Twenty Four hours ago, I was sitting on the terrace of Dormitory 22 sipping on a whiskey and Pepsi and screaming love ballads and the like into the skies of Ahmedabad, inebriated (but not so much that I couldn't come up with a good excuse when it was needed). Right now I'm sitting back in my room, half a subcontinent away, tired after a last minute rush through a submission on General Electric's Medical Systems and a short visit to that mad party on campus - which I will soon be sorely missing for more reasons than one - and wishing I had a beer with me right now.
The Ahmedabad visit was because of the first three way inter IIM sports meet, between the campuses of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Lucknow. Bangalore won, it was great, and we put up a short inter IIM music show to boot. But that's not what this is about.
What this is is a tribute to the true winners of the sports meet. Lucknow. Whose team turned up without any official funding from their institute, after travelling for several hours by train, playing matches despite knowing that they wouldn't win (for they did not have any girls' teams with them, and had to let the other two IIMs walkover them in those events, hence losing several points) and with a contingent of only 38 people, many of whom played multiple sports in the span of two days (one chap played six... yes six field sports in a single day. Several of the members of the sports councils from the Ahmedabad and Bangalore campuses commended their laudable feat, as did many students and players from both campuses.
The reason I label them the winners is not out of some gracious sense of magnanimity and awe, though I am not without these as well. I call them the winners because, to put it simply, we could not compete with them. They came not to win a trophy or show off their skills, but rather to take part in a brand new tradition. Win or lose, by simply turning up they had already achieved their goal. And at the end of the day, despite Bangalore carrying the trophy home and Ahmedabad revving up for next year's clash, the real truth of the matter is that we both are just playing games. What Lucknow showed us was true sports.
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