Sunday, June 29, 2014

I won't give up .... My turn will come .....

M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, played lead roles in his movies.  As youngsters we had our own movie heroes; Rajkumar in Kannada, N T Rama Rao in Telugu and MGR in Tamil.  Some would argue even in those days that Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Sivaji Ganeshan were better actors.  As happens with all subjective issues, each one is entitled to his or her opinion. But the fact of the matter is that they were all great artistes and devoted their lifetime to acting and movies. High discipline and devotion alone carried them to great heights and that is why they are remembered even today.  Luck probably played its role, but they made dame luck move in their favor by unstinted efforts and hard work. Their films when screened today, after decades of viewing them again and again, still draw full houses.

MGR was the darling of the masses, as an actor and as a person. The characters he played were generally sober, patient and represented the common man. His films always had a villain character played from time to time by various actors like M N Nambiar, M R Radha, P S Veerappan, S A Ashokan and others. The films usually had some fighting scenes in them.  The characters played by MGR would try their best to avoid the fights but the villains would not listen.  The hero is receiving blows, but does not return them initially.  He tries his best not to hurt the villain and end the fight.  But that cannot happen.  He goes on receiving blow after blow.  At some stage the blow is heavy and severe. There is blood on his body, usually in the mouth.  MGR wipes the wounded part and sees blood.  The expression on his face suddenly changes.  The sleeping giant is awakened.  He is now a transformed man. His turn has now arrived.  This is what the entire audience was waiting for.  Now it is MGR and only MGR.  The villain wants to flee from the scene, but there is no escape.  He is beaten black and blue.  The beating continues until the police come and arrest the villain.  The arrival of the police is a big relief to the villain. He is now safe in the lockup or jail and saved from the rampaging hero.  Sighting of blood was the key. That changed the equation.  But, they were only movies........


Perry Mason and his clerk Jackson are sitting in the court.  Perry mason's client, an young girl is present as an accused in a murder case.  Hamilton Burger, the District Attorney and his deputies are piling up evidence and reconstructing the gory scenes of murder.   The jury is evidently impressed by the voluminous and detailed evidence accumulating against the defendant.  While they are engrossed in the proceedings in the court, Jackson is worried and perturbed.  Perry Mason is sitting like a statue; his face granite hard.  Court adjourns for the lunch recess.

Mason and Jackson are now sitting at the lunch table in the restaurant across the court hall.  Dishes are served, but Jackson is not eating anything.  His hands holding the knife and fork are playing with the  items served in the plate.  "What is the matter Jackson?  why are you not eating?" asks Mason.  "The case is gone.  We are licked. The evidence being piled by the prosecution is overwhelming.  How can I eat lunch?", Jackson asks.  "Let them do their job.  Enjoy lunch now.  Let us get back to court.  I won't give up.  My turn will come....", says Mason.  They finish lunch and arrive in the court hall just as the Judge enters and hearing resumes.  Jackson is still worried and Mason's face is granite hard.

Hamilton Burger offers Mason to cross-examine his witnesses.  Mason's turn has indeed come now. He demolishes all key points of the prosecutions and raises many questions.  District Attorney has no answers and seeks an adjournment.  He wants an escape for the day.  There is no escape as Mason opposes tooth and nail.  Case is dismissed and defendant is released from custody.  But, that was only fiction.........

Rafael Nadal arrived in Wimbledon this week as World No.1, but seeded No.2 behind Novak Djokovic.  He had lost to others and Djokovic on clay courts before French Open 2014.  Doubts were raised on his capability to win in Paris for the fifth time in succession and ninth time overall.  Djokovic was looking for a career grand slam by winning at Roland Garros.  World No.1 was also at stake.  If Nadal won, he would continue in that place.  If Djokovic won, he would replace Nadal as No.1. Djokovic had beaten Nadal in their two immediate previous meetings.  Pundits were predicting that Nadal's time is over.  Both reached finals and Djokovic duly won the first set 3-6.  Nadal waited and refused to give up.  He fought on every point and every stroke just like the other did.  There was no scope for sharing the cup. Ultimately Nadal's turn came and he won the next three sets and lifted the Paris cup for the ninth time.

But Wimbledon was different, they said.   It is grass and not clay.  Nadal had lost to Dustin Brown on the Halle grass court in less than one hour in first round itself, only a fortnight before.  Pundits said he has a tough draw and may not last the first week. His first round opponent M Kilzan played so well and won the first set 4-6.  Nadal fought every point and waited for his time.  When his time arrived, he won the next three and moved to second round.  L Rosol was expected to end Nadal's journey at Wimbledon in round 2.  He had done so two years ago. Rosol was unstoppable in the first set.  Nadal fought each point and waited for his time.  When it arrived, he won the next three and reached Round 3.

His opponent in Round 3 was another hard hitting player.  Kukushkin had two distinctions; a player who had a double hip surgery and a rare player coached by his wife, Anastasia.  The royal boxes had many celebrities including Sachin Tenjulkar and his wife Anjali, David Beckham and his mother Sandra, Stewart Broad who had taken a hat-trick (three wickets in three balls) against SriLanka in a cricket test match only last week, Sir Bobby and Lady Charlton, Defending Champion Andy Murray's mother Judy Murray and many other tennis legends.  Kukushkin played power-packed tennis and won the first set in tie-break, despite Nadal coming from behind and forcing the tie-break.  Nadal again fought on each point and waited for his time to arrive. Either his turn arrived on its own or he forced it to arrive,  and then demolished his opponent with the identical score line of 6-1 in each set. He won 18 of the 20 games and every service game of Kukushkin was broken, except one.  the final celebration was muted and low key.

All along there was no change in his 18 mannerisms of keeping the water bottles in identical positions, collecting both towels from ball boys and girls and returning regularly, covering the half-eaten banana with its skin fully, wiping his forehead and ears and the jog to the baseline from his chair.  Coach and uncle Tony Nadal did not smile even when Nadal had two breaks in his kitty.  At the end of the match Nadal was indeed a relieved man.  He warmly clapped when his opponent walked off from the court and  threw his sweat-wet arm bands to the crowd.  On the way out he signed every autograph book, small and big tennis balls, yellow ones and pink ones too, magazine photos and many many caps.  He was modest at the post-match press conference and reasoned that he lost the first set because he did not play well.

This was neither film nor fiction.  This was indeed a glorious chapter from something called real life......

Nadal has lost many times to different rivals; it only shows that he is human.  But he can never be faulted for trying his best and waiting his turn in most difficult situations.  he may exit Wimbledon this year in the next match or even lift the cup. How many majors he can still win is a matter of wide debate.  All these are besides the point.   He is making the same doubting pundits to exclaim how he got those angles and service returns in these three matches!   Others are worried about the number of towels he uses on court and violation of the 20-second rule between the points.  He is concentrating on doing his best.  Of not giving up and waiting for his turn patiently. And when the turn comes, en-cashing it with full force at his command. He has already earned the adjective of being the fittest and most determined athlete around for quite sometime.

Champion of yesteryears and one known for his hot temperament on court, John McEnroe paid the ultimate tribute to Nadal.  He said, " How do you teach will, desire, not to quit in any circumstances? You don't see this often, once every ten years if you are lucky.  Nadal has made other guys better trying to compete with him.  In the definition of "Where there is a will, there is a way", he is the picture you are going to see".

The lesson is "Never give up..........wait.........Your turn will come!"  Of course, one has to work for it with a lot of conviction.  As much conviction as Nadal is showing to us.           


  1. I must thank you for the beautiful article written in simple and enchanting way. The article is a great tribute not only great actors of yesterday years and fictional writer Erle Stanlt gardener and his fictional character Perry Mason, but also a great tribute to the living legend Rafael Nadal. I am also waiting patiently for your turn to come and your dreams to get realised. Hats off to you for this lovely article. Looking forward to many more such articles. I wish you all the best.

  2. Splendid article. Comparison between fiction, films and real life - superbly done. Gives us motivation to pursue our goals relentlessly.

  3. H.SathyanarayanaJune 30, 2014 at 4:23 AM

    Very interesting article, as ,by Mr.Keshavamurthy, my pal. His style of narration, collection of information from many corners and relating it to present day personalities in a superb manner is unique to author himself. Let many more articles like this come out of his pen.
    With affectionate regards,
    H.Sathyanarayana, Faculty(MUBC).

  4. Super, it made a wonderful reading, I enjoyed it. comparisons made the point very clear, yes, never give up!

  5. vijayalakshmi s raoJune 30, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    narration is splendid and flow of thought and ideas quite interesting

  6. A superb narration starting from Movies to Fiction and to the real life to make a strong point of "Never Give-up" to all generation of people. Fantastic lesson for achieving success in the field one is pursuing. thanks Keshu for such a beautiful gripping article. Looking forward for more and more of these articles.

  7. exact and relevant ,excellent narration combination and comparison between fiction and real life..touching.Good job
    please keep sending.