Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A fitting finale

Three days hence, the greatest and much awaited final was to be played. It was considered the acme amongst tennis tournaments played across the world. A win in this hallowed place was considered a high water mark and much longed for by all professional tennis players. Alfred and Benson the two top ranked players have been engaged in the rivalry to establish their individual supremacy over the other. They have held the top two rankings for the last three years continuously. Alfred led the overall head to head series at 10-5..Alfred being senior in age by five years to Benson has been dominant all these years with none to come anywhere near him .It was only after the advent of Benson that Alfred has met a true match to test his skill to the utmost. He had been hitherto winning in all the tournaments with effortless ease that the final always appeared a tame one man show. It was no longer so. These two had contrasting styles. Benson at 20 is raw muscular power with an amazing stamina, bewildering variety of strokes and an agility of a cunning feline in the court. Alfred with his rich and long experience at the top position had the answer to every player. Quick footed, calm and collected and a court craft that never took him by surprise Alfred had of course the age to contend with.
He wished to end his career with a convincing win in this tournament over his arch rival. He had been working towards this end ceaselessly. But Benson is no easy push over and in the last two, face to face final encounters had won easily over Alfred with his stronger physical endurance capability. Benson had a high regard for Alfred who served as his role model when Benson was young. He would like Alfred to make an exit in all glory and honours. But once he entered the court, it was just the professional pride that ruled giving no room for sentiment. Though Benson felt sorry for the aging Alfred, he made him run across the field and tire himself to clinch the match.
He sincerely wished that Alfred got all the honours in what was his last final without his having to lose. This was a fitting tribute to his friendly rival and a measure of regard he had for him... As luck would have it, Benson developed temperature two days before and the antibiotic injections did not help in bringing the viral fever down. He was feeling weak and inwardly happy that all the efforts of his physician to make him fit for the final event did not fructify. The media was already agog on Benson’s fitness and speculating an easy walk over for Alfred bringing for him the championship in his last tournament.
Alfred was not happy at the denouement. He did not wish a walk over. He wanted to fight and win a manly game over his rival to claim the championship by his prowess and not by default. He sincerely prayed that Benson would recover to give him a chance to snatch an honourable victory on the court in front of the adulating crowd that he was accustomed to. His mood was swinging between hope and despair. It was on the morning of the final that an unexpected development took place when Alfred sprained his ankle. Not all the efforts of the physio and the doctor could give him any relief, as he was hardly able to walk, let alone run.
The tournament committee decided to declare both the players winners and award the championship to both of them in what was considered an unprecedented decision in the annals of the tournament. Benson breathed a sigh of relief that God had answered his prayers making it possible for both to feel happy and their friendship strengthened further.
Kpartha12@hotmail.com

10 comments:

  1. Nice story. I wonder if the finals had taken place would it have worsened their rivalry or is it divine intervention that prevented bad blood from emerging? Though it is a sport...maybe its a blessing in disguise that led to circumstances where the title was shared by the two??

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  2. Good story sir. Well written! I really appreciate that you tread on different plots/areas in your stories.

    Have a good day :)

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  3. A nice story on Divine Intervention.

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  4. It is good that God decided for them. If they had played the match and Benson had let Alfred win, it would not have been right. It would have hurt Alfred's pride and ego. On the same note, If Alfred had lost, it still would have hurt him. This ending let him retire in full glory. Very apt ending. Superb!

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  5. Nice Story, sometimes things should be left on time.Best

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  8. the story is nice and good as always, but being frank, this one is far lower than my level of expectation from you.just that i cant digest the facts like a prolonged fever and an ankle sprain making two people win a title as combined winners.. just cant digest, may be because i read this with an ease.. overall, a good story.

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  9. Hello Sir, for a story it sure is nice. Alls well that ends well...something similar to this quote,
    In a game there sure is bound to be a winner and a loser. And this is no way to measure a friendship........if friendship is bound to break by one winning the championship, then sure the players are neither ready for the match nor for the friendship.

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