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Second Draft - Malini Sekhar

Hi. This is a second draft that focuses more on my dad's love for sports and experience at the Senior Games.  I finished it but I'm still over 500-words. But I figure if I'm on track, I can cut some things and be less wordy in parts.   Thanks and look forward to your thoughts!

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My dad is old for me. 

No.  That’s gross, you pervs. He started a family later in life.  But I never noticed that he was older because he is so physically active. And he LOVES sports. Specifically, tennis is his true love, soul mate if you will.  Sorry mom.

On top of that, he is unnaturally competitive in sports relative to his civilian nature.   I’m confident that he would be overjoyed by the prospect of hitting one last killer drop shot and then kicking the can on the courts.  Of course, that would be highly unpleasant for the rest us.  Especially, explaining to his opponent that he is not forfeiting, but that we should call it a tie and go home. 

This kind of passion is what qualified my dad for the Senior Olympics in tennis a few years back.  My mom says it’s really called the Senior Games and my father is the only one who refers to it as “Olympics.”  She is essentially just jealous.  And why wouldn’t you be?  I had a chance to go with him for his first appearance at the Games in San Francisco, and it offers a confounding blend of ridiculous inspiration, nausea, and insanity all at the same time.  Nothing can truly match the feeling. I’m serious.

Since I’m accustomed to us hiding our elders out of plain sight, at first, I was shocked that this many old people existed in the U.S. let alone the world.  And these folks don’t use life alert.  Well, some of them may.  But most of them were in better shape than I am.  Some of them were even former Olympians, from the real Olympics.

Despite the culture shock, it was an amazing experience.  Or maybe I should auto-correct to say ineffable.  There are literally no words to describe watching a wiry ninety plus man race down a track against seventy-year-old minors and fall to the ground for dead, only to get back up and finish the race after two more falls, and without the help of the paramedics who were chasing behind him.  You are really not sure if you should giggle, cry or bow down and chant, “badass mofo.” I did the latter of course, after ensuring he was still with us.

As I was relishing the experience, watching these athletes and exploring the Stanford campus on a bike that was designated for athletes, which would automatically downshift gears if you went too fast, my dad was not feeling the love.  Not only was he nervous about his matches, he was worried about his knee that had been giving him problems.  

To be clear, he was really hurt.  This was not one of his usual shenanigans.  I say this because my dad hustles people in tennis on the regular.  My father didn’t usually hustle for money, but for the sheer love of testing the mental stability of his opponent.  Just imagine, your next opponent is my dad: a post-balding, short brown man with a proud, over-sized gut hanging over a remarkably small frame.  He walks onto the court with a slow gait and slight limp.  He has two knee braces on and the scent of Ben gay and other like-minded products emanate from him.  He seems nice enough and with his accent, you assume he doesn’t know what he’s doing and just roamed on the courts accidentally.   Then it starts.  You basically question your very existence when this crazy old guy starts sprinting to your balls and mercilessly drop shotting and lobbing.  As you fight back tears from your destruction, a mischievous smile creeps onto his lips.  And the mind fuck of it all is that once you leave a tennis court or playing field, he is a very nice man – a liberal in fact. 

Sadly, this injury before his first Senior Olympics match was for reals. My mom and I tried to tell him that there was no shame in NOT playing, and that it was truly outstanding to have made it to this level.   But he scoffed at the prospect of coming this far, only to back down.   That would be like an injured gazelle continuing to run in a futile attempt to escape the lion only steps away.  No. In my dad’s playbook, the gazelle must passionately leap straight into the mouth of the lion.  Yes, even if his wife will be super pissed. 

So the next morning, he suited up, and after making sure to tell everyone at the Games that he was injured and therefore, “may” lose, he stepped onto the court.  To tell you the truth, I think I may have come close to a stroke (the medical condition) watching my dad play that day.   I’m still unclear on if I had one or not.  Every other shot, my dad would chase down a ball that might have done his knee in, hell anyone’s knee in. That crazy so and so. The Giant of a man he played against, ended up beating him but not without a fight worthy of a made-for-television movie.   I am grateful to the Giant Man for not eating my dad whole, because I think he could have.

You might think this is the end of my dad’s legacy at the Senior Games.  You might think he would have come to his senses. Or at least realized he is better off watching Masterpiece Classics on the couch, sipping on some Ensure and staying indoors, as the universe intended. Not quite.  Actually, this was just the beginning for my dad.  As I write this, he is training for the 2013 Games. This time the competition is set in a popular destination wedding spot - Cleveland, Ohio.   He is in better shape this time around.  He also had his knee injected with something I’m told should not be confused with steroids.   

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FIRST DRAFT

So here is my first ROUGH DRAFT.  I decided to go with the story related to my dad because it just started flowing out of me.  Also, its sort of significant in the sense that my dad is the one who always encourages me to pursue humor writing.  

One note is that right now my rough draft is longer than 500 words and not completely finished.  But I thought I should finish writing it and then cut areas that are not as compelling.  Look forward to hearing your thoughts of what I have so far.  Thanks,  Malini

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My dad is old for me.  No.  That’s gross, you pervs. He started a family later in life.  But I never noticed that he was older because he is so physically active.  For example, at 10, I remember how I looked on in smug awe as my dad, the coach of our coed soccer team, referred to, as a “mixed” team back then, would punt the ball in the air to what seemed like the moon.  All the boys would look up with their mouths opening wider until the ball nailed one of them in the mouth on its way down. 

“Idiots!” “Stupids!” He would yell with intensity at us during games. Even those we were winning.  He wanted us to win better.  I think his fiercely thick Indian accent might have made the parents think he was screaming, “ideology,” and “superb,” respectively.  I think that’s the only reason he didn’t get his ass delivered by irate and mild to moderately racist parents.  Those were such lovely days.

If it’s not clear already, my dad loves sports and is unnaturally competitive relative to his civilian nature.  Tennis is his true love.  Sorry mom. I’m confident that he would be overjoyed by the prospect of hitting one last killer drop shot and then kicking the can on the courts.  Of course, that would be highly unpleasant for the rest us.  Especially, explaining to his opponent that he is not forfeiting, but that we should call it a tie and go home. 

But this kind of passion is what got my dad to the Senior Olympics for tennis a few years back in San Francisco.  My mom says it’s really called the Senior Games and my father is the only one who refers to it as “Olympics.”  She is essentially just jealous.  And why wouldn’t you be?  I had a chance to go with him for his first go at it, and it offers a confounding blend of ridiculous inspiration, wonder, nausea, tragedy and insanity all at the same time.  Nothing can truly match that feeling. I’m serious.

Since I’m accustomed to us hiding our elders out of plain sight, at first, I was shocked that this many old people existed in the U.S. let alone the world.  And these folks don’t use life alert.  Well, some of them may.  Bust most of them were more in shape than I am.  Some of them were even former Olympians from the real Olympics.

Despite the culture shock, it was an amazing experience.  Or maybe I should auto-correct to ineffable.  There are literally no words to describe watching a wiry ninety plus man race down a track against seventy year old minors and fall completely over for dead, only to get back up and finish the race after two more falls and without the help of the paramedics who were chasing behind him.  You are really not sure if you should giggle, cry or bow down and chant, “badass mofo.” I did the latter of course after making sure he was still with us.

As I was relishing the experience, watching these athletes and exploring the Stanford campus for the first time on a bike that was designated for athletes, which would automatically downshift gears if you went too fast, my dad was not feeling the love.  Not only was he nervous about his matches, he was worried about his knee that had been giving him problems.  

To be clear, he was really hurt.  This was not one of his usual shenanigans.  I say this because my dad normally hustles people in tennis on the regular.  My father didn’t usually hustle for money, but for the sheer love of testing the mental stability of his opponent.  Just imagine, your next opponent is my dad: a post-balding, short brown man with a proud, over-sized gut hanging over a remarkably small frame.  He walks onto the court with a slow gait and slight limp.  He has two knee braces on and the scent of Ben gay and other like-minded products emanate from him.  He seems nice enough and with his accent, you assume he doesn’t know what he’s doing and just roamed on the courts accidentally.   Then it starts.  You basically question your very existence when this crazy old guy starts sprinting to your balls and mercilessly drop shotting and lobbing.  As you start fighting back tears from your destruction, a mischievous smile creeps onto his lips.  And the mind fuck of it all is that once you leave a tennis court or playing field, he is a very nice man – a liberal in fact. 

Sadly, this injury before his first Senior Olympics match was for reals, despite me laughing in his face, the first few times thinking that it was his strategy. My mom and I tried to tell him that there was no shame in NOT playing, and that it was truly outstanding to have made it to this level.   But he scoffed at the prospect of coming this far, only to back down.     

TO BE CONTINUED AND SHORTENED

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