The night of April 2nd, 2011 was deemed historical for purely one reason- India had won the Cricket World Cup for the second time. Large hordes of people came out on the roads like swarm of bees to celebrate. They drank sherry, made merry and forgot all their professional and personal failures in the euphoria of their nation winning a mere trophy. Now don’t get me wrong! I am not a bitter, cynical, anti-sport fanatic. I am merely an innocent bystander who is equally enthusiastic about sports as all those patriotic nationals on the road that day.
All I am trying to decipher is what made everyone paint the entire country red only because we won a game? Okay, a highly ‘revered’ game that is! But what happened to the doctrines of our parents, teachers and guardians who used to instil in us the notion of studies before sports, books before balls and trigonometry before tennis and who were more than eager to pay for five tuition classes their child went to but used to crank up their noses on the mere mention of a bat and ball? Has that changed because of the fact that an under graduate Dhoni is earning more than their IIM passed out son? Or that an almost non-existent Vijay Kumar is now frolicking in oodles of moolah, something that even Harvard graduates cannot achieve easily, because he won an Olympic silver medal.
Couple these arguments with an uncomplicated fact that children just love to play! You don’t have to run after your kids asking them to practice cricket or basket ball, instead you have to plead them to come home even after many gruelling sessions of practicing in harsh sunlight or torrential downpour. The high that you get from catapulting the ball across the boundary cannot be juxtaposed with solving an algebraic equation. Although agreed, that the sense of accomplishment on clinching a government job which is a pathway to a steady life, is lofty. But can it beat the unadulterated joy of getting into the Indian National Cricket team? Every plebeian, right from the chaiwala to the manager, knows Sachin Tendulkar but the knowledge about a certain C.V. Raman is considered esoteric. A sports person can today subdue the whole brain brigade of IAS officers, CEOs of multinational companies and even Chief Ministers, making them the most ‘elite professionals’ in the world!
There was a substantial number of mindsets that used to view the profession of a sports person as fickle, unreliable and an ‘obligation’ to do something with your life when you just don’t have the requisite wit to do anything better. But that number is dwindling fast as the recognition meted out to all the sports and not just cricket is reaching new pinnacles every day. Parents are getting more cognizant of the career opportunities that their next little Milkha Singh or P T Usha can avail. They are ready to support and provide for their children’s sport careers. The willingness to take risk with a sports-oriented career has escalated along with the benefits that can be reaped out of it. The raised unsure eyebrows and furrowed foreheads have given way to equanimous eyes. A welcome change is to be seen at the horizon.
Though it is true that not every curly haired cricketer can become a Tendulkar, but ploughing through the potential is the only way to find the next Master Blaster. You like a game, you learn the rules and then you play. The spirit of sports is that simple. Irrefutably, you learn a lot more about life from a kabaddi match than the study of photosynthesis. You learn the quality of perseverance, team spirit and the never say die attitude, even when a whole group of smelly urchins are piled on you. Thus, acquiring skills in any sport can have benefits only and if that avocation becomes passion, you can have a lifetime of such constant life lessons gained in a fun way! Who, in their sane mind, would then prefer sticking to just bookish edifications?!
Besides if you enjoy what you do for a living, it won’t be work for you anymore. All this can make you reach only one perceptible and evident conclusion- SPORTING SENSE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN COMMON SENSE TODAY! You have to have that ‘Sports ka keeda’ within you (pun intended) to make it big!