For a sports fan it must be bliss to be alive today, though, in his all-consuming passion not to miss the variety of action on display, it must be difficult to enjoy and focus on any one event.
What a feast on offer! At the press of a button, you can watch footballers displaying their wizardry in controlling through their feet a teasingly roving ball and goading it to follow a chosen path.
If this does not satisfy you, then switch channels and get absorbed in watching a tennis ball flying back and forth at the speed of a bullet. Even here it is hard to chose. Do you want to watch a Federer, despite making innumerable errors of late, show a mastery over his racquet which controls the ball as if on a leash, or watch a Nadal defy the law of gravity with his inexhaustible energy and reflexes which could put even a tiger to shame. You can also watch two men play for more than ten hours and still display the energy to serve like maniacs.
And if you are not an objective “neutral fan” and love being Indian, you can have the pleasure of watching the cricket team winning matches again and crowning themselves as champions of Asia.
For those who scoff at cricket and its excesses, there is Saina Nehwal to swell our chest with pride. She is World No 3 in a sport where subtle skills instead of raw power is needed to control a weightless shuttle, and is on her way to becoming India’s greatest sportsperson. Remember she is only twenty years of age!
If on-field action bores you after a while, you can watch the Queen’s Baton being taken around and count the days left for the Commonwealth Games, which we are told will showcase India’s “sporting” and organisational might to the world.
And then there is the IPL, which generates news even in inaction and has now created a space for itself where it does not need the services of the man who does not get tired of bragging that he has created the world’s “greatest League”. Spare a thought for Modi, the suspended IPL chairman in perpetuity.
I wonder how the Indian media would have reported the IPL had it coincided with soccer World Cup. Would it too have been made a footnote to soccer, like Saina’s triumph or India’s Asia Cup victory? An interesting thought which would have tested the “power” of Mallya and his ilk.