Drowning in shame….

Posted on TOI, 25th Jan 2011 http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tiger-trail/entry/drowning-in-shame

This country continues to be plundered and looted by internal invasions. Neta after neta comes, sees, conquers, loots and then becomes a blip on the radar. Some loot, go and come back again to where they started. Where do they go? They probably go on an extended holiday to their sprawling villa in Goa and they spend time by a turquoise blue private pool sipping pinacoladas. They probably don’t even know to swim, but they would most likely ensure that they have a sprawling pool in the house. It looks “grand” they would think. Our netas may even have a few brunette coaches teaching him how to swim. Our netas who cannot swim would probably stand in knee-deep water and remain in reverie over the wealth that he has amassed by looting your money and mine.

The state of Jharkhand is gearing up for the 34th National Games that is to commence on the 12th of February. The official website proudly declares how deeply the love for sports runs in the state. I am glad that there is this love being encouraged, where new talent is showcased and vistas being opened for those who wish to look beyond cricket. Young girls and boys with a fire in their belly are preparing for the National Games with utmost sincerity. And I hoped that the National Games gets a fair share of publicity and support for the right reasons. My hopes came plummeting after watching Star TV’s news footage of the swimming team prepare for the games. The swimmers were lying flat on the ground and performing freestrokes, butterfly strokes and breaststrokes on muddy, uneven land. Each one looked intent and each swimmer looked purposeful. Each stuck to their lane and was at their synchronized best in their attempt at simulated swimming. And these young boys and girls continued their animated actions despite laughing onlookers and prying cameras. If this was a choreographed training meant to hone their skills, I would have not paid much attention to this simulated training. I was aghast to learn instead that this was their only form of training.

The National Games Organizing committee had apparently ignored a request for a practice pool for these swimmers.Some of these swimmers appeared in front of the cameras, ignoring the chortle around them and stated how they were laughed at when they started practising in one of the local school grounds. These swimmers said that they then had to change their practise grounds so that no one could watch them and laugh at them.Looks like their efforts were in vain, as the cameras seemed to have tracked them to their current location and relay their plight to the nation. The swimmers have been practising for years and one swimmer remorsefully stated how their efforts would be wasted if they are not provided with a pool to practice in. Their crestfallen faces would have made any responsible Indian seethe.

Not surprisingly, I did get an uneasy feeling about the National Games when I saw a picture of Suresh Kalmadi’s appear in the Governance squad. This is one man who should be laughed at and not those hard working swimmers who are trying to live their dream and bring glory to their state. There is little point in sacking Kalmadi now. He has amassed wealth for the next hundred generations of Kalmadis. It makes me sick in the stomach to watch neta after neta wade away from the deep end and ultimately disappear into oblivion. And in this particular case, the state that has allowed its coffers to be looted to the tune of a few thousand crores cannot spare change for a practice pool. Apparently, the Ministry of sports may do something about this situation; long after the national team squad has been made a mockery of. We are probably the only country in this world that treats its national athletes with utter disdain barring those who play cricket and those who get endorsements. After watching the plight of these swimmers, I had no choice, but to drown in a sprawling pool of shame.


12 Responses to “Drowning in shame….”

  1. Sharmila,

    At the CWG village, there was water everywhere…pools and puddles and mosquitoes… and here there isnt a drop! Looks like we can never get our act right. I wonder if people could pool their resources and build a swimming pool for these eager aspirants. But would our sincere attempt get bogged down by bureaucracy and never-ending red tape…?

    Swimming on the ground reminds me of our ragging phase. We had to wade in an imaginary pool (on the floor), sit on an imaginary chair for hours, ‘drive’ a car and go shopping… Our seniors really tested the span of our imagination! But that was harmless fun. What the government is doing certainly isnt.

    Are we being ragged by our government with a twisted sense of humor?


  2. I really wonder how could one practice without water..esp..when its swimming or any other water sport..!
    It would be really a magical thing if they win the actual swimming competitions…

  3. Anand Khare Says:

    swimming wahi practice nayi.


  4. Sharmila, mean girl you made me wait for two days with this response. But waiting for you is also such a privilege…

    But hey why are you so shocked at the sight of our swimmers practicing on grounds instead of pools? Aren’t we a country that prides itself in its ability to make do with what we have? Aren’t we the best jugadus? And what about our netas, do they not hold fancy degrees without ever entering any college campus, hold Driver’s Licenses without ever sitting behind the wheel, make a lot of money without ever working for it, have the gall to call themselves law makers when they are in fact the biggest law breakers, who speak of peace and communal harmony when they are always the ones to instigate people to riot, loot and kill each other, who claim to know what is best for our country and it’s 100 million people when they don’t even understand what is good for their own selves. As compared to all of this, I don’t think practicing swimming on the ground is such a big deal.

  5. Practice pool might be needed, but i don’t understand why they cant just practise in the main pool ? Or is that not finished yet ..maybe going to finish on midnight of Feb 11th.

    And if the games are on Feb 12th, what are the athletes doing in Jharkhand in January ? Getting acclimatised ? …atleast last time i saw Jharkhand wasn’t famous for it’s European climate.

    Also I don’t believe whole of Jharkhand has just one pool …sure Madhu Koda’s bungalow has one with a gold plated bottom and Bollywood hotties as lifeguards.

    • error ….my friend’s name got stuck in the form …that was me Ninad.

    • Ninad – The main pool is getting renovated or something to the tune of it for the event and yes, not finished as yet. The swimming team which was practicing is from Jharkhand itself! This is the state team. Lol on your last line…;)

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