The drought has set in:
1. In Roger Federer’s career: Federer going on a winless streak. That will probably not take too long to happen if he continues to be in his current woeful form. Speculation, of course, blames it on everything from lack of motivation to age to a mere temporary slump- all followed by a question mark. In the meantime, a Spanish hero, reminiscent of one of the swashbuckling, horse riding, sword-toting warriors of medieval times who carried away beautiful girls, has risen up the ranks and upstaged the aging Swiss master. Change is good. I can, therefore, hardly wait till a certain Serb called Novak Djokovic overthrows Nadal.
2. At the Olympics, for India: A flash in the pan, the single medal, and it’s all over. Every time the Olympic Games come around, we optimistically, cautiously, list out our ‘medal hopes’- not to hear of them for months thereafter. Maybe, four years down the line, some of their creaking bones will make an appearance for want of younger, brighter sportspersons, sparking off debates regarding how the youth has gone to the dogs, is not interested in sports, how parental pressure drives schooling, and every other irrelevant topic under the sun. Fill the studios, sensationalise, keep the sponsors happy. Give the officials their foreign trip once every four years (is that why India doesn’t get anywhere near winning a bid to host the Olympics?), wage wars over who will carry the Olympic torch when it passes through India en route to a more favoured destination (if India had been part of the bidding race); battle over who will carry the Indian flag at the opening ceremony. The sport? Well, that’s on the sidelines, of course. We haven’t forgotten it entirely. We’ll deal with it once the diplomacy is done, and everyone has had his or her fifteen seconds of fame. And we’ll remember to hype up the ‘big’ names- even if they tape their wrists as soon as they find themselves losing to somebody unheard of.
3. In the Ferrari F1 camp: They have gone without a win far too long. They blew an engine, the unlikeliest of mishaps possible, while leading the Hungarian GP (and so reminiscent it was of Michael Schumacher’s car leaving behind a trail of smoke at the 2006 Japanese GP, allowing Fernando Alonso to power his Renault to victory and potentially the championship). Can no team do without a mid-season slump? This is where McLaren-Mercedes lost it last year, topping it up with the Spygate saga. Hopefully, Ferrari will be able to pull it together and get back in form. While I normally root for Felipe Massa , I’d give anything to see even Raikkonen win (I despised Kimi Raikkonen in his McLaren days- all of a sudden, he is a saint). All for the prestige of the Ferrari team.
4. In my intellect: Which would probably explain why I spent two precious evenings skimming through a Danielle Steel novel. Saccharine sweet, nauseating, excruciatingly tragic, over-the-top girlish- why on earth would I want to read such a book? Because my brains said they were taxed and needed some respite from war, philosophy and common sense; what better anesthetic than a mushy romantic novel? Sense prevailed in one department, though, and as I mentioned, I just skimmed through the book, instead of reading every single word of it. Nothing in it seemed to point vaguely to an improvement in vocabulary or wisdom.
The drought will soon come to an end, I am optimistic, in three cases for sure.