Friday, August 19, 2016

Musings and Ramblings

Disclaimer: Being an armchair critic and criticizing other armchair critics.. Does it make sense?

I met a nice Indian gentleman today during my regular commute. He was twice my age and just very friendly.  He moved to the US back in the 80's. We started talking and invariably the topic of Olympics came up.

He asked my views and I just showed my nonchalance. He was very upset with our "Indian" team for not being able to bag any medals. Frankly, I have accepted the fact that India is a nation of cricket lovers. People aspire to be cricketers and not athletes and this bit does not hurt me. I may not like the game but that's really my problem to deal with. There is a lot that needs to change. Athletics has never been mainstream in India and year round people seem to be okay with that fact. When the olympics buzz start once in four years suddenly everybody is eager to see our athletes win. There are Facebook posts expressing disappointments. Anger and outrage expressed in less than 140 characters. All for what really? Four years of practice/ training/ dedication/ effort to be the best for a day.  Isn't that a bit too much?

Anyway, moving on, the gentleman surely looked pissed and more so with my nonchalance. He was one step away from singing - "Maa, Tujhe Salam". Ironical, isn't it? Sitting far away and judging India's performance? Frankly, I am done debating with these armchair patriots. I don't care anymore. I realized at the end of the day a reaction is all that they need. I had to be somewhere and I was running out of patience.

We talked more and he suddenly remarked how India needed more agricultural/ rural colleges/ sports colleges than Art schools.  I rolled my eyes and gave him my piece of mind. A lot of people think that they are an unnecessary expense. A country which is struggling to provide basic education to everyone shouldn't spend on art schools. I don't agree with this school of thought. Firstly, art is a part of education in my opinion. It should be taught and celebrated just the way we teach and celebrate mathematics, medicine etc. We need dreamers, believers, rebels and that craziness. We need people who understand art. We need people to look at things differently and show others to see things differently.

Before you argue with your point that becoming an artist doesn't require a degree just talent I would like to remind you that this post is not about why should you attend an art school. I just think that closing down art schools won't solve our problem.

I am not an artist and well I can barely get anything right but I have an utmost respect for the artists.
Putting yourself out there is not easy.

I started writing this post two days back and today my twitter timeline was flooded with PV Sindhu tweets. All of a sudden my fellow Indians are proud of her. Everybody has been posting messages with hashtag #Respect. What do they know about respect?
Where are #Respect posts for Lalita Babar, Manish Rawat and Dutee Chand who performed exceptionally?
Two weeks back they were dissing every one. You ask any of these guys to donate money for any sports event linked to a charity and they avoid you like a plague. I bet most of them didn't know anything about the game apart from Saina Nehwal before this. The only point that I am trying to make here is stop being so obsessed with medals. Nobody bothers to check their performances. Performance is not equal to medals. We as a nation don't bag too many medals at the olympics and its on all of us and not just on our government/ officials/ politicians. We need to encourage our young ones to take up athletics. We need to stop being armchair critics. We need to do more.



  1. So well said. My thoughts exactly. I wanted to say this out loud, but couldn't have said it better.