For once, Incorrigible India may be acting ahead of time. Even as our sport stars strive to give more silver lining to our medals tally in London, our contingent for the next Rio Olympics is already in the making. Seeing the stellar show by some off-field players on home turf during this Olympic season, they sure qualify to be in the Rio contingent and how!
The Lady in Red
Well, starting with the start, the biggest challenge for the next contingent is: Who will play the Lady in Red at Rio to flank the flag-bearer at the opening? The obvious choice for this role is Mamata Didi, who has displayed a decided flair for seeing Red. It is being hoped that the best way to rid her of her Maoist misgivings would be to make her turn Red in Rio, even if only for a day. This way she won't need to march out of television studios on sighting Red because she'll as it is be making it to the idiot box as the gatecrasher. Into the Red camp, that is.
100m track event
The person who undeniably qualifies for this event in the next Olympics is neither a wannabe Bolt or Blake but the man who got hit by a bolt from the blue and went sprinting, not on to the track, but underground. Gopal Goyal Kanda, the sacked Haryana minister on the run in the Geetika suicide case, could be a frontrunner for a medal in running by virtue of the supersonic speed with which he bolt-ed for cover the moment he realised he was on the track list. Of the constabulary, that is.
Seeing how our controversy-court-ing tennis stars crashed out of the London Olympics, the search has been on for new partnerships, what with a mixed doubles player feeling she had been used as bait. Now a seasoned player could end this wait. A prized performance that sure qualifies for a mixed doubles berth is none other than that of Haryana leader Chander Mohan. This Haryana politician, who first went racing into the arms of (now late) Anuradha Bali, alias Fiza, and then went sprinting back to his first partner-where he saw greater net gain for his political future, and whose parting shot may have spelt the end of the game for Fiza-has proven that he possesses greater proclivity for partnership change than even Bhupathi & Co.
Team Anna is eligible for a berth, well not in the Lower House yet, but in the next Olympic team for shifting and lifting the heavy weight of expectations riding on it from India Gate to Parliament House with the announcement of its intent to play party politics. Just when it seemed to be flagging under the weight of public expectations, Team Anna felt it could carry more weight in the future by acquiring some political muscle.
Though there are contenders aplenty for this event, three power-packed performances of the present season qualify to run for Rio. The first contender is none other than BJP leader LK Advani, who has been spending precious time on the parliamentary playground practicing shooting, from the lip, that is. It's another matter that his shooting session backfired after Sonia Gandhi made him eat his words for trying to t-rifle with Congressional reputations by dubbing UPA-2 as "illegitimate".
A close contender in this in-House talent hunt for shooting skills peculiar to parliamentary mouths is newly anointed union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. He was caught practicing shooting his mouth off by a fellow parliamentarian who, as an in-House brand ambassador of the film fraternity, didn't quite relish the ministerial mouth paying lip service to cinematic concerns. No wonder, MP Jaya Bachchan was quick to cut short Shinde's rapid-fire shooting from the lip when he happened to quip that the Assam turmoil should not be seen as a saga for another
Soon after, UP minister Shivpal Yadav managed to steal the thunder from Advani and Shinde by virtue of his imparting theft training to bureaucrats to "steal a little", showing he is more at home with shooting from the lip than even Shinde. Last heard, Yadav was also running, into trouble, that is. (The writer is a Chandigarh-based columnist)