Monday, July 09, 2012

Ah, tennis!

I remember watching my first Tennis match with my father.  Boris Becker was the first player I knew and recognized, I thought his name spelt "Baker" and I was both fascinated and repelled by his fair eye-lashes. 

Tennis was really in, while I was growing up.  We named ourselves after tennis players and played badminton.  In high school, we cut pictures of tennis stars out of sports magazines and collected, shared, coveted, safeguarded, begged for, showed-off, and exchanged these pictures.  (And defaced them, when we didn't like them.)  Ah those days, when the greatest problem in my life was that I didn't know how to pronounce "Stich" of Michael Stich!

I remembered all this after Puttachi and I watched the two Wimbledon finals over the weekend.  It was her first time, and she cottoned on to the basics of the game pretty quickly.  When I stepped away from the TV, she gave me running commentary too - "I think Radwanska won this point because Williams' ball hit the net."  "Amma, I think Williams won the next point because I can see her sister clapping."

She watched the whole match with me, without taking her eyes off the screen.  It fascinated me - how a sport could hold her attention for two hours!

She was intrigued that both the losing and winning parties wept - one out of sorrow and the other out of joy.

She was very eager to watch the Federer vs Murray match too, but I had warned her that she wouldn't be able to watch the whole match, since it would go on for long, and that the next day was a school day.  She watched as long as I let her, and when she went to bed, she was very worried about how she would find out who won.

That night, when she woke up for her toilet break,  she wasn't disoriented as she usually is.  She asked me, "Amma, will the match be over now?"
"Yes," I said, but didn't tell her that I had watched it and knew who had won.  I wasn't ready to answer a barrage of questions at 1 in the night!
"Will the winner's photo be in the paper tomorrow?" she asked.
"Amma, don't look at the newspaper until I wake up.  We will see it together and find out who won."

And all these instructions from someone who usually has no idea what is going on when she wakes up at night, and who needs to be helped into the bathroom and lifted onto the toilet seat!

I am waiting for the Olympics to begin.  I'm pretty sure we'll enjoy watching the games together. :) 


Radhika said...

Isn't that wonderful. The child need not be deliberately taught anything. Just picking it up from wonderful mom :-)

PeeVee said...

Hahahaha :D Cuteness!

bellur said...

shruthi, felt really fresh and nice to read this narrative. thanks. you took me back to the 80s and 90s.

remembered the days when my father and sisters went mad when lendl lost!

couple of days back, myself and narayan watched motoGP on ten sports...and there was a break in between just a couple of times. and narayan was thrilled that it was just a solitary ad during both the breaks. he asked me, "appa, how come there is just one ad, and not like how it is during kotyadhipati?"

and going back, was mad about gaabriyillada sabudhana and collected lotsa posters of all these tennis stars: manikya sales, agastyeshwara, the devadas of tennis - ivanobba lendl, pete samprastra, maths wilander, hot cash and his black & white head band, steffi graph paper, stephan iceberg, martina navaratha kurma, kari amrithraj, studious krishnan, michael changlu, jimmy corners, jim courier (not speedpost), john baekaenroe? kookolroe!, andy rod(bad word), Gorikai ivane sevic, jennifer cape comorin, merry go round fernandes, annada mel haalkova, arakere car chase to victoria, natalia mahadeva, so near mirza, jana nagarathna, marry to pierce, maria sharapanjara, hulina sukhova, sareenaa williams? venus elli williams?, leander peas pulao, sareegidyeno bruguera, nodakke djokovic, raja federer, yavono cougho nikov, nadubeedheel nadal...

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the post and bellur's comments !

Radhika said...

Had a hearty laugh reading Bellur's comments! Appreciate your sense of humour Bellur :-)

Wanderer said...

I want my kid to be just like this, enjoy sports and accompany me and hubby when we watch without being a monster who needs to watch cartoon channel when the match is going on.

Wanderer said...

LOL @ bellur's comments. Had a hearty laugh.

Shruthi said...

Radhika, oh you embarrass me! But yes, it is amazing how much children learn by just observing.

Peevee, ha ha :) I thought of you so much during the match!

Bellur, had quite a time trying to make out all the player names!

Neela, thanks!

Wanderer, very simple, if the child doesn't even have the concept of watching tv on her own ;)

bellur said...


here is the 'solved paper'!

gaabriyillada sabudhana - gabriela sabatini
manikya sales - monica seles
agastyeshwara - andre agassi
ivanobba lendl - ivan lendl
pete samprastra - pete sampras
maths wilander - mats wilander
hot cash - pat cash
steffi graph paper - steffi graph
stephan iceberg - stephan edberg
martina navaratha kurma - matina navratilova
kari amrithraj - vijay amrithraj
studious krishnan - ramesh krishnan
michael changlu - michael chang
jimmy corners - jimmy connors
jim courier - jim courier
john baekaenroe?kookolroe! - john mcnroe
andy rod(bad word) - andy roddick
Gorikai ivane sevic - goran ivanisevic
jennifer cape comorin - jennfer capriati
merry go round fernandes - mary joe fernandez
annada mel haalkova - anna kournikova
arakere car chase to victoria - arantxa sanchez victoria
natalia mahadeva - natalia medvedeva
so near mirza - sania mirza
jana nagarathna - jana novotna
marry to pierce - mary pierce
maria sharapanjara - maria sharapova
hulina sukhova - helena sukova
sareenaa williams - serena williams
venus elli williams - venus williams
leander peas pulao - leander paes
sareegidyeno bruguera - sergi bruguera
nodakke djokovic - novak djokovic
raja federer - roger federer
yavono cougho nikov - yevgeny kafelnikov
nadubeedheel nadal - rafael nadal

Veena Shivanna said...

Loved that conversation during midnight. She is alert all times.. smart baby.

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