Dear Me: Expectations are to be cherished, not weighed down by - Gagan Narang | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Dear Me: Expectations are to be cherished, not weighed down by - Gagan Narang

Gagan Narang tells his 12-year old self in a letter that if you have intent, nothing can stop you from achieving greatness.

other sports Updated: Aug 04, 2017 21:56 IST
Gagan Narang has won many accolades for India in shooting, including a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Gagan Narang has won many accolades for India in shooting, including a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. (Illustration: Mohit Suneja)

Dear 14-year-old Gagan,

I am sure you remember when you fractured your wrist and could not shoot. Not so much for the pain of the injury but because you could not compete. That, dear Gagan, is the pain of wanting something, wanting something real bad. And I can tell you when you want something really badly even the fates conspire to give it to you. So you have to make your demands to it and keep working at it.

Because those cosmic forces reward a ‘doer’. There is no substitute for hard work and loyalty. And the loyalty should be to yourself. Your gun is both your Saraswati and Laxmi -- the source of learning and prosperity. It will teach you to deal with success and failure in equal measure.

Daddy will not have the means to buy you a gun. So he will sell a plot of land that would one day be worth crores. Every father loves his kid but few will commit in the way Daddy did to you. Understand him, understand that he has a heart of gold. But do not be overburdened by the weight of expectations.

READ | Gagan Narang teams up with Olympic Gold Quest to mentor young shooters

Along the way there will be many from mama, daddy, ‘dadi’, uncles, aunties, teachers... Then it will be the federation, the sponsors, fans, India....But you cannot feel burdened by them. You will have to understand that there is no better feeling than being wanted by people and adored by them. That will help you walk the path of success and hold you together during colossal failure.

Disappointments are a part of the game. To deal with it you have to be mentally tough. That is where the real game is. The moment you understand the spirit and the body is one, half the battle will be won. There will be injuries, betrayals, heartbreaks, narrow misses but there will also be podium finishes, accolades, love and medals. Treasure them all; put your learning in a box that can be accessed time to time. Because they will be your lessons for the future.

READ | Prakash Nanjappa sets new targets ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Daddy is not wealthy to support a sport that is so expensive but he has the intent. Mum wants to see you as a champion. When you win your first medal, go and show it to ‘dadi’. Her eyes will first twinkle and then well with tears. It will be a moment of glory to cherish. Like the first kiss, the first medal is always special. And Gagan, with that start you should keep gunning for glory.

Do you know at a time when the country is not at war, sportspersons are its biggest heroes? It is for them national flag is unfurled. You should wake up and sleep dreaming of that moment on the Olympic podium. If you have the ‘intent’ nothing can stop you. Of course, the road will be rocky, the journey turbulent at times.

The glint in your eyes tells me how much you want to be there. But let me tell you Gagan if it is difficult getting there it is even more difficult to hold on. And the fall, if it happens, can be quite steep. So remember to take the stairs and not the lift.

READ | Gagan Narang’s Project Leap to mentor 20 new shooting stars

Right now you are the uncut diamond that needs to have its edges sharpened, put under intense pressure to create what India wants -- a piece of gold And once you come out burning bright yellow, there will be no stopping you. I hope to meet you again on that journey to Olympic glory.

Take care of your mind, body and soul!

Stay blessed

Gagan

(As told to Ajai Masand)