Tumhare paas kya hai?

July 8, 2008

As the country celebrated its Independence Day, I spent the long weekend watching the drama that unfolded on center court of the All England Club.

The year – 2008. Wimbledon – the Mecca of Tennis. The stage was set. Two of the most potent forces in World Tennis today, were heading to meet each other in the Finals for the third consecutive time.

Roger Federer – genie on grass – beat Marat Safin in the Semis and looked like Harry Potter unleashing spells from his racket, making the ball dance all over the court.


“Wingardium Leviosa!”


Game, set and match Federer.

Safin could well have sat amongst the spectators and watched the match.

On the other hand, Rafeal Nadal used sheer brute force to pound Schuettler to set up an exciting encounter with the five time defending champion.

Records were all there to be broken. Nadal chasing a double – French and Wimbledon – in the same year, achieved last by Borg in 1980; and Federer going for a 6th consecutive Wimbledon title aiming to surpass Borg’s five in a row.

The all-Williams women’s finals on Saturday seemed straight out of a saans-bahu soap. Filled with emotion and drama, it raised TV ratings, was conspicuous for its unwanted skin-show and dangling earrings that probably weighed more than all the rackets used by both players; but in the end both players put together merrily walked away with 2.7 million pounds

On the eve of the much-awaited and much-talked-about Men’s Final, I happened to be watching Big B’s Deewar and as Big B in his stentorian voice delivered his famous ‘Tumhare paas kya hai?‘ dialogue, I attempted to imagine how, given an opportunity to star in a Bollywood movie, would the Rafa-Fed dialogue flow.

Fed : Aaj mere paas number 1 ranking hai, 5 Wimbledon title hai, bank-balance hai, bungla hai, gaadi hai… kya hai tumhare paas?
Rafa (with a pause) : Mere paas 3 French open titles hai…..
Nadal being the genie’s nemesis on clay for the past 3 years, Federer seemed the perfect ‘Angry Young Man’ and Nadal having lost to Federer on grass the last 2 years seemed determined to prove that he could defeat the genie on his ‘home’ turf.
The match began. Federer started off slowly and lost the first set. He then squandered a 3-0 lead to lose the 2nd set too. This is when true champions dig deep within to prove their mettle. Federer started to mix his game, coming to the net once in a while and otherwise hitting inside-out forehand winners from the baseline.
Third set, on serve, Federer leading 5-4, the Rain Gods made their present felt.
The delay seemed to work for Federer. He seemed charged up and pushed the set to a tiebreaker which he won comfortably. The fourth set moved into another tiebreaker. Nadal messed up a 5-2 lead but managed to get to Championship point.
The camera focussed on Federer’s face and he had a wry smirk on his face. It was as if Federer in his nonchalant demeanor was saying to Nadal,

“Rafa, ek baat samajh lo… Wimble-ke-Don ko haraana mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai”

A fast and furious first serve saved Federer match-point. Nadal managed to get to another Championship point but the Federer serve – as always – got him out of trouble again. Federer went on to win the 4th set too and with a roar he looked towards the family box.

The 5th set was the perfect climax to this spectacular thriller. Stiffled exclaims from the crowd, hand over faces in the family box and tennis of the highest quality on center court.

8-7, Nadal leading, and at Championship point, his third of the match.

A superb Federer backhand saves him. If Federer had gone to Moogie he could well have told Nadal,

“Ja Ja, dho ke aa”

A surprise first serve to the Federer forehand got Nadal another Championship point.
If Nadal had gone to Moogie he could have retorted,

“Bachche ki jaan jinga”

Advantage Nadal. He had to make this one count. You dont get too many chances against champions. As he prepared to serve, Nadal was probably recalling his Julius Ceasar where Brutus tells Cassius

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their lifes

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.

Nadal serves again to the Federer forehand. The rally ends unexpectedly as Federer punches the ball into the net.

Game over, a new champion is born.
The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. It was the great left-handed John Mcenroe who ended Borg’s winning streak and yet again it is a left-hander who ends Federer’s winning streak. But all is not over. Life moves on. The king has been dethroned and a new one has rightly taken his place.

If Becker ruled during the late 80s and Sampras during the 90s, it was Federer for the last 5 years. Only time will tell whether Federer will have the tenacity to come out from this defeat and do what both Becker and Sampras couldnt do – that Achilles’ heel – win the French open.

All of us go through times of triumph and tribulations. All of us have an Achilles’s heel – that one thing that we think we cannot do. But it is in adversity that we derive strength to reach our goals, to achieve what we think we could never achieve. And we should ask ourselves that question,

“Mere paas kya hai?”

And the answer should give us the strength to fight yet another day, to win another of life’s battles.


  1. Ekdum mast likha hai re Sid; i guess u have an alternate career line in Script- Writing – remember "Shambhu ki Swarg Yatra" ?

  2. Thanks Manish… "Shambu ki Swarg Yatra" was one awesome play… enjoy watching it to-date… mayb someday we can try our hand at another one of these plays…

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