First at the Goel Post
Following Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s dazzling performance in Rio, Malavika Sangghvi pens him a congratulatory letter
Dear Mr Goel, Recently, it has been brought to my notice that you have been singled out for praise for your performance in Rio, and that your many acts of sportsmanship and valour have brought much glory to India.
The IOC, it, seems has put on record the many ways in which you have impressed them: the speed with which you have raced in to non- accessible or offlimit areas, the precise aim with which you took those myriad selfies, the many ways that you crossed the line of acceptable behaviour and the talent you have displayed in shooting your mouth off, , have all been singled out as s great examples to inspire thee Indian team to run faster r higher and stronger in their r endeavour to win India a medals.
News of other displays of f your talent in various sportss have captured the public im- agination and are being dis- cussed across the nation too:: the way you can dive effort- lessly into controversy, your ability to wrestle with the truth, how you shoot your mouth off at the slightest instance and, of course, the famous manner in which you lob the names of our Indian contingent on the trampoline of your ignorance.
There are have been other acts of your sportsman- like abilities in Rio too. The display of verbal gymnastics by which you have attempted to wriggle out of a bad situation. The way you have cycled furiously in front of interlocutors to try and counter their accusations, your desperate sprint to be photographed with athletes when they’ve just finished a match and, of course, the precision and accuracy you’ve displayed when aiming to spell the names of our sportspersons in your congratulatory tweets.
Going by all this, there appears to be no sport in which you are lacking, no game in which you fail. From bounding effortlessly over limits of protocol to fencing over important issues to dodg- ing embarrassing questions, you have shown such a remarkable aptitude for sport that it is a matter of great fortune that we have a sports minister who can represent us so magnificently on the Olympic field.
Dashing into camera frames, throwing your weight around, kicking rules and regulations, swimming in troubled waters, punching above your weight, rowing against the tide of acceptable behaviour, bending rules and slamming international etiquette, you are truly a sportsman of remarkable gifts — one who can single- handedly win an Olympian- sized victory forf our nation.
And so, as we inch towards thet closing ceremony of this most spectacular of human endeavour, the pinnacle of mankind’s achievements, I wonder if you will consider returning one more time to Rio for a much- deserved victory lap around the stadium?
Can’t you just see it? There you will be, jogging confidently around the arena to the sounds of thunderous applause and wild cheering as you try and stay one step ahead of all those people — IOC officials, Indian sportsm men and women, Indian fans and media — who just can’t wait to get their hands on their ever bungling, bumbling, deeply maddening and effortlessly offensive sports minister who has so amply displayed his credentials for his job: court controversy faster, take our country’s embarrassments higher, and make a case for banning such official behaviour even stronger.
Here’s wishing you much rest and recuperation after your sterling performance at Rio, Mr Goel. And may the next Olympics see you in even better form all round. With every good wish, Yours sincerely, etc