The firang fixation


So over the last couple of days I was travelling.. Was at a workshop and amongst a group of people.

The big discussion was US open. There were people who were discussing at length about Federer, Murray, Nasal and Joker with unpronounceable name. Discussed at length.. How one player has reinvented himself… How the other player is not quite there mentally and will make a comeback etc. Not one person mentioned a player who has been around for last 25(?) Years and still winning.. Still reinventing himself. Mr. Leander Paes, take a bow for continuing for so long and still as exhuberent at 42 the way you were at 20.

There is Sania Mirza too who is in the finals but you don’t hear anyone talking about her.

The ones who want to be derisive would probably say that Pages or Sania could not have won if Hingis was not their partner… Yawnnnn.. The age old firang fixation… We don’t consider ourselves good enough unless we get a validation from abroad.

Sure we have started looking beyond cricket and in those sports India doesn’t have teams and individuals worth eulogizing about. Soccer we are way behind and every outing makes us hold our head in despair..

But can we learn to follow those countrymen and women who do well?

People talk about Federer’s forehand or backhand.. But talk about how Paes is perhaps the best doubles player in the world. He has had many partners over his career and he has won!

Talk about Sania (and not about her religion, who she id married to, her religion and her wearing skirt). Here was a girl who was gonna be the marquee Indian player who got pulled down by injuries and now has reinvented herself as a great doubles player…

Beyond the game, Paes and Sania demonstrate a resilience and the ability to look beyond obstacles. About understanding what their strength is and what is the weakness. Taking steps that utilize their strengths and not seat and bemoan their weakness…

They have not let themselves fade away in the onslaught of newer stars.. Or the meteors that flash across the courts…

There are management lessons here.. To persevere.. To reinvent.. And more important… Startups are a big story right now… Everyone is creating a legend around the founders and confounders… How many will last is something no one knows.. Large and established companies will continue to exists, reinvent and get more powerful.

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