This post started the night I watched the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing but somehow got delayed and now we have the first individual Gold, the first ever for India. And suddenly the whole of India and every Indian is excited about Olympics and Sports (other than cricket and football. Yeah, hockey is long forgotten. We did not even qualify in Beijing.).
When I got the news that India won a gold I was elated, not because an Indian had won "it" The Gold atlas but a wholesome reliefe that the long due job is finally done.
More than a Billion people and not one who is worth the iron (I mean the Gold). Of coz there is. Abhinav Bindra initiated it and I am hoping more will follow. What I am worried about is the commercial and political advantages that people start thinking of. I am happy for India, Bindra and the sports fraternity to find another baby to fiddle with but I have my own apprehensions as well. Reminds me of the year when Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai brought the titles of world beauty and India was the focus of the beauty world. The whole mollycoddling that followed and all the pageants on television were obscenely troubling to me.
Thankfully, Olympics is not to be taken so lightly. It required lifetime of dedication and devotion to ones talent and art, so I am hopeful and pray the very best for the Indian sportsmenship. Bindra who, according to the newspapers, belongs to a well off family did not have to depend on the government facilities to forward his practice. But now I hope and pray the government will care for the upcoming sports prodigies of Mighty India.
Now, about the spectacular opening ceremony; it was SPECTACULAR, awe inspiring and quite intimidating. And these are not just my words but the words used by the NBC commentators. Everyone was simply stupefied by the Chinese spectacle and surely that is what their intentions were. It was an expensive display of power and superiority but whatever it was intended for the foremost intention was to be loved and appreciated and so it was. I loved it; I just can’t stop gushing at what a magnificent assortment of extravaganza it was. For some reason the only American network with the sole rights to the Olympics Games planned not to show the Live Opening ceremony. So everyone in US could only watch it 12 hrs after it took place, along with the deluge of advertisements. Still loved every bit of it.
While I write about Bindra, I want to mention Raj Bhavsar, the 27 year old Indian American Gymnast who finally made the US gymnast team this time. The US gymnast team won a bronze and I was able to catch the late night Olympics recordings and the interview of the gymnasts. I feel happy for Raj. Bhavsar makes the Indian American community proud.
Note: You and Me is the Olympics 2008 Theme song.