Circumstantial Evidence that can help you win!

Neeraj Chopra, the pride of India, the Media, and the Government, in that order, won Gold at the Olympics with a Javelin Throw of 87.58 Meters, a first for India in Track and Field Events at the Olympics, the pinnacle of all sports in the world barring cricket (Golf included).

He had to work hard for it and pass an exam – without a prior exam pe charcha – where the toughest questions were asked of him and his abilities. He passed with flying colours – literally, as the javelin went flying from his hands much like the magical weapons of the Indian Epics.  But he prepared well – all by himself, overcame many hurdles, and brought home the gold, which was prayed for, and hoped for.  Expectations weighed heavy on him even though the Olympics was held in Tokyo, not Dubai. And, though the customs were on duty, ever vigilant, they did not impose any duty – they were doing their duty with pride as is the custom among the civil services…

India’s medal wins at the Olympics this year was a great seven out a total of thirty-five since 1900.  Kudos to them. The medal-winning spree (7 is not a spree, but when they are scarce, or they power you up to forty-seven out of a hundred countries competing in the Olympics, it is) came from a diverse range of sports – from wrestling to hockey to badminton, track and field, much like the diversity of India.

The tally was India’s highest among all the Olympics it participated in, not because India has tied up with Japan to patrol the South China Sea, but because of the challenging work put in by the athletes and their coaches – incidentally, there was more than one foreign hand in the medal wins.  This time the foreign hand was not blamed, but welcomed and praised even, in phone calls that followed the wins!   But there was no phone call to one hundred of the one hundred and twenty-seven participants from India – the media did not rush to their villages for the roads were potholed and not paved in Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Strangely enough, If the medal tally had been in the higher range, the struggling phone companies may have benefited immensely from the carrier charges that they would have accumulated; Possibly they may even have wiped out the losses and debt from the AGR dues they have incurred for preparing for just such occasions.  On the contrary, the media houses may have found it difficult to shift their meager resources from debatejeevis to village visits because none of our medal winners come from close to the studios in the city. In the end, it was a fine balance between the two…

Every game is played with winning in mind… and as the hit Swedish Pop Band ABBA said many years ago in song, “the winner takes it all”- the medal, the certificate, the phone call, the glory, and the attention from the media. The rest fall by the wayside invisible and unsung. Sustaining performance and fame (it only follows the former and nothing else) though, is a different ball game.  It needs more hard work and hand-holding and often, the hand that does the hand holding is the other hand…

The glory of winning a medal in India, or actually anything in India is extreme; it creates a desire to win in each one of us – all 1.4 billion of us. The reality is we may never; however, that is what we believe because of our survivor bias, and we must thank the media for this – only the successes are visible. The unsuccessful escape visibility, and therefore the bias is always in favour of success.

This is complemented by the feeling that as the winners, with hard work we will succeed too because many of us also share the circumstances of the winners highlighted by the media after their visit to the villages of the winners – the lack of sporting infrastructure, the poverty, supportive parents, family and in some cases, the community, and the passion and determination of the individual.

Well, it’s nice to believe that destiny is not at play and doesn’t have a say in this saga. But my feeling is that it is destiny that converts the bad to the good and the good to the great and gives you your moment of fame (or not) and then dumps you out of the frame to be replaced by another.  We plan our lives, but executive decisions are taken elsewhere, though the striving keeps us healthy… Do watch the film Mimi on Netflix to figure this one out.

People say it’s a question of Talent being given an Opportunity and Talent grabbing the opportunity to convert itself into a winning horse. But a winning horse has something extra – a desire to win, possibly born out of his / her circumstances.

Is it that these circumstances (see the previous para) are being created/sustained to ensure that this desire to win is born in more than a few? because there is another theory, the pool theory – the greater the pool of potential winners, the more the chance of one of them picking up the top spot…  It may be true if you look at Indian Cricket and recently even at Indian Hockey…

For the pool theory to work, you need a high R Factor (Reproduction Factor) in sport. Currently, the R factor is more talked about in whispers in relation to the Corona Virus, rather than in connection with sports.  Sports is a state subject but often finds itself stateless and on the refugee list… and there’s a reason for this. When the referee says “on your marks” all we think about is the Marks on the report card. And, Get set, Go means you are going to hear more on your marks from your parents or teachers or even peers…

The original R factor came from Education (Before Corona that is). This is evident from the CBSE Board exam results this year – The CBSE results saw a whopping 99.04 and 99.37 pass percentage in the 10th and 12th Boards, with 12% scoring more than 90% marks in the 10th Boards and 6.8% scoring crossing that frontier in the 12th Boards…  Wonderful news, almost akin to winning an Olympic medal for a nation that prides itself on its intellectual capabilities over its sporting ones. It is much more than the gold medal-winning effort of 87.58!

But let’s not judge them. It’s been a difficult year for students across the board – they never got to go to school, meet their mates, or even take exams under the vigilant eyes of an invigilator, while casting eyes about for help from any quarter. They learned however, how to mute themselves and keep themselves as invisible as far as possible. The reduced syllabus meant they knew less than what their seniors knew (the less we know, the less is there to forget though) – but would have to compete with them later in the job market. And they were tested; throughout the year, as were the teachers!

There’s a silver lining, sorry gold lining, for every cloud we see…. and all we need do is find it; and we found it – no board exams. Only Cardboard exams (Calculations).  Maybe it’s a just reward for the difficult year.  Anyway, life has its own board exams and is never bored of giving them.

Indeed, Life is an Olympic sized board game that tests our caliber every minute, not every four years; and we must use every minute that we are not successful, not visible to prepare for success, visibility, a phone call, and a media visit to our homes to chat up our folks.

The lesson is don’t change your circumstances if you want to win… Use them to power up your desire to win….

Folks, it’s time to stop reading and get down to work!


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Published by

Brian Fernandes

Brian is VO artist, Content Writer, Ad Copy Writer, a very productive author with a wide and varied output, an EQ and Leadership Trainer, a life skills Coach, a manager and a leader, with a visible track record. Brian is currently a Director of the Spearhead Media Pvt. Ltd, a Media Company that owns and runs media brands,, Karnataka Today, NK+ and NKTv a web based video channel, Verdevice - a Branding powerhouse and Spearhead Academy - a digital platform that offers short term learning solutions for personal growth Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 35 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. He is NET Certified for lectureship and has recently qualified as MEPSC Level 5 Trainer. Journalism , poetry, and Fiction and Feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. Its all in a day’s work for him. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangalore and Bangalore. He is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of the and is a designated Distinguished Toast Master. He is also the Internal Quality council member of his Alma Mater Roshni Nilaya and a member of the Board of Studies of the English Department, St. Agnes College for PG studies, Mangalore.

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