Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Tale of (Two) Indian Sportsmen

India won a gold medal in the Olympics for the first time in 108 years. It is the first individual gold ever won by an Indian.

Delhi sportsmen might notice the legitimacy that SHIV-NARESH has achieved.

Since then this country is going crazy over Abhinav Bindra, the shooter who was successful. The guy who has been nicknamed 'the monk' by the media and appears not to give a damn about the brouhaha over his success. He does not respond to over enthusiastic journalists, it is hilarious. They look for nice cool quotes, the sorts made famous by late Captain Batra, an Indian army officer who during the Kargil war is said to have said, Dil Mange More (a phrase from a pepsi commercial, the heart wants more), before the final triumphant assault on Tiger Hill in which he lost his life. But Bindra would not oblige, it was confusing and heart breaking for the excited journalists. The NDTV reporter, a really funny looking guy who kept blinking is eyes and revolving his face while interviewing Bindra was the piece de resistance, for the sheer foolishness that Bindra's punctuated silences and nonchalant manner enforced on him.

Bindra is from a super rich family. His father gifted him a luxury hotel or something worth Rs 200 crore (US $45 million). The Indian Railways gave him a life time pass for travelling in luxury class for his entire life, among many other grants various state entities in India conferred on him. Bindra did not train in India and spent his money to train in Europe. His personal coach, a Swiss woman mentioned that as the reason for his success and worse, the Hungarian coach of the Indian shooting team also agrees. Bindra won because he left the Indian system.

A friend sent me this gorgeous text message on Bindra:
The best thing about Bindra is,everyone seems more excited than him about his victory. He has given very reluctant and even curt replies to the overboard media. I have never seen such a detached Indian victor. Shayad frustrated ho :-)

The Gold Rush

Then one of the Indian boxers, Akhil Kumar, defeated the World Champion in the league stage to enter the quarter finals. The media ignited on the first gold medal triumph, exploded and declared him a winner. Akhil too kept up with awesome sound bytes, things like, nothing will satisfy me but the GOLD medal. So unlike Bindra and Akhil was all over the TV, radio, internet and newspapers for four days till he lost his next match the quarter-finals to a boxer from Moldova.

The Gold That Got Away


Nomad said...

Lol... you just hit the nail on the head!

Carina said...

And welcome back.

Anonymous said...

The Russian athelete who created a WR in pole vault, 5.05 mts, and subsequently won gold, answered to media when asked about an US ahtlete's claim to defeat her, "I did it, you can see it; people who speak much cannot do much" Oh, well! That is what the tale is about..

Anonymous said...

Both achievements are commendable.I personally think it's a great change of pace to have a sports person who is relatively restrained about his victories. Lets not blame him for his background, he can hardly help that- people can choose how they react, and he chooses to be restrained and aloof. Good for him.

After watching both the US and Chinese jingoism during the Olympics, give me this any day.


Priya said...

Off late media has not been about reporting incidents; facts that happened. It has gained the power to create or destroy things, facts etc. It has got used to make judgements even before the authorised institutions make a judgement. This power of creation in inexperienced hands might harm all of us. The case of Bindra was also similar. It was just that Bindra was reluctant.