The Paralympic Games started on September 7 at Rio in Brazil and will go on till September 18. Yes, India is participating, that too, with the largest contingent at the Games ever. A total of 19 Indian athletes will feature in 10 disciplines at the ongoing Games.
One of them is Rampal Chahar, a high jumper. From a family of farmers, this 27-year-old hails from a remote village in Sonepat, Haryana. Hence, it should not come as a surprise that in a country far away from his home, he’s missing his comfort zone. And just like all of us away from home, Chahar knows “maa ke haath ka ghar ka khaana” has no competition.
In an interview in Brazil, this athlete said something, which almost every other Indian will relate to. When the excited interviewer from GoSports asked him what does he want to tell people back in India, he said, he misses India because there are a lot of things that are only available in India. “Jaise ki, chapatti!” he said. While other athletes, amidst laughter, said that pita bread is available in Rio, Chahar replied how difficult it is for him to eat the rotis made of refined flour. If that wasn’t agonizing enough, his dal did not have enough spice, he said. “Lekin hum kaam chala rahe hai,” he concluded. Although it might look like he was being a sport about the bland food he was eating there, there was obvious pain. Though Chahar has achieved a great feat by representing the nation at the games, deep down his heart, he is no different than me or you — wanting enough spices in his dal.
— Rampal Chahar (@RampalChahar) September 8, 2016
Yes, beneath that smile, there’s pain hidden, and it’s real.