Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sports and work

I was quite amused to read that Rajyavardhan Rathore was awarded the AVSM (Ati Visisht Seva Medal) - the second highest military honor for serving officers - last year. For what one might ask, and the answer stares you right in the face!

I have no idea about the gentleman's exploits in the Army, but the medal was surely for the silver he clinched at the Athens Olympics. It was a huge achievement undoubtedly, but to award him a military honor for that reeks of something nasty! Let's face it, Mr. Rathore earned his plaudits and awards on the sportsfield, and he got his due there. Why was there any need to give him an honor that (I think) is normally awarded to the top military commanders for their work or for brave men who have played their role on the frontiers?

I do remember that after her brilliant performance at the Asiad in the mid-80s PT Usha too wanted a promotion in her Railways job! Our good ol' friend Mohd. Azharuddin thought he needed a promotion in SBI after winning the test series against England in 1993 - well before he found other means to supplement his meagre income! Needless to say Azhar didnt get his promotion to the DGM level!

I think sports-people in India are a fairly insecure lot, partly because opportunities dont exist post-retirement (or when the music is over!). A lot of them just disappear into oblivion. Some are remembered off and on for their achievement, but most just fade away. However, sportspeople abroad shift gears and move into the corporate world with ease, or just go into coaching.

One case which comes to my mind clearly is Eric Heiden. He won 5 gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980 and was active on the cycling circuit for a few years before he moved into retired life. Even after quitting the arena, he joined medical school and is now a leading orthopedic surgeon.

It's the uncertain future which ails Indian sports-people. It's probably the reason why the Yuvrajs and Irfan Pathans do whatever advertisements they can do now, when the going is good. Who knows what the future might hold for them a year or two down the line. Might as well make merry while the sun shines. But yet at the same time, they lose focus on what they're mainly here to do - play cricket!

It's all a vicious cycle all said and done!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog with interesting topics. I have a website that offers alot of controversial topics here. Just go to the links page and look for "Video Reviews"