our
day, no matter where we may live today ,is Abhinav Bindra.
My compatriot co- worker who was driving at the time, got a call on her cell phone and though I couldn't make out much of the conversation that was in Marathi , I could understand the word "Olympic gold medal" and my tricolor heart leapt up.
We both were excited and the heat outside was instantly forgotten.
We could see the composed looking, bespectacled young man on the much coveted "top step" listening to the national anthem being played…may be the first time some of us are seeing it as feeling adults?
The last time was for a group event and the Indian Hockey team won the medal. I was a child at that time and as a non -athletic one at that, couldn't understand the excitement it generated.
Boy stuff ! I thought. Now, there is a TV that shows news from every angle and we were able to watch Abhinav listening to the national anthem and also the national flag that was placed a clear few inches above two other flags.
The champion was admirably composed and stood absolutely still .I stood too with a lunch plate in my hand not knowing what to do with an infernal lump in my throat.
Two other Olympians were interviewed, one was Bhaskaran who seemed happy and another one was Karunakaran who is a weight lifter.
Karunakaran reflected my thoughts . "It shouldn't stop here, one should become two and that should become five and we should get lots and lots of medals!".He was visibly excited. The father of the new champ was interviewed and he seemed visibly moved.What Father wouldn't be,if he was in his place?
"Magan thanthai ku aTrum udhavi Ivan thanthai
enotran kol enum sol." Says the ThiruKuRaL.
"The recompense a Son pays his Father is when others mention,
"What penance did he perform to beget such a Son?"*
The house that MG Ramachandran presented to the captain of the Olympic champion team ,Bhaskaran, is in Besant Nagar and I got to see the house from outside a few years ago.
I also felt that it was a well deserved gift, may be small in comparison to what out cricketers receive.
It is nothing compared to the gift of inspiration these dedicated young men and women give generations of fellow country men.
One V Anand walked in and now we have many inspired by his achievements. Abhinav, let's hope will inspire thousands of small children who might have watched TV today and were excited without knowing why they should be excited.
I am still a book reader and drawing doodler that I was earlier but now but I can appreciate better, the hard work that goes in to any discipline, be it music or sports.
It is discipline that makes people excel in whatever they do. Discipline, dedication and a passion that is undeterred by external factors.
It can also be termed as a kind of yoga or tapas.
At home, the visiting ,slightly diabetic parent- in- law is planning to eat sweets and for once I am not objecting .
It makes me wonder about why we feel so happy and proud when one of us climbs a peak -Be it in arts, sports Science or spirituality?
What is about the Olympics that stirs the imagination of generations of people? I don't know exactly, but the answer could be ,human spirit.
It is the invisible bond that connects us all.
God knows how many Abhinavs, Bhaskarans , Ushas, Malleswaris and Anands are languishing in poor households all over India.
God alone knows how many medals we should have got but didn't get thanks to a callous system that sends more officials than players to events like these. This system that we all are a part of that never nurtures the innate talent in a child but forces him /her to do something he/she isn't interested in.
As a nation, we have achieved many things but a lot of other painful issues remain as they are .
The fact that a large number of people don't know where the next meal is coming from, the fact that the nation seems to be going some place without any direction,…but victories like this inspire despite everything. Karunakaran is right and he might mean we should take this medal as a beginning and not get complacent.
"Many more medals! " may really happen within a short time, when the sleeping giant awakens.
She may , for, she has got a much awaited Birthday gift well in advance.
Also posted in Sulekha.com
* Borrowed from my Father's translation of Thirukural. Image of the flag from http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/3085958/2/istockphoto_3085958_india_flag.jpg
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