Monday, 15 June 2009

Nothing is worth her!

This is my first attempt at a short story. Kindly read and leave me your valuable comments:

“Why don’t you buy something to gift her?” asked his friend. “Don’t you want to show how much you love her?”

They were all shopping for gifts either for themselves to carry as souvenirs of the trip or to gift it to their loved ones. The weather was typical of the place – misty and cloudy with chilly winds blowing across the hill. Seenu’s friend had just bought a namesake gift in the name of his latest infatuation and was not even sure whether he would gift this to that girl. This made the question more ironic.

What would Seenu reply to that? Did he not want to show Shaila how much he loved her? Did he not have enough money to buy that elusive gift which would show how much he cared for her and how much he thought of her? Could he not have bought some little ornamental thing and pass that off as his gift to her? Why was he simply staring at the shop and meandering around while the rest were busy buying something for their loved ones?

He was just lost in his own world. Since the time he had set foot on that hilly terrain, he had realized that he would miss Shaila. He would miss her every moment during the trip. It was the perfect spot for couples wanting to be together. It had everything – the pleasant weather, romantic locations, and cozy little cottages, and wide walkways, sights of the lush green mountains, milky waterfalls, and occasional tender drops of rain. This kind of weather would make everyone long for a companion. His case was no different. And the fact that he had gone there with his office friends and the unexpected last minute changes in the trip made things even worse for him. He just tried not to think of her much and enjoy as much as possible with his friends. But her memories kept coming back…

The weather was part sunshine, part cloudy and part rainy. It was the same kind of weather when Seenu had first told Shaila what he felt for her. He just told her how much he loved her and wanted her as his companion. She had responded by telling that she would stay with him forever, and that no matter what happened, she would always love him. Too bad, the situation did not allow him to take her with him this time. The setting of the place was very similar to “Cloud Nine” – as wonderful as the lyrics of the popular Bryan Adams’ hit song:

When the moon is bright and the stars are out…
Whatever comes it’s gonna be alright…
cos’ tonight you will be mine- up on cloud number nine…

The rain came down in small droplets, each little droplet reminding him of her sweet, innocent looks. The fresh breeze from the mountains carried her fragrance. The sound of the mountain birds carried her melodious voice. The white misty peaks reminded him of her pure love for him. She was just everywhere that he saw. He just wanted to be with her so badly. And yet, that was the only thing he could not do…

How could he express his love and care for her? Could a small ornamental gift fully express what he was feeling for her? Could some costly present fully carry the enormous emotions that were rushing through his heart at that moment? He looked at all those items and just decided against buying anything. Someday, he would gift himself to her. He would dedicate his entire life for her happiness. He would take her to that very place and ask her to choose whatever she wanted from the entire lining of shops. He would try and fulfill all her wishes. Because she was the most precious gift that god had given him and he would spend the entire life in trying to make her feel like a queen.

It was then that he answered his friend who asked the question, “Nothing is worth her!” He meant it.

Disclaimer : All characters are fictional. Lyrics from the song by Bryan Adams. Producer : Bryan Adams

Monday, 8 June 2009

Paris... Done!

People thought someone like him with no extraordinary powers could never be in the great league… people thought his career was over when he surrendered his coveted crown last year to his nemesis … people said he would never be able to win on this surface ever… people thought he would never win again…

And then, he came back and won.... again!

There has never been a moment in my life where I have regretted not knowing a language as badly as yesterday when I lamented not knowing French. The man, the living legend, arguably the greatest player ever to hold a tennis racquet ever – Roger Federer had just won his fourteenth slam – his first Roland Garros title, the only grand slam to have eluded him so far. He had finished a career slam – only the sixth person in the history of the game to have achieved the feat. It was a real emotional moment for the great man. No one else could describe the moment better than himself and there he was doing exactly that in fluent French. I just watched his facial expressions when he spoke, the tears in his eyes, the ecstasy in his manners – they said it all. This was one title which he had to win to prove himself. Now that he had done it, Federer's name would go down in history as one of the modern day greats.

Roger Federer is my favorite sportsperson ever. I never followed tennis before but he is the reason why I started watching the game. I say that not because he has now won all four grand slams or that he has equaled Sampras’ record of 14 grand slams. The one distinguishing quality that makes me admire him is because of the charm and grace he exudes. He does not have extraordinary powers like the others. He does not have the power and stamina like Nadal. He is just pure talent and hard work which is why normal people can relate to him. He restores the people’s faith in old age graceful techniques in an era dominated by hard hitting, high stamina players. He is grace personified. Whether in victory or in defeat, he never has a bad a thing to say about anyone and that is one of the characteristics of a great sportsman.

People make fun of his “on field crying”. But at least he does not give animal like shrieks and does not shout abuses at everyone like the others. Besides, the crying also shows how hungry he is for success and how human he still is. He works very hard for each of his matches and never blames anyone for his failures. He never gives up anything easily and the pain of losing hurts him. Thus he has every right to display emotion after achieving his hard-earned success.

Some people criticize Federer that he never wins against the big players in big games. That too against his nemesis Nadal, his record has been pathetic. But if that was the case, how could he win 14 grand slams? Also, the other big guys like Nadal and Djokovic have never made it to the semis as many times as Federer. It is really a tough task to consistently reach the final four of major tournaments, let alone winning it. That too, he now has a slam on all the surfaces which only five people have managed to achieve before. Some people say that they would have been more happy if Federer had beaten Nadal on clay rather than Robin Soderling. But it is not Federer’s fault that Nadal lost to Soderling in the fourth round match. With all due credit to Soderling, I would like to make the following statement – “In his prime, Federer would have never lost to someone ranked above 20 in the fourth round of a tournament. It took a great player like Nadal and an epic five setter to snatch the coveted Wimbledon trophy from him last year. But Nadal, considering that he is in his prime right now lost his strength – the clay court French Open to someone ranked way below him” This alone proves the difference in their consistency. Nadal still has a long way to go.

When Nadal was ousted last Sunday, everyone thought Federer’s job was easy. With his nemesis safely out of the way, all that the great Fed had to do was win the title. But this made it the most difficult for Federer. Knowing that this was his best chance, he still had to win this one. And he almost came close to losing it to Tommy Haas and Del Potro. But the champion finally found form at the right moment and stood up to be counted when it mattered. This victory has now given him the confidence to take on any player on any surface. This way, Soderling has definitely helped Federer. Sometimes even champs need players like him to rediscover what they truly are capable of.

Most people have already started answering and debating this question – Is Federer the greatest tennis player of all times? According to me, this question is rather pre-mature. Federer is undoubtedly one of the best players of all times. But the question of whether he being the greatest can be answered only after the end of his career which is still a long way away. Also, his record against Nadal needs some polishing. It is a privilege for most of us tennis lovers that we have two of the greatest players of the game competing against each other. Nadal may eventually become the greatest player of all times. He just has to win the US Open to complete a career slam and a few more slams to come close to Federer and Sampras. And with the strength, fitness and talents that he has, Nadal might go on to become the greatest. But no man’s success can inspire us like the great Federer’s because he seems just like us. No player can ever earn the respect and admiration that Federer has earned by virtue of his grace and humility. That alone makes Federer take the top place in the list of all time greats.

Last year, after the defeat at Wimbledon, most of the Federer fans were devastated. All his fans were faced with the same question – what next? This year’s trophy has given everyone of them a reason to cheer and celebrate. The champion has come back to break the shackles. Take a bow, Roger!!! Now that he has taken all four grand slams, it is time that he realized that the greatest competition for a champ like him lies from within. Stage is all set for a comeback at the prestigious All- England Club. I wish he does it this time and stamp his authority on the game like no one else. Go FedEx Go!