Skip to main content

Will the real Mr. Suresh Kalmadi please stand up?


When it became public knowledge that the budget of the Commonwealth Games had doubled, a few were taken aback. For the bigger surprise was yet to come – in the shape of a helium balloon. A blimp, truth be told that would be used for a grand total of some 3 hours for the opening and closing ceremonies. Then opinions ran amok. Usain Bolt would emerge from the blimp it was said and then proceed to run for his life. No, it wasn’t a ploy to get him to compete (or so they say). Maybe the sports minister or better, the organising committee chairman would tumble out to imaginary rapturous applause. No, said another voice interested in adding their two pence, the blimp was the new mascot. But what could possibly justify the 40 crore budget for this gas filled extravaganza? A meek voice whispered from the sidelines– “even the gas for the balloon is being imported from Russia.”


Approximately, some 30,000 crore is being spent for the games. With news channels going agog over a certain Mr. Suresh Kalmadi and his purported misdeeds, it would be naive to recount them and find any joy in doing so. For Mr. Kalmadi is but a scab in the deep rooted malaise plaguing our system. Of course, we can humour ourselves with his statements such as– “The games will even be better than the Olympics” or the more recent “All stadiums are ready.”


In this entire melee, the ingenuity of Commonwealth Games committee is not to be underestimated. It will be one of the first to introduce a game called ‘caving roof’. The rules are simple – buy a ticket and enter a stadium. With one eye, give unbridled attention to the games. Keep another eye on the roof. If the roof shows signs of caving in, make a rush for the exit. The committee has yet to pass a resolution on what the prizes would be. A Laundromat in Ethiopia has already been paid an advance for the trophies though. On hearing this, MP’s in faraway Bihar got excited that they took Parliamentary sports to a new level. Apart from the usual ‘breaking furniture’ and ‘calling names’, a new sport was introduced at the spur of the moment – ‘smashing flower pots’. Again, rules are simple – if you don’t agree upon something, rush out find the nearest flower pot and smash it to smithereens.


One look at our achievements in the last 63 years doesn’t paint a very sporty picture. We are still covering ourselves in glory remembering our 1983 world cup triumph. And this when our team boasts of some of the world’s classiest players and the board being one of the richest. How many children know of Dhyanchand as more than just a passing name? Walk into a school and you see sport being relegated to a one hour window. Playtime has been captured by summer camps, tuitions, personality development classes, and other such career furthering activities. See what a mockery our national game has been reduced to. FIFA has had to introduce a new ranking system ever so often to accommodate India’s acrimonious slide. A cursory glance at all the facilities provided to our athletes – dirty rooms, messy food, travel in second class trains, over friendly officials and coaches tell the complete story. No wonder we need 30,000 crore to dress up the wound and make us look good.




And Mr. Suresh Kalmadi surely cannot be held solely responsible for the abject state of our sports. For there are a million others like him driving it into a downward spiral.


Some of the best minds have repeatedly asked – in a country of a billion, can’t we find someone who will set the record books ablaze and bring some respectability to our sporting side. No, we cannot, until we evict the miniscule that thwart the billion.


Until then, our attitude to sport ill be very much like the 40 crore balloon– all hot air and no substance.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When an Iyer met an Iyengar

If you see my parents, they look like the quintessential arranged marriage couple. After nearly 35 years together, they still take care not to touch each other while posing for a photograph and my mother’s smile dangles precariously between a smile and a grimace. But this image discolours the truth a tad.
Some 40 years back, they met at work, fell in love and got married. The talking point of the union being mom’s status as an iyengar and dad’s as an iyer. Simply put, the iyers and the iyengars are two castes of the Brahmin community, each, when given the chance, profess superiority to each other on all counts. If you listen closely, an Iyengar talking about an Iyer will say ‘Iyer a?’ in a condescending tone. And vice versa.
Mom tells me that when she told her dad about the marriage, he vowed to stand by her at any cost. Dad never told me what happened, but allow me to hazard a guess. His mother (my grandmother), threatened to go on a fast unto death. My dad threatened to go on a parall…

Unfair and unlovely

If time is money, the demonetization drive has ensured that many Indians are already very rich because they have suddenly been taught the virtue of patience.
A crossing near my house got to be very busy and a new signal was installed to help regulate the flow. Every single day, I see people break the signal from all sides without paying heed to their safety or anyone else’s. The people who break the signals glare at you for following the rules. You feel guilty for being patient.
The signal is red and people behind you are honking as if there was a reward for it. People shout the choicest of epithets at you for not moving and standing your ground. Either that or I need to go for an eye check up and see if I am colour blind. In another part of the world, orange maybe the new black but as far as I know, red is not the new green.
Stand in a queue at the railway station, in the petrol bunk, airport check-in counter ,or to pay a bill, and there will always be that one asshole who tries to…

Rasam rice

On some days, Bangalore weather becomes nostalgic. And for some time, everyone is permitted to live in the past. On one such June day, the sun wistfully playing hide and seek and the clouds emitting just enough raindrops for an instagram photo, the weather flirting with winter, the craving for rasam becomes telling.
Rasam. Rasam rice. Whichever, doesn’t matter.
First, use your fingers to make space in the middle of a heap of rice. Don’t protest when the dollop of ghee gleefully sinks into the rice. The rasam should scald, otherwise the ride isn’t worth it. The flesh on your fingers crawl when you dip them into the rasam, but trust me, keep with it. No good thing has been known to ever come easy. The impatient wait for a few seconds and an insignificant morsel is savoured. Gooseflesh ensues.
Slowly but steadily, bigger portions are savoured. to enhance the experience and attain nirvana, combine it with crisp papad and sandige.  Personal favourites include molagu rasam, thakkali rasam, jee…