Friday, August 19, 2016

An Open Letter to Shobhaa De

Dear Salacious Auntie,

Ok. It's been a while since I last wrote a scathing post and God knows I've resisted the temptation.
No More!

Shobhaa De! For a lady whose Wikipedia page describes as a columnist famous for writing juicy gossip about inane people and 'depicting sex in fiction', you do realise that you need to stay relevant and in the news, for any news is good news for you. Even ones that could paint a bulls-eye on your pale-skinned Indian bottom. 
And I appreciate the fact that you have been able to stay in the news. Bravo for that!
You did manage to get your name trending. Good Job! 
You are the shrivelled poster-auntie of SEO specialists. 
You are the dream of every C-grade 'actress' and 'have-beens' and 'well-trieds'.

Now, we know that you have taken on the mantle of the Great Indian Dream and declared yourself as the Saviour of Indian dignity, but your tweets are the literal equivalent of a half-digested, worm-filled turd that street dogs (sorry dogs, no offence) pass. 
When you said what you said in your now infamous tweet, you just expelled your half-digested, worm-infested turd onto yourself. 

Of course, you are partially correct. Not everyone makes a living like you do. 
Olympics is one of those sporting events that have retained its intent and glory. 
Olympics is the only arena that tests the best of the best. The only event where professionals compete with amateurs and only the best man or woman win. 
Olympics is the only sporting event which hosts more countries and their best athletes in more disciplines than you can possibly think of. 
Of course, I realise none of this matters to you, because if gossiping was an Olympic sport, you'd still not get past the heats. Pity!

Our athletes and sportspeople aren't going to get as many medals as the Chinese or the Americans. They probably will never get there in our lifetimes. And do you know why?
Its is because of people like you. 
It is because of people who hire people like you.
It is because of people who drool at your tweets.
It is because of people like you who would rather tweet about the problem than come up with meaningful solutions.

A couple of decades ago, there was a TV show on cable that showcased children who would train in a particular sport/discipline to compete professionally. 
While I can't remember the name anymore, I used to watch it religiously and marvel at the amount of training, dedication, the pain and the sacrifice they had to endure to become the best. While they were still children. I was astounded! 
Ofcourse, I was abroad at that time and my perception of how India was very similar to what yours is now. Childish, impish and immature. 
But having lived in India for the last 20 years, I've seen the struggles and the challenges, the fruit of victory and the pain of defeat closely.
As a college student, I've competed in swimming competitions and it was unscrupulously bureaucratic. 
Apart from the 1% of the athletes at the top, no one (and I repeat NO ONE) ever ever gets the respect they deserve, the support they need and the security they crave 
Indian sportspeople are a ridiculed lot. Correction: Barring cricketers, sportspeople from every other discipline are neglected and shunned. 
Read Arjun Chandur's answer to What if Michael Phelps was born in India? on Quora
Our bureaucracy and writers like you may not break bones, but you sure can break their spirit. 
And in case they do survive you and the bureaucracy, and make it to the Olympics, they will still suffer from our public apathy. Walk into any one of the SAI facilities in a city of your choice. You'll notice that they don't even have a decent working toilet. The facilities are less than international standards and the coaches, nevermind.

Don't be surprised if they can't make it to the quarterfinals. Be thankful if they do.
They have already surprised themselves by getting better than 50 other athletes who are the best in their country. 
If they do win a medal, any medal, celebrate them. Fete them for sure and when the party moves on, encourage them to grow and reach greater heights.  
If they don't win a medal, don't pounce on them because it wasn't their fault in the first place. They did give their best shot. Read Sportskeeda's answer to What is the "Vault of Death" and why is to so controversial? on Quora

We have never been a country who liked any other sport anyway. Olympics even less!
Heck, come to think of it, we are so confused about what sport to support. We think Hockey is our national game, but na. It isn't. Cricket is played by a handful of nations and we still manage to lose the World Cup!
Which leaves Kabbadi and well.. Chess. Neither of which are Olympic sports yet. 

See, Auntie, the problem is not them. The problem is clearly people like you. 
I challenge you to try a sport. Any sport. And excel in it. Get to the Olympics and get a medal. I dare you, double dare you. Nope. I know you won't. You can't.
It's far too easier for a lady who is long past her prime, to sit in that recliner and play thumb-wars with your tweet-happy fingers and ruffle people like me. 
It's easier to google for salacious pictures of Jwala Gutta and Sania Mirza than it is to go out and practice a sport 5 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Finally, to sum all this up, Auntie, in the words of The Rock 'It doesn't matter what you think... because you can take the batteries out of your smartphone, lube it up turn that sum bitch sideways and stick it strait up your candy ass!'.

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