The bell rings,
five rings of glory it is...
Silence! Of respect, wisdom, of pain;
this silence is silver here,
not golden like the English phrase of yore;
but this day is India's, made in England.
Dust settles only to rise as a storm;
a village bursts into a mela:
Laughter louder than crackers;
laced with sweat, joy, grit n blood...
Yeah, the bond of blood;
now let there be lights, camera n action.
Lights! Those spot lamps tonight,
bright, some coloured ones too,
all but obscure that first rays of dawn
which charted a line; a snaky,
dusty village path for a wiry boy
to scale Mount Olympus as a man.
-- On the scenes at Indian Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar's house in Baprola village, Najafgarh, Delhi, where I watched the former world wrestling champion's gold medal bout at the London Games with his family and friends on a small TV, in his younger brother's bedroom. The wrestler's loss in the final was greeted with sadness before his dear ones and neighbours snapped out of their disappointment to celebrate their champion's successive medals at the Olympics - bronze in Beijing and now silver in London: this to add to his world title in 2010.
The fanfare and that sickening media commotion in this small village on the outskirts of the country's capital is a sharp contrast to the initial days of Sushil's journey. The way he walked alone on those dusty lanes to the village akhara (wrestling academy) and then the training centre at Chattrasal Stadium in Old Delhi; followed by the hardships - the sweat and the blood literally - and then the big podiums...
The lines in this poem salute that journey, salute the great champion!
|Sushil celebrates his semifinal win in London (pic courtesy: www.buzzintown.com)|
|Focal point: The audience at Sushil's residence|