Forehand Or Backhand, Sania Mirza Always Knows How To Give It Back
Dear Sania Mirza, on your birthday, I want you to know a few things.
You’ve never put a premium on boxes. If I were to imagine you in one, you would be flailing your arms vigorously, screaming to break free.
Once out, you would dust off the specks and make a beeline for the court. Probably in a silk gown with tennis shoes in tow!
You wear many hats and each one has a story to tell. A story that manages to make your posts and pictures come alive!
Now, as you know, today is just another regular day in the life and times of the trolls.
There are those who will dismiss you as a "Pakistani’s wife".
There are those who will dismiss you as a "distracted tennis player".
There are those who will simply be boxed up.
And then, there’s you.
You work hard, play harder and brave your trolls the hardest.
You work, travel, party, read, laugh, learn, unlearn and most importantly, steer clear of compartments. If one expects to only see sombre photos of you on the tennis court, clenching your jaw and punching your fists into the air, they are in for a surprise. Those expectations are, quite unhesitantly, held by the neck and hung upside down.
Mind you, you never shoot. The arrows in your quiver are always on display, gently and playfully reminding the wily pundits online that you are a force to reckon with. On and off social media.
You are expected to be a "perfect" professional, a "perfect" woman and a "perfect" Indian.
Your shrug off all that negativity with your rock-solid impenetrability and humour.
At times like these, we could all take a leaf out of your book!
It stands to your credit that you can’t be boiled down to a single adjective. You’ve seamlessly clubbed multiple versions of yourself and you are not wary of letting them unfold, as and where they may. The daughter, the friend, the wife, sister, the tennis player and the regular 31-year-old keep peeking in and out on social media, with multiple moods and emotions, come what may.
Your photos online tell me a story – one that can be easily summed up in five points.
1) You are a woman.
2) You are successful woman.
3) You are a successful woman who married someone she wanted to.
4) You are a successful woman who married someone she wanted to, wears what she wants to and befriends whom she wants to.
5) So, you are a successful woman who married someone she wanted to, wears what she wants to, befriends whom she wants to and does not show any signs of vulnerability.
That’s five layers of intolerable subversion, on your part. It has GOT to be hard. There is no denying that.
All I want to say is, keep ‘em coming. Make sure they pile up to a huge stack and when you are done with this one, go for a brand new stack. I promise you that you are NEVER going to topple over.
Have a lovely day day ahead and the happiest of birthdays!
An Impressionable Onlooker.
(This story was first published on 15 November 2017 and has been reposted from The Quint's archives to mark Sania Mirza’s 32nd birthday.)
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