27 January, 2021

Circle Of Misery

As official freeloaders piled on, the Indian challenge at Atlanta ended even before it began

Circle Of Misery

THE two-week all-expenses-paid holiday to the United States of America is all over for the 47-strong Indian contingent. True to the great tradition of rejecting all that glitters, the tyagis return—having spurned gold, silver and even bronze to the best of their abilities. And up there, somewhere, in the centenary year of his creation of global sport's most spectacular smorgasbord, Baron Pierre de Coubertin must be applauding the bunch of no-hopers from a land of 950 million—probably 951 million by now—who fulfil his ideal of 'taking part, not triumphing', in letter, spirit and deed, Olympics after dreadful Olympics.

When had we last chased lucre? Sixteen years ago in Moscow, in hockey, and that because no one else wanted to. Had liberalisation sown the seeds of 'conspicuous consumption'? It hadn't. And in the custom-made clothes designed by Ritu Beri, the Indians looked thoroughly exposed. Where had we a chance? Look at it through that other great Indian tradition—superstition. We contested in 13 events and, well, 13 is 13 is 13. Maybe we should have...



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