They are no longer made

They are no longer made.

I spent three years of my life listening to the above line almost every day.

Mrs Clarke, an extremely noble woman in whose house I lived as a paying guest in Dublin, used to utter this sentence to show her respect for people whose nobility and humility she missed.

Her words came back to me, discussing state of sports in Pakistan over lunch, with my father a couple of days back.

My father was instrumental in making me madly in love with cricket, hockey, tennis, squash and all kinds of sports.  At times to the dismay of my mother who would have loved my whole- hearted dedication to studies and books exclusively.

He needed a partner to share his sports joys and sorrows.

Our collective proud memories to date are Pakistan winning the cricket World Cup and Pakistan winning 1984 Olympics hockey title. Despite my preferred passion for cricket and Imran Khan, the hockey victory remains my childhood most proud moment.

The flag, the anthem, the green shirts….even today it brings tears.

Alas those memories are becoming painful.

Hockey faces extinction. Squash is extinct. Cricket lives on oxygen.

Soccer ……. never had a present or future.

Athletics……… not in my lifetime have I seen glories.

A country of 170 million people does not have any sports prospects. There is no future!

How is it possible?

At the lunch table as we discussed. My father recalled the days when there used to be nurturing of sports talent at school and college level.

We have schools, colleges and universities today. Why do we not have tournaments? We do have sports seats. Where do these sports seats holders sportsmen and sportswomen go?

Why do Beaconhouse, City School, Educationists, Grammar Schools not produce sportsmen or sports women? Why do government schools not have some programmes for nurturing sportsmen and sports women?

Why has this escaped the interest of our extremely creative CM Shahbaz Shariff?

We all know we have millions of frustrated youth. Unemployment is rampant. Can no one think of a plan to channelise capitalise youth talent into creating sports genius?

As we discussed,over lunch, solutions. My father had a solution.

The only man who can transform Pakistan sports scene is Imran Khan. I tell you he should leave politics and become the Chairman of the Pakistan Sports board. He has the vision and the commitment that others do not. His talk about domestic cricket was way to sustained cricket glory. He had the traits that Nur Khan had. …… unfortunately just like we now do not have sportsmen as classy and elegant as his generation, we do not have dedicated honest visionaries.

I disagree. Imran Khan need not leave politics but what he and others including politicians, educationists, corporates and sports lovers have to do is to think, plan and do something to revive sports in Pakistan.

We are joy starved nation. All we have had over the last many years, have been few sporting glories to keep us smiling in the face of depression and deprivation.

Imagine our pursuit for sporting happiness, we even dance at Pakistan defeating Zimbabwe!

Till we put our sports act together, many like me and my father will cling to the memories of sports legends, who to borrow from Mrs Clare are no longer made.

They must however be made, a handful in a country of millions maybe definitely!

So why bother!

Am sure you all would have met this person. 

He\she is never happy. Their mission is to spread misery around wherever they go. Whatever you do, even if you can bring stars and moon and sun from the sky. In their eyes, you are terribly useless.

People around them know they are difficult to please but many still hope and toil hard to achieve personal dream of the perpetual frown changing into a smile even if just for a second.

It does not happen. Day after day these people worsen making life of people around them hell.

If you happen to be cooking for such a person. At times salt in the food will not be to their taste. If spices and salt are perfect, food will either too hot or cold, food could be too little or too much. If everything is fine, they may say the plates are stained!

If such a person happen to be your boss or co-worker, your life but very importantly life of your family becomes devoid of any peace of mind. You go home ranting and cursing the person. You continually think how to win the heart and mind of the person. Your prayers are distracted. You watch a movie but plan for the pleasure of the person. Your life partner, your parents, your kids – all give ideas on how to soften the attitude of the person. Every evening they wait for a good news but there you are – stressed and on the edge.

It becomes an onerous life, but think for a minute what would be life without these nasty people. If life only had considerate, caring and compassionate people. Our life would be dull.

Work is not exciting or challenging because of the plans and tasks. Life is not interesting because of amicable family and friends.

It is fun due to people who leave no stone unturned to make us feel upset.   Imagine what a dull life would be without these people!

For a minute think!

Nothing to gossip about. Nothing to make fun of. Nothing to be worried about. Nothing to plan. Nothing to criticise.

It would be miserable.

Think of your old age. Amicable people will bring smiles but no stories to laugh at. No stories to make you feel good as to how despite odds, you survived. We need such people for stories to make our grand children laugh and make friends reunions a lively affair.

I used to get upset with nasty people. Now I feel sorry for them. Massive negativity must be consuming them not letting them enjoy their short life. They usually end up having heart problems and high blood pressure. Scheming and conspiring with the only aim to torment people or maybe humiliate or defame them. They must be suffering from insomnia. Just imagine how sadist they must have become.

What a life they must be leading?

Age has made me feel sympathy for them. Greying hair has made me wiser. I no longer worry about them or make my loved ones worry about me because of these happy. No longer I strive for their pleasure, for growing up they must have gone through some unpleasant experiences making then unpleasant forever. I cannot solve their problems.

When nasty people express displeasure, are rude I try to remain focussed on what can be done rather than what should be done. As they rant and rage, I try to pacify myself by saying that the person is not well. The person needs help. The person is not angry at me but angry with him\herself. I ask a lot of questions. Try to push them back too.

But to be honest you cannot win from them. So just keep on accumulating stories to laugh at in your old age. Have glasses of cold water and go for a walk post any encounter. Pray hard and talk to yourself. Do not reply to their emails instantly. Sleep on them. Feel sorry for these people.

But do not make your life a nightmare for then they would have succeeded.

And do you want them to succeed… definitely not.

So why bother!