Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Next is what?

“Unbelievable!” exclaims Aamir Khan sitting on his couch and enjoying the surround sound of the new mobile in his hand. He has had a haircut and looks too mature - This is a new ad for the recently launched i450 music phone from SamsungMobile. The software in the phone belongs to the company for which I work for but one reason which would compel me to buy that phone is definitely Aamir Khan – my favorite actor. He has transformed nicely in the ad world. It seems ages since that Coke ad where he abuses a waiter at a bar with words like “baal ki dukaan” and “flower pot” because that poor chap does not know “thanda matlab coca cola”.

After many days, I had the fortune of getting the TV remote control in my hands this Sunday. Most of the times, either Panini will have her serials to watch or Ultra will have his premier league soccer matches. If both are not there, mum would want to watch her “boogie woogie” style programs. It seems that I had forgotten that TV could also be a source of entertainment all these days. So when I got a chance to watch it, I kept surfing looking out for nice shows. The advertising world has changed a lot after that “cola wars” days. Today, a young girl gives her dad a cheque to buy a new big car, a couple keep calling each other because the roaming tariffs and call rates have dropped to an all time low, a cute pug assists a little girl with chores and is very “happy to help”... Many ads like these are nice and fun to watch.

I like to watch sports and so, whenever I get a chance to watch TV, I keep hoping that there is some live sporting event going on. Sunday was a great day for sports. There was a formula one race going on the Silverstone circuit in England. There was the Asia Cup final between India and Sri Lanka going on. But the ultimate match was live from the famous All-England club in Wimbledon, where the world’s current number one player and probably the best player ever, Roger Federer was fighting it out against his nemesis – Rafael Nadal.

I crave for watching live tennis or cricketing events live on TV but usually I don’t get a chance. But today I had a choice of watching either. I considered myself lucky. First, I watched the cricket match – after making mockery of chasing by successfully scoring scores above 300 in the league matches, Indians were struggling to score a modest 273 in the finals. It was saddening. Some new guy with a fitting name “mended” the torn apart match by Sehwag's early fireworks into his country’s favour. It was really disappointing for India. The ghosts of the finals had came back to haunt them again. So I switched to tennis.

Since the time I started following tennis, I have had just one favorite – Roger Federer. His utter dominance on the tennis court and his ability to turn any situation to his favor has just never ceased to amaze me. Time and again, he has demolished his opponents with his fierce ground strokes and “never-say-die” attitude. I don’t understand the details of the shots in tennis that well but if a Federer match is going on, I dare not to miss it for the sheer ruthlessness he exudes in his games.

Despite being the champion that he is, I admire Federer more because of his off-court attitude. He is always calm and composed on and off the field – whether in victory or defeat. His mannerisms are worth emulating and his sense of humor, impeccable. Most champions that I know of, for example some of the Australian cricket team members are arrogant about their success and that makes me dislike them but Federer is different. The others just display their power and arrogance but Federer is all grace and humility.

So when I watched tennis that day, I whole-heartedly wanted Federer to win his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title, a record that no other player has been able to achieve in the open era. But if cricket was saddening, this match was even disappointing – at least till the first rain interruption. Federer faced a very rare threat of losing in straight sets to Rafael Nadal, the same Spanish lad who has been denying him the only grand slam to have eluded him for three years consecutively, the same guy who defeated him in straight sets a month ago at Paris – in the shortest final ever at French Open. It was a sad day for all Federer fans till then. I just could not watch it. I went to bed wondering what would be the eventual outcome of this match.

But what a final it turned out to be! The longest match to played at a Wimbledon final, the most fiercest battle ever, two players giving it whatever they had, matching each other shot to shot - the critics have still not stopped describing the glory of the match. Eventually, after a marathon time and in complete darkness, the winner was decided. It was as though the dark clouds and the entire court was in darkness only to mourn the fall of a great champion. But the opponent who defeated him surely deserved to win.

Federer has been defeated. He is not as invincible as he used to be. All is fans are faced with the same question - next is what? He faces a threat of losing his world number title to Nadal who is matching him shot to shot on all surfaces. His record of most number of consecutive wins has been broken. But the good thing is that the man himself is not. That’s the best part of Federer. He never gives up. When Bjorn Borg was defeated after 5 consecutive Wimbledon wins in 1981, he walked away from the ceremonies and never came back to playing grand slam again. He spoilt his life with an unsuccessful marriage, bankruptcy, rumoured drug abuse, etc. But Federer is not that kind of a person. He announced after the match that he would come back again and try next year. He praised Nadal wholeheartedly. And that’s what distinguishes the champs from the rest - they stay and fight back. Dont they?


Saravanan said...


Buddy, About ads, I always felt that creativity is best in ads. Conveying a message within 30 seconds to 1 min is something great. I always loved watching ads. I don't like the same ads being repeated as in cricket match breaks.

Good Article!

Anantha said...

I watched that final fully. I knew Federer would come back after losing first 2 sets. I also believed Fedex would beat Nadal in the final tie-breaker, which dint happen :(

What next..? It surely is not an end of Fedex era.

Hail Fedex...

Ummm... I quite disagree with the word 'sheer ruthlessness', u have used to describe his game. I feel Fedex is not the one who blows off his opponents, he 'bone chills' his opponents and makes them crumble

Shashia said...

Ads being repeated are sometimes irritating. But sometimes they are needed to relieve you of the tension. Imagine a cricket match where it gets down to the wire and it is so unpredictable. Having a predictable ad during that time helps :)

Correct anna, it is surely not the end. It is now time for him to rise and prove his critics wrong which i am confident he will.

When I meant ruthlessness, I was referring to the many matches in which he beat the second best players like Roddick, Hewitt, etc with ease and made a mockery of the terms "tense and nail-biting" during these games