It was a warm and humid summer evening. As many were heading back home, a young teenager named Surya was heading in the exact opposite direction. He was wearing a simple T-shirt and shorts and carrying a small gym bag with him. There was spring in his step, a look of eager anticipation as he sprinted across the sidewalk. After about 15 minute walk, a satisfied smile came across his face as he finally reached his destination -- the community tennis court, a place where he would visit almost everyday.
As he stepped onto the green concrete, Surya headed straight to the practice wall. It was this wall where he began honing his skills over many years. A perfectionist by nature, he was also a very shy kid who had trouble fitting into a society where almost everyone else was a different race than him. But once he stepped on the courts, all the shyness would disappear! The repressed emotions would run free and the real Surya would come out.
Surya started to hit back and forth against the relentless wall with his over-sized racket and his own relentless drive to hit each ball perfectly. Tennis was more than a sport to him -- it was also a haven, a second home away from the cruel world that surrounded existed beyond the 78.0 x 36.0 feet rectangle. Unlike most people, the tennis court never passed judgement on him or discriminated against him because of his race, color or religion. It openly accepted him as he was, all day & everyday.
As Surya continued to hit against the wall, the satisfaction of playing started to fill some of the void within him. Much of the loneliness was still there, but this small amount of solace would be good enough to get through the day.
The next day, Surya came back to the exact same practice wall and began hitting the exact same way. A tall thin man approached him -- he was outgoing and had an almost arrogant swagger about him.
"Hey kid, wanna hit?"
"Whats your name?"
Roy and Surya started to play a three-setter. Surya was up 3-0 in the third and deciding set, when nerves suddenly got the best of him. Oh god I'm so close, I better not lose this one, he thought. He made error after error with his shot-making. Shots that were winners turned into unforced errors, and he lost the match 6-3 in the final set.
As a dejected Surya walked towards the net to shake hands, Roy, looked down at him in disgust and said "Congratulations kid, you just beat yourself!". Surya was hurt and in total disbelief! What an asshole!! Did he just rub my loss in my face?!?!
As he walked home, Surya began to realize deep down that Roy was right. He had choked away the match and he knew it -- it left a bitter taste in his mouth and he hated it more than anything. He was also no longer in the tennis court, so it made the bad feeling even worse!
But this incident also sparked a fire inside young Surya later that night. The anger switch turned on inside him, a change that would mark a defining moment in his life. A few days later, Surya called Roy casually for another game.... but deep down, all Surya really wanted was revenge, a chance to make the douche pay for his remarks!