Football, Cricket, Aakash Chopra, “All studies and no play”

Once again, Aakash Chopra comes out with another thoughtful article. At least thoughtful in the way it has been written. In an attempte to understand the lack of Asians in the English football league, he explains:

It’s taken a while to get a consensus on the “real” reason for the lack of Asians in football — and it’s a bit of a stunner. Even though football is by far the number one sport in England and footballers rake in the big bucks, it was considered a poor man’s sport till a while ago, somewhat rowdy and not quite stiff upper lip!

It took about two generations for life to get back on track and for Asians to relax. In these years, the face of football has dramatically altered. And many immigrants from the 1960s are now part of the English upper class and encouraging their kids to follow their dreams.

The whole article, as all of his other ones, is worth a read.

It takes me to my childhood. As a kid, I grew up as in a middle-class family in a middle-class environment. I did not see a single child that was ever encouraged to take up any sport – not even cricket. The life-style is such that our parents always wanted to minimize the risks of our failure. Good education was the only way that they (I) could (can) think of. It has not changed much even now in India. Kids, typically, do not work while in school/college. One of the many reasons for this is that parents want them to devote all their time to studies – they fear and know that sometimes life gives you only one chance and the result of just one failure can be devastating when you are one in 1 billion.

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