The Gods Amongst Us!

We are used to a plethora of Gods….all kinds, all faiths. We look up to some of them, we worship a few, we curse some…but we never really see them. And those who claim to have been visited by them are usually assumed to be delusional.

But guess what! There are Gods amongst us! Till last week, for almost 3 weeks, we saw them on our television sets daily while some lucky ones who were able to fly to London were even able to see them in the flesh.

Like the Gods of our Hindu pantheon, they come in all shapes and sizes. The beautiful ones with six and eight pack-abs, glistening skin, sinewy arms and rippling muscles. The lithe Gods jumping on crossbars, slight and small and amazingly flexible. The water-Gods, cutting swathes through across pools, or diving in coordination. The focused Arjunesque Gods, shooting targets with their rifles or pistols. The huge Gods lifting weights beyond comprehension. The tall Gods, dunking basket after basket with consummate ease. The Gods with taught thighs, pedaling away to glory. And so on…

And like the Greek or Roman Gods, they can be vain, dishonest, irritating and mean. And they come in all flavors. A God that clowns? We have Usain Bolt. A serious, focused running God? David Rudisha. A God who finally decided to relax and have fun? Michael Phelps fits the bill.

Irrespective of their imperfections, these Gods, in today’s day and age of clay-feet heroes, teach us so much. Each and every one of them is a God because of a combination of innate talent, coupled with extreme hard work, with an overlay of perseverance, focus and sacrifice and they show us the heights that can be scaled with single-minded dedication and pursuit.

Each and everyone of these Gods, including our local home-grown Saina Nehwal or Mary Kom, has sacrificed family, friends, chocolates, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and McDonald burgers for that one moment of success and glory. While the rest of us party or watch television or go for the first day, first show of Ek Tha Tiger, these Gods are toiling away in their courts, or pools or tracks or ranges, hour after hour, getting their act together. Yes, there is a more than a large element of narcissism…but this narcissism helps and is perhaps a pre-requisite for achieving the physical and mental focus required to win.

These are the role models worth emulating, the celebrities worth cultivating and the people with substance worth bringing on stage and giving awards to. These are the Gods who need to preach to us about the kind of guts it takes to achieve glory. And these are the Gods for whom there should be daily aartis, so that they are not forgotten till the next Olympics rears its head four years from now.

Maybe I am seeing everything with rose-tinted glasses. But given the cynical world we live in, where almost everything can be bought, fixed or arranged, it feels nice to have something to believe in, to have faith in, that involves pure human sweat, blood and toil, without taint or malpractice. And which is why intuitively, we give out collective gasps when we see someone running away from the pack or lifting an impossible weight or swimming with a time that was previously thought insane. And funnily when the devotees are out in full form, cheering them on, something magical happens that allows these Gods to deliver and perform beyond their own expectations.

These Gods make a difference! And I have finally started believing in them!

19 Comments

  • yashashree wrote:

    Let’s hope the Indian government and private institutions recognize sports beyond cricket, talent and celebrities beyond films & entertainment. Let’s hope they deploy funds, encouragement and support to each kind of sport and we will definitely have many more Mary Koms and Saina Nehwals to represent India by the next olympics. I am positive that we can certainly create the environment and thereby create gods and goddesses amongst us.

  • Pushpendra Shah wrote:

    The email that is doing the rounds – after the closing of the Olympics – purports to explain the reason why Indians are not The photo of a lady in a wedding saree, totally decked with gold jewellery, etc, etc says that we HAVE gold…

  • The true gods are those unsung olympic heroes who didn’t make the podium even after training just as hard…because they sacrificed their spot to a higher rated team member, or absconded their own victory in order not to anihilate another’s spirit,, or stayed behind with an ailing parent.

    Those are the ones I want to aspire to.

  • One BILLION Indians….
    Not ONE GOLD!!!!!!!

  • The Gods Amongst Us!

    I agree. Absolute truth.

    Sugata Sanyal

  • H.L. Chulani wrote:

    Well said- forget false gods and emulate the real.

  • Shailesh wrote:

    Great Bhavinbhai to recognize the real demigods! While 1 bn plus people are busy watching only bollywood proposed/influenced/sponsored entertainment as if there is nothing more to excel. We all keep spending our valuable time with awe and clap for the Bollygod.
    When I think of faith being escalated to celestial heights in the celebration of Navaratri, Ganpati festival, Govinda, kalipuja , Holi and likes which are taking disturbing dimensions in my opinion, I wonder do we not have anything else to excel! I think the new generation of inetellectual offsprings of ours will get some clue from such an eye opening event like olympic games!

  • Neelakantan wrote:

    The most welcome feature after this Olympics is the acceptance that we can also make our presence felt, given better training and facilities with world class coaches. I feel this has also made clear the disciplines we should concentrate to bring in more medals. Hopefully we will have some new Gods of our known

  • V.Subramanian wrote:

    If only, our fields were half fertile as your imagination,even the scanty rainfall would have produced a bumper harvest this year.The synchronised swimming and Rythmic Gymnastics were scenes unfolding from heavenly plays, prompting John Milton to Exclaim “Paradise regained”.
    Since We already have a plethora of Gods and Goddesses in our country, the creator in his wisdom decided to restrict the Indian numbers to just 6. A significant figure indeed.If they allowed Blogging in olympics, you could have bagged at least a silver, if not Gold.

  • Genuinely appreciate this article.
    It is long overdue that we start respecting, celebrating and cherishing these heroes.
    These Gods as you say.
    They do deserve atleast that much for all their single minded perseverance and even the attempts (irrespective of the outcomes) to represent our Country, despite the poor support that they garner from their own brethren.

    And it is endearing to see torch bearers of today’s society making an effort to bring about this change…
    Kudos & Hats Off … to them and to you.

  • Pure courage and determination. No corruption for a change. Money can help train and stuff but on the day its just you you you.
    People crib about Indians being a billion with no gold but that was never the point of the Olympics. All our medal winners and non winners are stars. They gave their best. Thats what matters, give your best no matter what.
    Sad part is not “a billion Indians and no gold” but things like Mary kom is a legend in her field, acclaimed world over, trains youngsters in manipur but unknown to billion Indians. Does or should a Olympic gold matter.?
    Just watching these people and listening to their stories is an inspiration.
    Phelps considered to be at his worst at the beginning of the games, Usain bolt had injury concerns and form concerns but their performances on the day were jaw dropping.. Our people have probably the worst training environment back at home but most of them went till quarter /semi finals quite easily.
    True heroes.

  • Phiroze Javeri wrote:

    The achievers akin to the gods would have achieved naught had they remained content with worshipping the plethora of gods most Indians believe in.

  • Armaity Surendra Patel wrote:

    I am in sync with what Dr.Suraj and Parag have expressed.
    Bhavin, my son who has come from Dubai for a short holiday read your article and was all praise!! So I too got up from your sleep and read it. This is an eye opener article long due. During 50s we have known and seen the Olympic champs, turning into decoits or beggers after they have won laurals for our country. With no jobs and starvation they were goaded to become decoits or simply beg !!! What a shame! These touching stories were printed in a mag named “chitralekha”! All we did then was to fee sorry for these helpless sports persons. Now the Media has become a powerful agent to raise voices against this disparity. Great job, keep it up!

  • Saraswathi wrote:

    Great article Doc. Jago India Jago, Keep it up with your motivations,

  • Anand Desai wrote:

    Great Article Sir.
    One more thing I may wish to add is that we need to respect all other sports and sportsmen [obviously where credit is due]and not just cricket or the Fat overly paid non-performing cricketers whom we have put on a pedestal.

  • Prabha Vinay wrote:

    Splendid! Beautiful article!!

    As I was reading this article of yours, so beautifully woven words, the flame of Olympic seemed to be lit in front of my eyes and glowing in all its golden glory!!

  • Bhavin
    Are you an Atheist in the True God sense. Well scripted article of the OG that flew by and a reminder to ourselves as to what we can do to redeem still better honours. 6 was relishing but 60 in 10 power 8 is formidable. Hope we achieve at the next OG.
    Warm regards
    TNM

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    Atheist

  • Ganesh Parameswaran wrote:

    A great post. Yes, we have Gods amongst us all. Outside the sphere of sports and games too.

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