Friday, March 03, 2017

Harika Dronavalli returns to an empty airport: When will India start celebrating its non-cricketing heroes?

Imagine this hypothetical scenario. The Indian cricket team has just returned after winning a bilateral series against an inferior opposition. They have just landed at the airport, but they are having a difficult time manoeuvring their way out.Of course, the media, the fans and everyone else have gathered, armed with garlands and what not. They have gathered to greet the team and congratulate them on their win, no matter however insignificant it was.Now, imagine a different scenario. An Indian sportsperson or an Indian team has just returned after achieving an incredible feat at a World Championship. The sport, though, is not cricket in this case.
This sportsperson (or team) lands at the airport, he collects his baggage, is greeted by his family and makes his way home without any furore. There is no media waiting, no crowd has gathered and yet the sportsperson does not complain once.It is not difficult to comprehend which scenario Harika Dronavalli was in when she landed at the Hyderabad airport, adorned by her World Championship bronze medal. Now, you may or may not have heard her name depending on how closely you have followed Chess in the last few years. But if you are aware, you would know that this is the third consecutive time that she has bagged the bronze medal at the World Championship.And yet, as she landed in her hometown, her reception committee consisted only of her proud parents. No media person was there to take exclusive quotes, no fan was there to put a garland over her.
02/03/17 Sagnik Kundu/Sportskeeda