FIFA UNDER-17 WORLD CUP
India is finally participating in the football world cup even though it is at the under 17 level but makes me proud and hopeful at the same time. Proud for obvious reasons but hopeful that our young guns who come across from all walks of life do not get embarrassed in front of the home fans by the traditional footballing power houses. Sometime back(2012), I was in attendance to see India play Bayern Munich in Delhi and no doubt we were steam rolled by the Bavarians but at least there was a hint of a fight that we showed when I was expecting India to roll over by six or seven. The matches will start from tomorrow with 24 teams participating and the final will be on the 24th of October with Nigeria being the defending champions.
|Faster, Higher, Stronger|
The Olympics, World Cups in different sports always stress on the importance of competing because if we are not physically fighting with guns and rockets then the only way to showcase the superiority of a nation is through the economic front or sports. Even Indian film industry or Bollywood movies in recent times have put the sporting perspective in the forefront with must watch films in the sports genre such as Chuck de India, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom, Pan Singh Tomar and Dangal to name just a few. In fact, before Perke was born, I had a discussion with my wife while watching the Amir Khan starrer Dangal that irrespective of being blessed with a boy or girl, I would make sure that our child not just participates but also shines in a sport of his or her liking. Competition is intrinsic to any individual and something that contributes to a large extent in making us better humans. Messi-Ronaldo, Federrer-Nadal, Sachin-Lara, Lin Dan-Lee Chong Wei, Floyd Mayweather Jr.- Many Pacquiao are some of the examples of rivalry at their peaks in different sports. The contrast in gamesmanship, attitude, personalities, finesse, fitness, hunger, desire, killer instinct are the qualities that separate these greats in their fields even though one is as competent as the other in terms of sheer drive to excel. For a team sport, nobody comes close to the pair of Ronaldo and Messi whereas competing as individuals would be best described by Federrer and Nadal. Franchises also contribute to a great extent in honing a skill set, following and superstars. Manchester United, Barcelona, Golden State Warriors just prove my point. With globalization opening up new horizons, the pinnacle for any man or woman is if they can be bread winners through their sport which probaly starts as a hobby or recreation but knows no boundaries in terms of potential equated with marketing. As a couple we decided that we will not add to our son but both of us know the feeling of sharing because either one of us had at least a sibling.
Growing up as the elder son did have it’s perks but me and my brother are as different from each other as chalk from cheese. Bunny(yours truly) is an extrovert, scarecrow physique who believes in cardio rather than weight training, always interested in novels, music, sports and movies whereas my brother is an introvert, health conscious(gym freak) and is the studious type seldom getting distracted with anything else which has somewhat changed after he got married for obvious reasons. The difference is so stark that to drill it in, he earns more than six times compared to what I earn but this is not my insecurity or a complaint, just a fact. He works out of Vancouver and has traveled the world. Looking back, we were so independent and so indifferent to each other that it is exactly these qualities that bind us as a family and long may it continue with God’s grace. We did play sports together for recreation and I eventually represented my school and college in cricket.
From a completely strategic point of view in sports, there are quite a few intricacies involved which find resonance in our day to day lives. The concept of aggressor-retriever in racket sports is similar to individuals who are aggressive on the road contributing to road rage or a “retriever” doing the needful in an office without going overboard. When the game is not right or if one is having an off day then he/she looks at playing the percentage shots by limiting the flamboyance and toning down the extravagance which is similar to somebody in the corporate field who is bereft of sleep having worked really hard and just about manages the day’s tasks with shots of coffee or a teacher not able to concentrate properly because her maid did not turn up and she just provides notes rather than explaining properly. Intuition, anticipation or sixth sense is seldom characterized by a sedentary lifestyle but is in full bloom when it comes to the field or competing individually.