Journalist T.S. Sudhir turns author with the first ever book written on Saina Nehwal

At the age of 12 Saina Nehwal travelled to Guntur alone where she was made to feel special. Tales about Saina’s prowess had reached far and wide so when she reached the tournament venue, she found a banner which read: ‘Go for Gold 2012 Olympics’. It has been ten years since then and that banner which welcomed her seemed to have had its effect. Looking back it seems that she fulfilled the promise she showed then.

Such and many more interesting aspects of Saina Nehwal— like her ‘no questions asked obedience’ makes debut author T.S. Sudhir’s first ever book on Saina Nehwal a different read than any book on sportspersons. The book titled An Inspirational Biography-Saina Nehwal is set to be released on July 9.

Sample this: It’s Chinese New Year’s Day in 2005. It is a date Saina won’t forget. She went from being a vegetarian to being a non-vegetarian in the course of a meal in China only because Gopichand told her to. “We were in Hangzhou and it was the Chinese New Year’s Day and no vegetarian fare was available. I took her to a restaurant and told her to eat fish and crab. Till then she had been a vegetarian all her life. I said she had to eat it. And to my surprise, she ate. No questions asked. She couldn’t even open her mouth, but she ate,” reads an anecdote from Gopichand in the book. Later she was to confess she ate only because her guru told her to.

T.S. Sudhir feels with the kind of love and determination Saina has for the sport she is a deserving person and is an ideal inspirational story for youngsters these days. Saina, according to Sudhir is a work in progress. “Saina’s hunger to win is her strength and that makes her very much alike her coach Gopichand.”

Sudhir says he has been working on the book for long and the substance that went into writing the book is something which he collected over his journalistic career. “I have been following her game since 2005 and most of what has been written are from my notes which I had from my interaction with her and the most recent ones are from conversations with her parents, coach, and friends and by spending a lot of time listening to what people talk about Saina,” says Sudhir.

To make the book an easy read Sudhir says he has made use of a lot of anecdotes about her and that’s because the author says “I want it to be an easy read for the young readers. The book also voices the thoughts that go into making a champion. Little do people know that Saina’s parents were also badminton players and that she carried a maar doonga attitude each time she played. Her idea of revenge on losing was to win against the same person she would have lost earlier to. But she has now come a long way. Spending more time at the badminton academy I realised the different world in which these players live altogether.”

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