Almost 5 years ago, I had written a post on tennis mentioning this chap I knew in Allahabad – Kaifi Afzal. Someone commented on it today and pointed out that Kaifi is now the cofounder of an organization dedicated to develop tennis in India. I wasn’t sure it was the same person, so I went digging around. The website has a photograph and there can be no doubt this is the same Kaifi I knew as a kid, the same Kaifi who brought us a tiffin full of sweetmeats every Eid.
I absolutely love how many of those I played tennis with so many years ago are still associated with the game and have chosen professions that directly connected with it. The dream in those days used to be to become the top players in the world.. but then, there are millions with that dream and it comes true only for a handful. But as coaches, academy founders, practice partners, many of them have chosen to stick around, have chosen to try and help others reach where they couldn’t. There’s a certain honesty, a certain pride in that… one that I truly appreciate and admire.
All the best to Tennis Excellence… let’s find the next Federer and give him what he needs to make it up there :)