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|I was the subject of discussion everywhere. I would break down and cry all the time. I was so miserable that I even contemplated suicide.
The once confident Negi developed a stammer and came dangerously close to a complete nervous breakdown.
othing fails like failure. The Indian team did not dare to leave the dressing room after that fateful final.
It was very late when we finally left the stadium. After we reached the Asiad Village we retired, bundles of misery, to our various rooms. The silver medal we had won had absolutely no meaning for us. Little did I know that this one match was going to change my life forever.
Even two days after the defeat, a feeling of despair hung over the Indian camp at the Games Village. Coach Col. Balbir Singh kept repeating over and over again that nothing fails like failure. Coach Balbir Singh Sr. said bitterly: "What's the point in saying anything? People will ask what right we have to comment after losing in such a shameful manner."
Despite the humiliation felt by every Indian present at National Stadium that day, or the thousands watching the final live on Doordarshan, the Indian Hockey Federation did not issue an apology. The executive committee of the Federation held a meeting less than 24 hours after the final, and only one member had the courage to suggest that the Federation officials should resign en masse. This suggestion was not approved.
None of the players came out publicly in my support, though mercifully, no one accused me of foul play either. They must have had their own reasons for their silence. They knew the real story but did not dare antagonise the mighty Indian Hockey Federation.
A couple of days after the final, I took my fiancee Vinita to India Gate in Delhi, along with teammate Joaquim Carvalho and athlete Vandana Rao. People recognised me there and started abusing us. We left in a hurry when people started throwing stones at us.
I was sitting in a taxi with my bags to leave the Asiad Village when an angry mob surrounded the car. They kept saying that I had taken money from Pakistan, and that they wanted to teach me a lesson. Thankfully, my teammate and friend Joaquim Carvalho came to my rescue and I was able to leave safely. A few days later when I had gone out with some friends for dinner, around 50 people surrounded the hotel where we were dining, baying for my blood.
There was slogan shouting at Delhi railway station when I was returning to my hometown Indore. My mother was also not spared, and at a party in Indore, a little boy came up to her wanting to know if she was the mother of Pakistani goalkeeper Negi!
All I wanted was to be left alone, but I was the subject of discussion everywhere. I would break down and cry all the time. I was so miserable that I even contemplated suicide. The once confident Negi developed a stammer and came dangerously close to a complete nervous breakdown. Vinita bravely stood by me, a fortress and a refuge.
One year after the 1982 Asian Games, I got married to Vinita. While the wedding ceremony was in progress, a mischief monger from the electricity department turned off the main switch, plunging us into absolute darkness. Friends came to our rescue, and the remainder of the marriage ceremony was performed under scooter and motorcyle headlights. It seemed that everywhere unknown enemies were bent on punishing me. How much punishment can a man take?
Mir Ranjan Negi marries Vinita in 1983