It’s to do with our homes. We love leaving the doors open. Have you noticed that? In fact, please shut your room door, if you are reading this. It appears though, that there is a science to this whole open-door policy. A visiting burglar once exposed to the ugliness of the inside gets disillusioned and demotivated. He then feels so defeated; he leaves his chosen profession for a less daunting one, like politics, or running tuition classes.
Luckily, dear reader, this opening paragraph has little to do with the column. The article is about sports. Please don’t say ‘no’! This is not an interactive format, so your protest is as lost on me as the wrestlers protest in Delhi seems lost on the centre. More of that in a bit.
Cricket, especially the IPL, has wiped out the visibility of the other sports. I mean, I asked my wife if she knew who Ding Liren was, and she had no clue. Later, I asked her if she knew who I was; again, no clue. Let me then spread some sporting nuggets beyond the IPL to help spread sport in India. The only other way I can do that is, by never playing any sport, of course.
So, who is Ding Liren? He is the world chess champion. Here are a few, little, known facts about him. Ding is a man. Ding is Chinese. In his name, Ding Liren, there is surprisingly no ‘dong’ in the middle. I do feel that ‘Ding Dong Liren’ would have made him a household name much faster. But, if you think Ding’s name is a struggle, guess who he beat? Even after beating him, Ding can’t pronounce his opponent’s name. It’s tough, the name is Nepomniachtchi.
In fact, there is a rumour that the chess federation made sure Ding won, because no one beyond Nepomniachtchi would be able to recall the Nepomniachtchi name. Even his own mother knew him as Nep-Nep. So sad, that in his championship speech Ding was only comfortable talking about the semi-final. Let’s move to another important sporting situation.
Well, it’s not really sporting, as India’s star female wrestlers have accused Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of serial sexual harassment of a generation of female wrestlers. However, there is some good news. At least, his name is not Nepomniachtchi. Which means people will be able to pass on his name, and so discussions will continue.
In his defence, Brij Bhushan is a six-time returning BJP Lok Sabha member. One can cast aspersions on a three-time returning Lok Sabha member. Perhaps even four times. But once he reaches five, and then six times? No way. Such a heroic Indian must have a statue made of himself, commissioned and executed by himself, of course. The wrestlers doth protest.
Brij continues to be garlanded and felicitated, Ding is being held up by China as the world’s mental superman. Okay, let me rephrase that. A man with a super mind, best in the world, made in China. And you, dear reader, now have more information from the world of sport than required.
As Nepomniachtchi said……., sorry as Nep said, sorry as the guy who lost the final to Ding said, ‘See you next time’.
The writer has dedicated his life to communism. Though only on weekends.