Its Olympics time yet again! And my heart painted with the tricolour sent a silent prayer above this time too even though the site of a heavily disproportionate Indian contingent ( read more officials than required against lesser players than wished!) didn't fail to prick me this time too.
The first thought which crossed my mind (yet again), after the euphoria of seeing my countrymen among the world's best sportsmen died, was, " _ _ _ _!this handfull of players is all our more-than-a-billion-strong population could breed! that too after 62 years of Independence!!...to hell with the nuclear power, where is our manpower?!"
I don't want to sound like a cynic, but a cynic is what I become every four years since the first Olympics I watched when a kid. At that time, I used to feel embarrased when I saw the other major sporting countries' never-ending contingents, their jubiliation seemed like mockery to me, as if they were jeering at me...."look, kid! your men are so less here"....I used to hate that feeling.
Even as an adult, I find it hard to reconcile with the ol' feeling; now my pet sarcastic remark is ..."don't you think we should switch the channel to watch our 11 men in blue trying to compromise their gel-fixed hair in running after a stupid red leather ball for the whole day?".... then the dam of frustration would overflow..."why can't we deviate our attention and funds from the glamorous pseudo-athletes to the struggling Maleshwaris, P.T.Ushas and Kunjaranis? Their only fault is they chose to play a lesser popular game rather than opting for the sport played by our demi-gods!
But then comes the much-awaited respite, Abhinav Bindra has won the gold medal, the first ever individual one. But then the question which I had been trying to keep out of my mind overtakes..." could he have done it had he been not a billionaire's son and had been dependent on the Government for training and funds?"; well, this is a question I myself would rather avoid answering.....