Friday, September 22, 2006

Sustaining success

I'm not sure if it happens everywhere in the world, but we Indians seem to have a pretty shortsighted view of appreciating and rewarding talent. It seems almost myopic when our government and other agencies shower praises and presents on achievers in any field, especially sports, when they recognize success at short stints as exemplary performance. Look at the way heros and superheros are made out of sportspersons like cricketers. There's no doubt that these people have slogged their lives out to reach where they are. They also deserve all the praise for their remarkable achievements. But there's a flip side to this kind of patronage. Often, as time passes, we notice that the performance of these achievers goes down while their name and fame attracts them to commercial activities like product endorsements and other non-core stuff. Unfortunately when they fail to deliver, their poor peformance is often attributed to lack of commitment to the game, failure to innovate or failure to be consistent in performance.

Similar seems to be the fate of the young tennis 'sensation' Sania. Promoted by media and government as a youth icon who should be emulated, she seems to have got much more than what an average person wishes for at her age. As we all know, it takes indomitable courage, perseverance, and conviction to excel in whatever we do. Most of us give in when challenges thrown at us get too demanding to endure and 'enjoy' its inherent duress. But, Sania's ardour for the game, combined with her gutsy and gritty persona her got her laurels initially. Soon we started building expectations...we expected her to outperform herself. She has always been in the spotlight for various non-sporty reasons. What seems to have got overlooked is the fact that she's the most privileged to be supported and backed by sponsors and well-wishers. To read more check out this story:

In a country of billion plus population how many talented people get the necessary encouragement to nurture their talent? There could be many more Sanias among our crores of girl children waiting to be picked, groomed and presented to the world. It's time we tap abundance of talent that it available in plenty in towns and small cities. Take a cue from Iqbal, the movie. Sure, exceptional peformance can catapult people to the pinnacle of fame, but it takes tremendous effort to continue to remain at the top.

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