Saturday, February 24, 2018
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nehwal b

In a nation, obsessed with cricket and followed as a religion hardly any other sports have been able to create a niche for itself.  The picture started to change when other sports gained recognition in our country when they earned medals for the country be it Commonwealth or Olympics.  Badminton, as a game which was earlier often referred as indoor game has now got a professional outlook with majority of the credit going to Saina Nehwal.  Her phenomenal success as an international badminton player is one of the most inspiring stories of Indian sports.  Padukone and Gopi Chand were considered the icons of this game in our country but Saina was the one who is credited with the game now being followed.  With title wins at the Thailand Open and Indonesia Open, the bronze at the London Olympics was the cherry on the cake and a decade long dream cherished.

T. S. Sudhir, a familiar face on news television associated with NDTV for the last 16 years came up with biography of this shuttle queen.  Although it has not been long career for Saina as she is still quite young and has a long way to go but her meteoric rise is highly commendable and there always have been a sense of inquisitiveness to know more about this badminton ace.

The book unfolds every aspect for her life like her birth, her childhood, her earlier days with training, her parents, and coach.  A small town girl who grew up in a middle class.  When she was an infant her father took her to the badminton court for the first time, she started smiling the moment she saw the game, her father expressed that very moment she fell in love with the game.  The book has an interesting account of her growing up years, description of her innumerable hours of practice sessions, rapport with different coaches, her strengths and weaknesses, her performance at different domestic and International tournaments and the factors which have contributed to her success in the field of Badminton.

Champions define themselves in their dreams and then work incredibly hard every single day to be successful.  It has been no different for Saina Nehwal. A decade is about how long it takes to mature and become world class, especially if you happen to be the girl next door coming up from nothing. This is the first complete story of that epic struggle. It is an exciting record of how a young girl supported by her middle-class parents decided to take on the world.  Her father, Dr. Harvir Singh's meticulous approach and her mother, Usha Rani's discipline helped Saina reach the pinnacles of success which very few female sportspersons have achieved in India.  Gopichand’s role in helping Saina reach the peak in her career are written about in an engaging manner.  Her contribution to the sports have been recognized with Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, and Arjuna award etc.  The popularity of Saina could also be measured with her brand endorsement for as much as Rs. 2 crores.

 The book gives a lucid and an in depth coverage of her crucial performance at various levels and tournaments, her playing style, attitude on and off court.  Saina’s parents, having played competitive badminton themselves, ensured her a moral family support, and coupled with their financial sacrifice, these factors have been instrumental to let her concentrate on sport full-time.  Saina’s coach Pullela Gopichand, former All England champion, has worked in facilitating world class training facility in Hyderabad.  The book quotes Gopi on his observations and relation with Saina, as a player as well as an individual.  The book also delves into Saina vs Sania comparison and confusion. Another chapter deals how Saina has learnt to keep her feet on ground by limiting media glare and branding.  The chapter on management of the badminton sport in India at State as well as National level addresses aspects of discrimination, lack of co-ordination and limited geographical concentration of training facilities. One could attribute these reasons for stunted development of this sport in the country.

MY TAKE:  Honestly to confess, I always had a sense of admiration for this badminton ace even before going through her biography.  The nosiness to know more was the reason enough to go through her biography.  I applaud the efforts of the writer to come with the biography of Saina who in real sense is an inspiration not only for aspiring sportsperson other than cricket, but also for people from all walks of life, especially woman as a morale booster that the combination of 3D's that is determination, discipline, and dedication can convert any dream into reality.  I would suggest all the readers to read this inspirational biography as it much more worthy and practical than other motivational books which encash on your weakness to pave a shortcut path to success.



BOOK:  Saina Nehwal: An Inspirational Biography.

AUTHOR:  T. S. Sudhir.

LANGUAGE:  English.

PUBLISHER:  Nimby/Westland.


PRICE:  Rs. 250.


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