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Sporting Gestures

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Wimbledon has begun and our house is full of excitement. The tennis season always evokes tremendous enthusiasm from the LOH(Lady of the House). She even sacrifices her "Bold and Beautiful" TV time to "Prime Sports" and literally leaves Brooke holding her baby. Not that she is a great tennis lover, but she is an ardent fan of Ms Maria Sharapova. She watches every match that Ms Sharapova plays and her prayers for Ms Sharapova's victory become loud and clear.

I have only to applaud or comment "Well played" on a point scored by Ms Sharapova's opponent and she threatens me with a boycott which I can ill afford. Her comments while watching Ms Sharapova at play are so knowledgeable.

"Just watch! She is going to win today. She is wearing black bangles on her wrist," she exclaims in glee. Ms Sharapova's defeats are attributed to not wearing black bangles or some other trinket that the great tennis star is fond of wearing.

The other day she was absolutely ecstatic with Maria's performance.

"You know I am going to name my granddaughter Maria," she enthused.

"Don't you think that is going a bit too far?" I queried.

"Why what is wrong with it?" she countered. "We have to name her something and Maria is my favourite person."

"But what happens if she doesn't play tennis when she grows up?" I asked.

"She will play tennis," she said with finality typical of her. "And she will become a world champion too."


"And how are you going to ensure that?" I egged her on. Now she was in full flight. Her runaway fancy got the better of her.

"Catch them young! That's what I will do," she went on. "I shall give her a silver tennis racket in place of a rattle when she is born. She will develop a good firm grip right from day one," she added.

"And what about the black bangles?" I said tongue in cheek.

"Yes," she said, "She will get those too. I shall arrange to have her coached from childhood. I shall show her all the video cassettes of all Maria's matches that I am recording. I will make her a world champion. And when she does win the Wimbeldon..."

"She will tell the world 'I owe my success to my grandma. There are people who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, but I was born with a silver racket in my hand.'" I interrupted her.

"Yes." The faraway look in her eyes and the smile of intense satisfaction on her face told me she was already dreaming of the moment.

"Come on, Darling. She has got to be the first Indian woman to sail round the world single handed," I said. The sailor in me got the better of me even though discretion dictated otherwise.

"Don't be ridiculous," she snubbed me. "When was the last time you won a race. You and your sailing! It's always some protest or the other, or a gear failure or whatever."

She did have a point there.

"But what can I do? You only pray for Ms Sharapova's win and not mine," I countered.

"I only pray for winners," she said.

"But they don't need your prayers."


Just then our son walked in. We were just warming up and the domestic battle was enjoined. He had gathered soon enough what it was all about.

"Mom and Dad, what makes you think that your granddaughter will become a sports person at all? Don't I have a say in the matter?" he asked.

"And pray what has this got to do with you?" said the LOH.

"She'll be my daughter."

"No she will be my granddaughter and she will play tennis. And that’s that," the LOH responded.

"But Mom..."

"I'll have no buts from you young man. And another squeak from you and ...."

"So Mom, you agree to my marrying ...."

"Over my dead body," she said.

"But..."

"Don't you think this is all a trifle premature?" I put in a word edgewise. That is all that I can manage on such mother-son confrontations. He is only eighteen and our dream granddaughter has many years yet before she arrives. But while we wait here is more strength to Ms Sharapova and I hope our granddaughter is not beaten to being the first Indian Woman to sail solo round the world.

 

End

 

Bio:   I have served for over 33 years in the Indian Army Corps of Engineers and am retired now. Love writing humour and short stories. I have also written books on Military History and Management. Some of my short stories were published when I was much younger. Professional commitments pushed my fiction writing to a stand still. I have the time and the inclination now and wish to share my wit with others.

 

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