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     Volume 9 Issue 1 | January 1, 2010|

  Cover Story: Politics
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  Cover Story:   Education
  Cover Story: Human   Rights
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  Cover Story: Power   and Energy
  Cover Story: Health
  Cover Story: Sport
  Writing the Wrong
  Against the Odds
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  Star Diary
  Write to Mita
  Post Script

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Writing the Wrong

A Tiger Lost in the Bush

Sharbari Ahmed

Tiger Woods is not someone I care about. I mean I care for him as a human being, as I firmly believe that we are all connected and have an obligation to care for one another--even people we actively dislike--but he is not a blip on my radar so to speak. He is a world class athlete, but unless he suddenly grows ten inches and joins the Cleveland Cavaliers starting line -up (basketball), I will most probably not pay attention to his athletic abilities. Suddenly this man, for whom I have not wasted a single moment's thought in all the years he has been in the media, is thrust into my life, every day.

He is the demon du jour--because you know Americans always need to demonise someone. It's our national pastime--carried over from when we publicly flogged adulterers in the town square and slapped a scarlet letter on their bosoms. For those of you who have been hiding under a rock, Tiger Woods is a squeaky clean (sorry, was) success story. A child prodigy who became internationally famous for being able to sink a hole in one. He did the unforgivable; he made people think he was a saint, and then on a balmy Thankgiving night, was exposed for the messy, and frail human that he is. And the hits just kept on coming. One after another,his women emerged, blinking at the sudden( and exceedingly welcome) spotlight, pouting their collagen enhanced lips, and happily sharing intimate details and SMSs of their torrid connection with the previously beatified Mr. Woods. They all have straight hair and big...dreams. And by golly! If admitting to an affair with Woods will get them closer to the American dream, well then so be it. At this point everyone is claiming to have had relations with Tiger since it means instant attention. I believe Sarah Palin is preparing to address the media as we speak. Apparently Tiger helped her with her swing once. Though, you did not hear that from me.

Tiger is hated now by a fickle public when he was so passionately adored before. I am not here to pass judgment on him. I feel sadness for his wife (who by the way, is infinitely more attractive than some of his paramours being a former Swedish bikini model, who's bits and bobs appear natural and not surgically enhanced. You can't make this stuff up). Her humiliation is being played out publicly. She might have known about one of the women, but I doubt she knew about the magnitude of his pecadillos.

What I am marveling at is something that I have always known; that when one builds their life and indeed their very identity on the approval and adoration of others, then, at some point, one is bound to fall, and fall hard.

In high school this is (forgive the golfing pun) par for the course. When we are developing and still trying to figure it all out we base so much of our self worth on what others think. But that is HIGH SCHOOL. We are children then and this is forgivable. Usually, what comes out of it are unfortunate hair styles and outfits that we see in yearbook pictures. When adults care so very deeply about what others think, instead of following their own inner compass and utilising common sense it can actually have long term consequences. I feel the Tiger Woods debacle is a cautionary tale to those of us refusing to be ourselves and live transparently. He probably always had these proclivities but felt a certain pressure. I must marry, I must have children. This is what people expect of me. I am adored, and endorsed, I must live up to others' expectations. Like an automaton. Maybe he sold himself and his wife a left handed screw driver and look where it has landed him. If only he had faced his own demons, he may not be viewed as one now.

I will leave you with something a very smart man named Jallaludin Rumi once said and one of my endeavours for the new year. Though it may seem to contradict what I have written, it really does not. Rumi said this: Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.


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