A Feel of the
The events which are mentioned in this article are true and not
a result of any imagination. This event took place in the December
I was shaking
with sweat and my body just cringed at the thought of playing
in a Tennis stadium, packed to capacity in Nungambakkam. My
coach had given me this “shocking” news just days before,
that I was to partner Vijay
Amritraj one of the greatest Tennis Legends in World Tennis
history for a Charity Doubles match. I knew that
there were players who would give “an arm and a leg” for this
kind of opportunity and I was certainly blessed to avail of
it. Yet I could not get rid of the sinking feeling that I
was going to make a complete fool of myself in front of thousands
of people. There were questions that would haunt my mind like,
what if I don’t play my best tennis? Or what if my shots don’t
work? I was so nervous just thinking about it.
D-DAY arrived and
I was sitting in the dressing room waiting for the “magical” moment
to arrive. The atmosphere was electrifying and I could hear the
crowd chanting out “Leander” and “Mahesh”. My heart pounded when
I was informed that I was to play before the then Grand Slam Champions.
When the time
arrived, I walked out into the cool open air and onto the
brightly lit centre court. The Man
(Vijay) himself was standing there and gave me
one of his most enigmatic smiles ever. He told me not to be
nervous, but I just smiled sheepishly. My tension was only
rising seeing the crowd and I just wanted to get it over with.
The match started and we were playing against Vijay’s own
brother Anand Amritraj who
was also one of the greats and my state mate Arun Prakash.
After a few exchange of shots, volleys and serves, we lost
the tie-break 7 points to 4. I sighed with a sense of regret
and relief. Then all four of us shook hands and we left the
court amidst cheer and applause.
When I was just getting
back to reality, Vijay came up to me, shook my hand and praised
me for my composure. I thanked him and asked for his autograph and
for a photo alongside him. He gladly obliged and after a few exchange
of words, I said goodbye, packed my things and returned home. This
was the most memorable day in my life and it was definitely a “feel
of the centre court”.
Contributing Writer: Samritha
Subash, a highly motivated writer with a desire to pen down,
what happens in our day to day lives.