Friday, November 25, 2011

Double Fault -- Part I

Vijay Rajagopalan was an aspiring tennis player on the ATP Tour.   He was just 23 years old, but "23" is a seasoned veteran in tennis years.  He had beaten several Top 10 players in the past year and won a few tournaments too.  He was also the only Indian male singles player to have won a tournament in India  -- the Chennai Open.  Plus he was also a Tamilian, so he was definitely a local hero in his hometown of Chennai.  He travels all around the world, plays at all the different tournaments, and makes enough in prize money to cover his travel expenses and equipment and would still have a decent amount left over for himself.

Yep, life was definitely good.  Still, Vijay made a lot of sacrifices to get to where he is.  While his friends went into the traditional fields like engineering and medicine, he took the less travelled road of professional sports.  He trains hard daily, practices rigorously and works hard on his fitness. No hanging out with friends, no parties, no distractions from his ultimate goal '”to be among the greatest tennis players of all time”!  It was a tall order, but he was willing to do it since it was his one great passion in life.  Vijay means victory, and that's really all he cares about.  He had a good all-court game with no real weaknesses, and plenty of power to boot.  His only real limitation was that he had Thalassemia Minor, a form of anemia that causes the excessive fatigue and thirst in the patient.  This meant that he had to finish off his points, his matches and his opponents more quickly to avoid dehydration and exhaustion.

Vijay had always been a shy, quiet and somewhat detached introvert since he was young, and having a tennis player's solitary life didn't do much to make him any more social.  He had a small group of friends since childhood ' Anand, Ravi, Sundar, Balu, Ramya and Roshni.  They were his best friends and pretty much his only friends.  Among them, Anand was his best friend.  Roshni had a crush on Vijay for a while but never anyone else except Anand.

One day, during his so-called "off-season" in December, Anand introduced Vijay to Nisha, daughter of a wealthy businessman.  They struck up quite a friendship.  She was quite the opposite of Vijay ' he was an introvert, she was a total extrovert; he was relatively quiet, she was a nonstop chatterbox; she would take a hundred words to convey one thing whereas he would convey a hundred things with just a few words; she was the life of the party, he was just a wallflower.  Yep, they were total polar opposites.


  1. Sriram, the story shows promise but right now it reads like a report.

  2. @Purba... Yep you're right, but don't worry it gets much better! :)

  3. Hey Sriram, this is a lot of narrative. If I can make a suggestion, I would suggest some heavy cutting on the background buildup. A short story would work even without that...

    Keep going, I would look forward to the continuation :)

  4. @Sid... Thanks for the suggestions, I'll keep that in mind. This is what happens when software developers try to write short stories! :-P

    Rest of the story is published. Take a look when you get a chance.

  5. intrigued enough to go to part II :)
    But I agree, there's a lot of unnecessary back story. Try to weave the back story into the main events to keep it moving and interesting....if that makes any sense....

  6. @Neelam... Gotcha, good point. I'll keep that in mind next time I write another story. Thanks for the helpful hints! :-)