23 October 2009

Categories in the Games

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction.

A high official in charge of making the Games happen had called a press conference. It was meant to be a PR exercise. It was to let the world know that the facilities and infrastructure were coming up according to plan. But, till now the press conference had been a disaster. In fact, the conference had taken off at a tangent. One of the media persons was veering the conference away to seemingly non issues. He had been asking some weird questions. Why are there only two categories of participants? Male and Female? What about the third sex? Isn’t this discrimination on the basis of sex? What happens to the lofty ideals of Olympics? After all, there are about five million of the third sex in India alone. Aren’t they human beings, he demanded.

This media person was threatening to hijack the carefully orchestrated press conference. Try as he may, our high official could not convince him that it was not in his hands to change the charter of the Games. Indeed, it was not even in the hands of our country. The mandate came from International Olympic Association. What was more irritating was the way this media person pronounced some words. His ‘w’ sounded like ‘g’, especially, if the ‘w’ came in the beginning of the word. For example, when he wanted to say ‘where’, he would pronounce it as ‘ghere’. And when he wanted to say ‘what’, he would say ‘ghat’. It was so jarring to hear! But, Mr Gill, our high official, could ill afford to antagonize the media. He kept on pleading that such change as the media person was wanting, was really not within his purview. Could they please get on with more important things on the agenda?

But as the conference wore on, our friend from the media was getting more and more strident and restive. He was now demanding that there should be separate categories in the competition for people with different sexual orientations. He wanted a fourth and a fifth category for the gay. The more our official tried to ignore him, the shriller his voice became. But our high official had had enough. Sexual orientation thing was the last straw. He shouted at the media person, “Sir, it is not possible to do what you are suggesting! Now, will you please shut up?”
This seemed to incense this media person. He flew from his seat and shouted, “There is will, there is way!”

At least, that is what he wanted to say. What came out of his mouth very closely sounded like:
“There is gill, there is gay!”

Even as our official went red all over his face, pandemonium broke out in the press room.

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