Fan's open letter to Gomathi MarimuthuJun 25, 2019
It was the 22nd of April 2019. I am not a great fan of sports, so I was not aware of the Asian athletic championships happening and in the evening there was a hustle bustle about a girl from TN striking gold in athletics and it was the flashing news everywhere. Though I am not a big fan of sports, I have immense respect for people winning from India, especially the sports men/women from the suburbs of India, because, hailing from India, I know and realise that they have come past multiple unimaginable hurdles, (not just pertaining to sports, unfortunately) to step into the international arena.
So when I heard about Gomathi, it immediately caught my attention and I followed it up. The more I read about her and saw her interviews, it was series of "wow", "oh my god" , "seriously?" ,"you are unbelievable", "how could you?" moments. I truly got goosebumps when I read about her and it's the same feeling while writing about her. That is why I decided to write an open letter to her. Here it goes.
You know Gomathi, what sets you apart from many others is that while many others are gifted with the comfort of branded shoes, sports attire, daily practice sessions, good sponsorship and much more, we know you had your own share of struggles.
Mr Marimuthu, a farmer by profession, your father worked relentlessly to support you achieve your goal. Lucky you are ,to have had a pillar of support in an era where still a lot of fathers want to shut the doors for ambitious women and set her boundary lines. It is not just you who has inspired us.
I am very sure your father is a true inspiration to many fathers too, and I hope every father sees the dream in his child’s eye and encourages her no matter what.
We understand how devastating it would have been for you when he left this world leaving you alone to face everything. But you know what Gomathi,I know this might sound sentimental, but when you touched that finish line, I am sure your father would have smiled and applauded from wherever he was,seeing his dream come true.
It was not just your father, after him,you lost your coach leaving nobody to train you,you met with an injury which refrained you from practising for a couple of golden years, there were times when you felt it was over, and lucky you again, to have friends who kept encouraging you to not stop dreaming. In spite of all the problems surrounding you, your spirit kept burning more and high. You took time out, right from your childhood, whether be it in school or work, to keep practising and you never let anything bring you down.
You know what Gomathi, fighting against all these odds and striking the gold, I don’t even have words to talk about what you have done. What you have done is so much more than getting a gold for our country. You are a winner in a very true sense. I feel elated and proud when I type "gom" in google search and your name pops up.
At 30, where most of us are expected to put everything we desire on hold, settle down, start a family, and pushed into a routine life, some stars like you come out of nowhere and give us hope, make us question this society which forces us to be normal and be a part of this system.
Whether you know or not you have inspired so many women out there, who would have stopped chasing their dreams, or should I say, stopped dreaming, tired of fighting all the odds around them. Yes, now we will follow our passion, no matter what the struggles are, because we know that hard work and perseverance pays, because we saw Gomathi Marimuthu do it.
Continue to sprint through all the hurdles, reach out for the sky and show to this world in your own words " There is no age bar for success - hard work is all you need".