I’m bald myself, you know!

by Ashish

Steffi Graf was on Centre Court today. She was in the audience, I mean.

I think her husband was with her. And I think Federer was playing. But I’m not sure, because I wasn’t really watching anything on TV. I merely waited with bated breath for that split second when the cameras would pan from the tedium of the tennis match to the thrill of the tennis goddess. Everything else, Roger Federer’s genius included, could go hang itself. Twice.

This post is not about tennis, although I wouldn’t blame you if you thought so at the outset. This post is about The One.

Every adolescent, pimple-ridden whippersnapper reaches a day in his life when he realizes that practically every single member of the opposite sex is unbearably, unfairly,un-understandably hot. He cannot think of anything else every single second that he is awake, and that is no exaggeration. The fairer sex, and doing things to, with and on members of said sex is all our young man can think of. I am not being lewd for the sake of it, I’m stating a bald fact. Every woman reading this has wrinkled her nose in faint distaste, and every man reading this has ruefully shaken his head. That is all there is to it.

But there is hope yet where us coarse, uncouth louts are concerned. For all of us also believe, in a very theistic sense, in The One. The one is the ultimate, unattainable epitome of grace, beauty and general wonderfulness. Her face, as far as once is concerned, could launch a million ships. Cleopatra’s nose could have done with the attention of a couple of modern day plastic surgeon in comparison to the outer walls of The One’s nasal passages. And Marilyn’s famed birthmark was, and let’s be frank here, a bloody blemish on an otherwise passable visage.

In short, The One simply cannot be bettered.

Just to be clear, The One isn’t just plain sexy – although there’s oodles of reserves  in that department, naturally. We’re not talking Salma Hayek or Angelina Jolie, for example. Worthies, both of them, but not potential The One’s if you ask me.

In fact, if you were to ask me, I could only come up with three names. And a lot of time and trouble I’d have choosing between those three.

Madhur Dixit, for starters. In the diabetes fest that goes under the psuedonym of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, there is a scene during a song called Maye Ni Maye in which she peers at us, the audience, from over her mother’s shoulder. That’s all the defence she needs against her opponents in this debate.

Madhubala, for another. She doesn’t need any defence.

But me, personally, I’ll pip for Steffi every time. Not only is she as beautiful and maybe more than the other two, but she is also the best tennis player ever. Across genders, across eras. At her very best, Fraulein Forehand was the emperor of all she surveyed. You don’t win a Golden Slam by chance, and you don’t best Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon by being lucky. You do it by consistently being better than the best, match after match, tournament after tournament.

Perhaps the best part of all with Graf was watching her after she finally won a tournament. A grim, resolute expression would give way to a small wave to the crowd, accompanied by a small, shy smile. And across the globe, a million hearts would sigh deep, heartfelt sighs.

One of those millions was mine, of course, And so you’ll forgive me if I don’t quite remember what else happened on Centre Court today. But the one thing that did happen, and of this I’m sure, is that Steffi Graf was present.

As was the small, shy smile.