With the Olympics set to begin next week this book on ace shuttler Saina Nehwal could not have been better timed.
At the outset a biography on a sports person might not attract someone who is not interested in sports, but a few pages into TS Sudhir’s, Saina Nehwal: An Inspiration Biography, changes that opinion. “Champions define themselves in their dreams and then work incredibly hard every single day to be successful. Saina Nehwal is no different” — the prologue for TS Sudhir’s debut novel states. These few lines could sum up what the book aims to do — talk about little dreams, perseverance, roadblocks, success, failure and hope.
The book traces the journey of Saina Nehwal’s parents from Hissar (Haryana) to Hyderabad followed by the rise, fall and hopeful resurgence of Saina Nehwal as India’s gold hopeful.
An interesting and rather unknown aspect revealed in this book is about Saina’s parent’s personal history with badminton. To understand and get an insight into Saina’s background the book goes back into time when Saina’s parents were getting married. Their personal love and dedication towards the sport and then their ultimate sacrifices to make Saina what she is today, is something that definitely strikes a chord.
The book also provides interesting and shocking insights into the treatment of badminton and badminton stars in India. It shows how due to our habit of focussing on one player or creating a brand rather than the sport, many a times talent is ignored.
As much as this is a book about Saina it is also a book about badminton champ and Saina’s coach Pullela Gopichand. TS Sudhir had made a point during the book launch that Saina’s story is incomplete without telling Gopichand’s story. The book dedicates an entire chapter to talk about Gopichand’s victories, failures and fighting spirit.
The narrative does slightly dips at some points but this does not last for long. The details of the match, Saina’s hopes and frustrations and those of the people around her are crisp and gives one the feeling of watching a live match. With the Olympics to begin from August this book could not have been better timed. At the end, it is Saina’s father’s simple words of encouragement that could inspire a generation of badminton players that stay back with us. Teary-eyed the man of few words had just one thing to say, “Himmat se khelo beta.” Go for gold Saina!
Name: Saina Nehwal, An Inspirational Biography
Author: TS Sudhir
Publisher: Nimby Books