Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abhinav Bindra - one in a billion or one in a Yuga!

Perhaps we are good at aiming??

Thretha Yuga

Dwapara Yuga

Kali Yuga

Congratulations Abhinav!




Anonymous said...

i think you add more info about it.

Anonymous said...

that doesn't happen everyday. wish you all the best.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Add more info??

I think I did the very best comment and commendation:)

The link to Abhinav's blog mentioned in the post, will keep us posted of how the world reacts and how he reacts! That will give us more than enough information.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Read his blog. Commments are jumping minute by minute

Anonymous said...

i think you meant good..but

Rama -> Tretha yuga
Arjuna -> Dwapaara yuga
This guy -> Kali yuga...

is'nt it bit too much and going over the top?

This is just one medal, and people from other countries like china are piling on the gold medals including in shooting...

so "one in a yuga" is clearly over the top..so i'm very surprised that YOU have put this guy in the same league as Rama and Arjuna

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Good. I expected someone to ask me this.
Now I have a chance to tell why I did that.

The first thing that came into my mind in the victory at the Olympics is the similarity in the sport with archery.
The aiming and eyesight requirements are the major assets needed in both archery and shooting.

Even though other sports have been reported in the ithihasas, archery stands out among them.

Rama in Thretha yuga and Arjuna in Dwapara yuga (villukku vijayan)were the heroes known for this sport.

There had been only one hero in this respect in each of these yugas.
Since I don't foresee any other Indian in future to get a name like Abhinav, I thought of hailing him as the hero of Kali yuga.
That is why the comparison.

The comparison is a sarcastic comment on the state of affairs of sports in this country.
Look at the way Abhinav succeeded.
He had all the money that an average Indian can not even dream of, for preparing himself.
He was not trained in india, but in Germany. Rightfully he said that it was his family medal.
The nation had no role in his achievement.

The way the affairs in India are being managed, I don't foresee any scope for training one upto the Olympic standards in India. Abhinav is likely to remain as a one-time wonder for decades to come - atleast till I live to see.

That is why I said i gave the very best comment and commendation with a smiley.

Had I given this view of mine explicitly in the post itself an at the very first instance itself, I would have been condemned as a cynic who cries howl over everything. As things cool now,I dare to say this openly. Don't you agree with me, Mr Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

:-) now after reading your reply i notice the sarcasm :-) anyways by going through your posts i knew you would not write as it was obvious in the post... but with the sarcasm it makes sense :-)

Anonymous said...

Madam,I came across your blog by chance...it made me wonder..You grow to be a intellect by using the resources of a country and then use the same wisdom to convincingly derogate the nation...ain't it synonymous to backstabbing?Do people who think and speak so low of their own country have a right to live in it?

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Hello anonymous,

First I thought of writing a strong rebuttal of your comment on what country means and what this country has been made into.

But on second thoughts I find your comment kiddish and you need to go a long way in coming to terms with reality.
So I present here what I thought can best bring you down to earth.

To begin with here is the quotable quote from Alyque Padamsee,
"If Abhinav can get Katrina as his girl friend, then may be his stakes will improve"

Not to trail behind him is the reality reporting by Sunit Kaul (Deccan Chronicle)>>

"MARKET COOL “The boy will get quite a few brand sign-ups for now, but if he waits for too long, the euphoria will gradually evaporate. We’re all jumping up and down... just wait for two more weeks and then check the scenario. Public memory is short and the media’s memory is even shorter,” says Alyque Padamsee, theatre and ad personality. “Only cricket and Bollywood command a price in India, not shooting.”

Reputed ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar is more direct in his assessment. “Abhinav’s feat is invaluable, but his ad value is zero. I would pay him Rs 5,000 per endorsement. It’s a pity really — here is a champion who has done the nation proud and we start weighing his value in terms of money which is not fair. But he has nothing to offer.”

Collage Sports Management is keen to renew their contract with the baby-faced marksman after the gold, having managed him from 2003 to 2006. Director Latika Khaneja, who also manages Virender Sehwag among others, feels differently. “Abhinav could be the biggest star if he wants. He is young, good looking and has a photogenic face. All these factors will count in raising his brand value. Shooting has never been on the national radar. But this is a huge feat — this is about an Olympic gold medal.”

A NICHE SPORT History, though, suggests otherwise. Armyman Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver in the double trap event at the Athens Olympics, but never got the eyeballs on TV he was supposed to despite signing endorsement deals with Sahara, Hero Honda and Coca-Cola.

While many agree that Bindra’s unprecedented feat will spearhead a revolution of sorts for sports in the country, not many are inclined to put their money where their mouth is since shooting only commands a niche audience.

A top-level PepsiCo source confirmed to this newspaper that the company will not chase Bindra and their focus will continue to be cricketers and Bollywood stars.
First know what you mean by 'country'.<<<

Enough anonympous?
Or you want more about what this country is about?

My opinion of country is what gave you a culture, a past - a glorious past - and a place for you to grow in that culture.
I still stick to it and am doing my best to show it to others in my blog - the prime motive of my write-ups is to bring out the culture, the ethos of this country which is best known as Bharata varsha.

By doing this I am not backstabbing.
I am trying to bring people to their senses.
I am trying to show what this country is all about.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

From Times of India,

Mera Bharat Kahan?
17 Aug 2008, 0336 hrs IST,
Shobhaa De

Little things make us happy. We are a bit too easy to please! One gold medal at the Olympic Games, and we are over the moon. As India enters the 61st year of its independence, it's important to get a few key perspectives in place. I heard about Abhinav Bindra's thrilling win from a bedraggled little girl selling tabloids at the traffic lights. It was raining rather heavily, and she was dressed in rags. Her tiny body and saucer eyes made her resemble the archetypal, romanticised waif — the poster girl for poverty, like the iconic image of the popular musical, Les Miserables. She tapped on the window of my car and lisped, "Madam, madam.... India ko gold medal mil gaya." She was shivering as she sold the damp paper to motorists, most of whom shooed her away.

The irony of the moment was hard to miss. While nobody can take away from crorepati Abhinav Bindra's individual achievement, the image of this emaciated street kid announcing his victory in distant Beijing, was a study in horrifying contrasts. Just a few metres away, i could see the rest of her family huddled under bright blue plastic sheets. The father was sorting out a heap of pirated books, while her mother was stringing jasmine blossoms into gajras... perhaps to adorn the chignons of our Mumbai memsaabs stepping out later for a night on the town. The kid was dancing with impatience, watchful of the traffic light turning green. Her unshod feet were immersed in puddles of filthy rain water. She could not possibly have known what that medal meant... but she did know it would sell more papers that day. And that made her happy! Amazing, how a complete stranger's win touches lives on different levels.

For the little girl, those few extra rupees may have translated into an extra vada pav at dinner. But for our canny politicians, Bindra's medal was an opportunity worth milking for their own glory. Take Maharashtra's chief minister, who magnanimously offered Rs 10 lakh to the gold medalist. Does this rich boy need it? Where does Maharashtra come into it? If the CM had Rs 10 lakh to spare and wished to acknowledge Bindra's victory, why didn't he put that money into a sports scholarship to benefit promising youngsters? Why offer monetary awards to someone who is a millionaire to begin with? Bindra is a particularly privileged sportsman who was born with a silver rifle... er ... spoon, in his mouth. He got to his present position, thanks to the happy fact that his father had the financial clout to support his son's passion. Lucky Bindra. He had what it takes to create a champion — the grit, determination and dough! India merely happens to be the country of his birth and can claim no credit for his impressive win. Bindra rose above and beyond what his country can provide... not only to him, but millions of others. He won despite being an Indian. Isn't that a really sad acknowledgement of this tattered state of ours?

But the waif at the traffic light proclaiming his victory to motorists does not realise this. She will never get to see the inside of a pucca home. For her, the blue plastic sheets will have to suffice. When she is a little older, her life will change. From selling newspapers, she may end up selling her body. Like so many others who survive on Mumbai's mean streets, turning tricks, hustling, peddling drugs. Her bright eyes and cheerful smile will be replaced by a hard, stony expression, a twisted mouth...but chances are she will still be working the same street, ducking into the back seat of an autorickshaw to satisfy customers looking for a monsoon quickie. If her father and mother haven't succumbed to some disease by then, they, too, will be languishing under the plastic sheets, living off her meagre earnings. Her line, "India ko gold mil gaya..." in such a depressing context, makes me ask, "Aur aapko — koila? Ya... woh bhi nahi?" Try telling her our Bharat is mahan. She may just punch you!

Jayasree Saranathan said...

From Hindusthan Times,

Listen to the self!
Sunday sentiments |
Karan Thapar
August 16, 2008

I often wonder if our media is schizophrenic. On the one hand, if you stand back and observe how we respond to situations you'll notice that, more often than not, we jump to extremes. Whether its adulation or criticism, we opt for the hyperbolic. Measured, balanced, judicious, well-considered comment eludes us. A string of adjectives trips off our tongues — or our pens — and then, like children, we start to compete and outdo each other.

Yet the amazing thing is somewhere at the back of our minds — or deep inside our hearts — we know we’re overdoing it. Whether its speech or action, we know when we’ve spoken or done too much. At times, we’re even capable of stepping outside our skins and commenting on ourselves. Like two different people, we can judge each other yet not stop the errant behaviour.

An email from Vishal Pant, hours after Abhinav Bindra’s Olympic gold, captures this Janus-headedness. Writing about the explosion of attention on TV— and anticipating the next day's papers — he says: “ A country of a billion is celebrating as if we have won the maximum golds at the Olympics! I hate to sound like a cynic but I get amazed when I see this kind of reaction. For God’s sake even countries like Ethiopia and Surinam have won golds. Hats off to Bindra — a huge achievement — but why are we going berserk?” For my part, I doubt if the American media greeted Phelps record-breaking tally of golds with similar glee!

The paradox is that Vishal is a senior producer at Times Now, a channel as guilty of going beserk as any other. But Vishal's response would not have been out of place at any of the competitor channels. Each of them have a handful of producers who lament their lack of balance — yet are unable to do anything about it. In fact, not just unable, even unwilling. They know their channels often lack perspective and balance but they accept that, even defend it, whilst admitting its wrong. Now, isn’t that schizophrenic?

What surprised me last Monday is that television anchors were so swept off their feet they failed to recognize Abhinav's modesty. When he responded to that ceaselessly asked, unimaginative old-chestnut ‘how do you feel?’ with a gentle reticent “there's not much to say … for me life will go on,” one concluded he was “blasé” while another commented “he seems to be taking it in his stride”. Tell me, is that such a bizarre thing to do?

Yet the sad part is this extreme response to Abhinav's achievement is a belittling of journalism. If a single gold medal — even if it's the first — can push into the background the crisis in Kashmir, the rising rate of inflation and the cash-for-votes corruption scandal then, surely, we are either a media that has its priorities upside-down or is desperately running away from bigger issues? Either way, that's what you expect of a comic state in a Verdi opera, not the world's largest democracy.

But why single out this week’s coverage of Abhinav? Was the treatment of the Arushi murder, the Scarlet Keeling rape, or the Delhi gay killings any different? In fact, you can find several examples each year stretching all the way back to Ganesh statues drinking milk! Exaggeration is our forté.

I suspect television news channels started this slide into madness. Their competition for eyeballs is in danger of converting journalism from all that you ought to know into all that you want to know and, even, all that you will readily and happily watch. Today, ten years later, our papers have caught up. They've dropped their commitment to high standards. Instead, they're racing down the same low road to cheap popularity and tabloid success.

So, here's my reply to Vishal — and all the others like him, hidden and unheard inside television and newspaper offices: “India is not going beserk but perhaps you guys in TV and the papers are. It’s time for you to do more than SMS. It’s time to act. If you don’t, you could drive the rest of us insane!”

Jayasree Saranathan said...

The irony behind India’s performance at Olympics

By Khushwant Singh
(Deccan Chronicle, 24-08-2008)

India’s first gold ever won by Abhinav Bindra should be seen alongside its failure to even qualify for the Olympic Games in hockey in which we were once world champions. Our record in the arena of international sports makes for sorry reading. We are not a sporting nation. We are mere spectators of others’ achievements. A nation of a billion people is outdone by countries with populations less than any of our metropolitan cities.

Don’t we have it in us to do better? I am sure we have and could do a lot better if we went about it the right way. We have to face the unpleasant fact that we can never hope to match people who have more muscle power than us — Americans, Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders, Japanese and the Chinese. They are physically stronger because they eat better, live better, train better to outrun us, outbox us, lift heavier weights, jump higher and longer, throw iron balls and javelins across longer distances. But there is no excuse for us not to be able to get the better of them in games that require more skill than stamina: shooting, archery, table-tennis, badminton and others. Initially, we should concentrate on these to achieve world-class status before we take on others.

I have a few half-baked notions on how to go about doing so. You may or may not agree with me, but spare a few minutes considering them. First, keep politicians out of sports bodies.

They are more interested in self-promotion and publicity than in games. A simple way is to disqualify MPs, MLAs and office-bearers of political parties from holding any office in sports administration. The likes of Sharad Pawar, Suresh Kalmadi and Vijay Kumar Malhotra should stick to their chief pre-occupation. Sports bodies should be administered by civil servants who are dedicated to sports.

Second, take sports consciousness down to the village and school level. Every village should have annual sports meets where boys and girls race, jump, shot putt, wrestle etc., and award winners with mementous. Every school should have provisions for indoor as well as outdoor competitive games such as table tennis, rifle shooting, archery, judo and jumping, and likewise rewarded with trophies on school annual days. This should go on through college with greater emphasis on individual competitive games rather than team games. By then, it would be evident which of the boys and girls have it in them to become world-class.

They should be given prolonged and expert coaching till in fact they come close to Olympic levels. And then only pick up likely winners of medals to compete in Olympic games. Try it out and watch the results.