THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pursuit of fame and glory, money and muscle, or everything that’s material in life, are rendered meaningless by the only glorious certainty of life—death. Its icy fingers made an unwelcome entry into the National Games, as a 19-year-old netball player from Maharashtra, Mayuresh Pawar, drowned to death. He died in Shankumugham beach after a group match.
Shock is perhaps the best word to describe the passing away of a young and vibrant soul. His roommate and best friend Ganesh Chaudhari was shocked into a state of numbness, before he broke down into uncontrollable sobs in front of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College mortuary. When Mayuresh’s body was brought out of the mortuary after autopsy, his teammates, coaches and the team doctors wailed like children.
Let us not imagine what his parents will be going through, in rural Satara, one of the most arid parches of the country. We simply can’t relate to that feeling. His parents were farmers; his little brother was studying; they had sent him to the city for bigger opportunities; he was their biggest hope. But death is an untimely visitor. And it has knocked the light out of their lives. Little they might have anticipated the fate that was lurking around them when he bid them farewell for the Games.
The Games Village will wear a garb of mourning for the next few days. But life will resume. With all its profanities and endeavours. That’s the way of the world. That has to be the way of the world. As it was in November last year, when Phil Hughes became the game’s immortal martyr.
Elsewhere, in the seemingly trivial world of sport, Kerala won three more medals including a gold, silver and bronze in swimming. Sajan Prakash continued his purple patch with his third gold in the Games, this time in his pet event (1,500m freestyle). Anoop Augustine and Arun S clinched silver and bronze, respectively, in 200m breaststroke. Water, not a traditional forte of Kerala, fetched them another yellow metal. The rowing quartet of Chippi Kurien, Honey Joseph, Nimmi Thomas and Nithya Joseph brought them gold in the Coxless Four event.
But even their swimmers and rowers’ efforts couldn’t propel them to the top as Haryana climbed atop with eleven gold medals. Among Kerala’s southern neighbours, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have all eked out a gold each while Telangana are yet to open their gold account. With one gold and four bronze, Tamil Nadu are placed 13th in the table.