Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
A sports-star who needs no introduction, Sania Mirza, the female lawn tennis player, has brought laurels to the Indian nation and is continuing to do so. In 2015, she became the first female Indian tennis player who gained the number one position in doubles, beating Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci from Italy. Her success story is one which is driven by consistent passion, hard-work, unstinted commitment and dedication. A sports prodigy who began playing the sport at the age of five, she hasn’t ever missed her routine training sessions for twenty-three years.
Sania Mirza’s success story has also been besotted by troubles of a different kind – for instance, being a Muslim, the so-called ‘upholders’ of morality posited that it is a matter of shame for her to wear skirts and expose her legs in front of the whole world, or specifically, in front of strange men. Secondly, her marriage to the Pakistani cricketer Shoaib also drew a lot of flak from the general public. Her decision to marry early was condemned, overlooking the fact that it is only her right to decide such issues. Additionally, it was rumoured that she would now play for Pakistan, since she had married a Pakistani national. Despite all such baseless, distractive accusations and remarks, Sania has never been bogged down.
She has always concentrated on her game, in a truly professional manner. Her biggest source of support has been her family, as his evident from the fact that it was her father who had begun training her at the tender age of five or six. Her family did not hesitate to drive across state boundaries in a car to enable their daughter to participate in tennis tournaments.
Also, her own determination and grit in the face of all adversity has gained international recognition – she is the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. Her name also features in one of the fifty heroes of Asia – a list released by Time magazine.
Sania’s story motivates each individual, especially each woman to strive for what she believes in, to never lose hope in the face of baseless negative criticism and to never let age, especially young age, factor in as a detriment. She began her winning streak when she was a child of five.
It was not as though her life was a bed of roses and she won every tournament that she participated in, she did have to face several defeats. But, her defining trait – i.e. always clinging on to hope even in the darkest times – held her in good stead.
Everybody wishes to become a diamond, but nobody is willing to get cut. But this diamond repeatedly cut herself against all odds and succeeded with flying colours.