Age No Bar...
'India will get twenty five medals in the next Olympics' my ever charming friend declared grandiosely, notwithstanding the hyperbole.
'Why not thirty?' I yawned.
'Anyway that is what the Sports Minister said, didn't he?'.
'Exactly!' my friend said.' That is why I am repeating it. Haven't you seen the exciting serial ' es Minister'?'.
'I have', I said.
'Our target should be thirty five', my friend continued. 'Then we will get twenty five'.
'Look' I said.' Let us set definite goals. Let us set the target at fifty' I said.
'Hmm...' my friend pondered. 'That looks realistic, then surely twenty five is achievable'. I nodded.
'The Minister's word is final' I said.
'We must veto it'.
'For this', my friend said importunately' we need to train'.
'In what?' I asked curiously.
'In sports obviously' my friend replied.
'We must catch them young'.
'But is four years enough?' I asked.
'For example if we get hold of ten year olds, they will be only fourteen'.
'Exactly' my friend said.
'Haven't you heard of Nadia Comaneci, she was around that age'.
'But that was gymnastics!'.
'My dear friend, how can I convince you? We have to try all the sports, and Indians are artists, you know, gymnastics is an art'.
Not knowing much about it, the school gym being the only thing I remembered, which I avoided like a plague, I changed the topic.
'What about hockey?' I queried.
'What about it' he counter questioned.
'We were last' I said.
'No, no' my friend said we will concentrate on shooting, archery, boxing, shooting, wrestling, sprinting, tennis, badminton and hope also for right decisions, and opponents spraining their legs'. He winked.
I thought enough was enough.
'And, what may I ask you, will be the age of the participants?' I asked.
'Age no bar' my friend declared. 'This is a democracy. Everyone can participate, including anonymous ladies clad in red shirts and blue jeans...this is unity and the right to participate, for you'.
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Ananya S Guha
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