A book before its time

For journalists, especially, it is always tempting to write a quick biography of a sports celebrity at the peak of her career. But Saina Nehwal, currently the hottest property in the Indian sports scene — not taking into account the cricketers of course — is still scaling the peak. In hindsight, any biography would look premature, and might appear no more than as a threaded collection of reports.

Intended to capitalise on the expectations of sports fans during the run-up to the London Olympics, T.S. Sudhir, a TV journalist, documents Saina’s preparation for the big moment, but is forced to leave out the story of the bronze medal success. The book, after the Olympics, is already looking dated.

In a way Saina has done better than her mentors, both coach Gopi Chand and the ace Prakash Padukone. Her success is a moment in the history of Indian sports that can never be missed in any retelling. Perhaps the author decided on the book in an attempt to charge up the aspirations of both the players and the big group of supporters this comely girl has gained in a short period. That being so, it must still be mentioned that after all those hours he spent with Harvir Singh, Saina’s father (not to forget “sipping black tea”), Sudhir has done justice to the various aspects of the life of the badminton star. From her childhood days to the current status where she could seek her father’s indulgence in adding an Audi A8 car to her collection, Sudhir has put in everything. Including the fact that she ended up buying a Rs 4 crore villa instead of the car.

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