On a day when Gagan Narang won a bronze in Air Rifle 10 M event at the London Olympics,a small village in Haryana had its reason to celebrate. Narangs grandfather Ramlal belonged to Shimla Gujjran village and though had moved to Delhi in the 1970s,the family still has land and a house in the village. Though Gagan has never been there,his parents B S Narang and Amarjeet visit the village regularly.
We have been celebrating since morning. Narangs family visits the village often and Gagans father likes spending time here. They had renovated their house recently and have a relative in Panipat. Gagan has made us proud and we are happy that apart from boxing,Haryana has won a medal in shooting, said Prem Chand Sharma,a friend B S Narang.
Though the family owned more than 100 acres of land in the village at one time,it now has about 20 acres. It is a great win. We met him two months ago when he went to train in Europe and since then,he calls daily. When we spoke yesterday,he told us that he will win a medal. One thing that he will like to do when he returns is to visit our ancestral village. He has never been there and wants to go there, said B S Narang from Hyderabad. He added: Gagan stopped giving interviews in October last year and said he wants the medal. He said all his other efforts are worthless if he does not win an Olympic medal.
Gagan started shooting at the Country Club in Hyderabad where the family moved in the 1990s under coach G Reddy and won his first medal in form of a bronze at a junior championship in Chennai in 2001. A multiple Commonwealth Games gold medallist,Narang has been a regular competitor to Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra. This time,he claimed the bronze medal after Bindra bowed out in the qualification round.
I remember when he won his first medal at the G D Malwankar Championship in Chennai in 2001. He slept with the medal the whole night. He also played tennis and sometimes said he wanted to be a swimmer. But once he started winning medals,he stuck to shooting. He still remembers how he won his medals and knows how many he has, said Amarjeet,Gagans mother.
On Monday,the Narang family received calls from villagers in Shimla Gujjran,where a havan was also organised for Gagan. Gagans grandfather Ram lal Narang moved to Delhi in 1970s and we moved to Hyderabad later. Gagan was born in Chennai in 1983 and one thing he likes is speaking different languages. However,he is yet to learn Haryanvi. But before that he should get married. I have been asking him to do so for the past few years, said Amarjeet.