But I suspect the real reason that I don’t like organized sports is because I understand all too well that sports is a substitute for war. When I watch an India-Pak match on TV, or football hooliganism, it reminds me that humans are an aggressive, unattractive, jingoistic species.
Of course, it isn’t as black and white as that. Games teach us how to cooperate with each other to achieve common goals. They teach discipline and hard work. They help us learn how to handle defeat.
More important, they teach us how to overcome odds. On a recent trip to Masai Mara, we were on a long dusty drive between two villages, when I saw a long-distance runner on a training run. I don’t think he had access to fancy equipment or expensive coaching, but he wasn’t letting that stop him. When we passed him, running alone under the vast Kenyan sky, he raised his hands and smiled a broad smile – it was both a greeting and a victory sign. To me, this is among the most attractive features of sports – that it is a great leveler. Rich or poor, urban or rural - if you have sporting talent, that’s what really counts.
In India, where gross inequalities are embedded into the societal framework, sports can offer a new ray of hope for poor children with little or no access to the benefits of an English education.
The Akanksha motto "Aspire. Achieve. Be the Change."