fbpx
Friday, March 5, 2021

The spiritual side of Leander Paes

Perhaps, the tennis player’s connect with spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy has helped him last the distance

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Leander Paes.Indian Link
Photo: Ravinder Singh Jabbal

If you were glued to the TV like me for this year’s Australian Open, you may have noticed India’s Leander Paes competing. He was one of the oldest at the event, an 18-time major winner, and at 44 he is still going strong. He made it to the final 16 of the tournament with doubles partner Purav Raja. At 44, Paes is the oldest man in the Open era to reach the fourth round in a major. “It’s what keeps me going now, to rewrite the history books,” he said. “It’s fun. What else is there?”
I first started following him after he visited Sri Chinmoy a few times in New York. He was very soulful when he was around Sri Chinmoy and Sri Chinmoy was equally happy being with him as he was such an avid tennis player and fan himself. Paes received the “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness Heart Award” from Sri Chinmoy in August 2004.
In this program, the US-based Indian spiritual leader, who was a keen weightlifter, lifted large objects such as people on special lifting platforms. He lifted many icons of the world, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Ravi Shankar and they were often very moved by the spirituality that accompanied the process.
Leander Paes.Indian Link
Paes’s career started early. In 1990 he debuted for India in Davis Cup at just 16 and he has just kept going. He’s won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, and is the oldest man to have won a Grand Slam title. He holds a career Grand Slam in men’s doubles and mixed doubles, and achieved the rare men’s doubles/mixed doubles double at the 1999 Wimbledon tournament. His mixed doubles Wimbledon title in 2010 made him only the second man in history (after Rod Laver) to win Wimbledon titles in three decades.
He competed in consecutive Olympic appearances from 1992 to 2016, meaning he has been to seven Olympic Games.  He took a bronze in the men’s singles event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  With the Olympics only coming around every four years, it is a coveted trophy.  Rumour has it some players would swap a slam for an Olympic medal.
Leander Paes.Indian Link
(c) Copyrights Sri Chinmoy Centre

He went through some tough times in 2003 when he was admitted to hospital after a series of dizzy spells with a suspected brain tumour. Grace descended though, and it was later found to be a parasitic infection. Not something pleasant, but it has a much better prognosis. A credit to his character, his then mixed doubles partner Martina Navratilova phoned and said she’d skip the upcoming US Open and wait until he got better before playing again.
While I am sure he would have preferred a title, Leander Paes has to consider this year’s Open a success. Let us hope he comes back next year.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

Guess The Song rj ekta

LISTEN: Will you be the one to correctly guess this tune?

0
  Are you good with guessing tunes? Keen ear for rhythm and beats? RJ Ekta might've been able to stump you with this one. She recently...
Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah twitter thread

Women, what would you tell your school age self?

0
  Ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March, Monash University's Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah was asked to speak at a girl's school. The inspiring academic,...
women empowerment

WATCH: Hindi poem about women empowerment

0
  Ever have those days where nothing is going your way? You feel demotivated and wonder, "what's the point?". The last couple of weeks in Australia...
march 2021 shows and movies

Indian shows and movies to watch in March 2021

0
  Bombay Begums (Netflix) After the award-winning Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016), director Alankrita Shrivastava is back with another empowering series about women. Set in urban...

Japanese billionaire seeks eight artists for free Moon ride

0
  Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has invited eight people to join him for a free ride to the Moon on a SpaceX Starship rocket sometime...