Hockey, Legacy and Chasing Dreams

Finally, the wait is over. It was not an ordinary Thursday. Millions of Indians woke up early and sat in front of the television sets. The viewership of the mobile apps telecasting the Olympics saw a meteoric rise.  Social media was flooded with wishes for the Men in Blue. And all that was for the game where India was once the undisputed king in the world and was fighting for a medal to revive at least a fraction of the lost glory. It was the time to pay a fitting tribute to the legacy, at last. The Tigers were pitted against the Germans who have in recent times played much better hockey than us. But this Indian side is not like those meek sides of the past few decades who would be daunted just by the name of the opponent. This is a New Indian side, where our boys know how to retaliate when the opponents are pouncing on us. They know how to score goals even when the chips are down and the stakes are heavy. They know how to make a comeback even when they are 3-1 down and time is running out. And on any given day, against a class opponent like Germany, it is never easy to get four goals in a trot after trailing by a 3-1 score of the mighty Germans. But the team comprising of the likes of the sensational Sreejesh, heart-warming Hardik, mind-blowing Manpreet, ravishing Rupinder, stupendous Shamsher is made of a different metal. Grit, courage and rock-solid determination are the hallmarks of this team. The average age of the players is just 25 years. They have just the perfect balance of experience and youth. The youths inject raw energy in the field while the seniors take them out of trouble when the day at the office starts going wrong. And when nothing goes right, Graham Reid, the mentor brings them back on track by his energetic pep talks and game-changing strategies. You cannot single out a player of this team for such a dramatic turnaround. Yes, Sreejesh has been absolutely brilliant to save the post. Yes, Manpreet has been an inspiring leader. Yes, Rupinder has been a terrific drag flicker. Yes, both Hardik and Harmanpreet have shown an amazing appetite for goals. But it is the unit together that has earned all the accolades. It is for the collective effort of all the members, support staff that we revisited history today. This is a lifetime opportunity to celebrate. Have not we waited for this moment for decades after decades? And it is finally here. As I write, I am recollecting the beautiful images of the Team India members together huddling after the victory and unknowingly tears of joy are running through my cheeks. They are from different places of the country. They worship different Gods and Goddesses. They speak different languages. They prefer different foods. But they all are united when they don that tricolor jersey. And that sense of brotherhood was the signature style of India’s play. They fought for each other, they fought for the nation and they ended with a podium finish. May this day never end. May this glory keep on inspiring the generations to come. May we be enchanted again by the beauty of the game. And soon, the colour of the medal will be changed. Thank you Team India. On a personal note, no other victory in any games in recent times comes closer to this one because we were out to get back the lost legacy. And history is the witness that its impossible to regain a fallen kingdom in sports. But India is a nation to do wonders when the least is expected of them. The Fifth August thus will forever be remembered with a warm smile and a sense of pride by every Indian.

News Reporter

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