“Game, Set, Match, Ms. Harshan, two sets to love, 6-4, 6-4”
Back to the present:
“This is unbelievable! All my dreams are going to come true. Thank you, sir! Thank you so much! I owe you a lot.”
Anushree Vijaya Harshan had come to know about Dr. Hawking, a famous scientist who had cheated death. But Anushree knew more about him than the rest of the world through her sources. Dr. Hawking had created a time machine which let him peep through his future and manipulate his life, rather his death. Anushree blackmailed him to give her access to his device. In return, she would keep his invention a secret. Dr. Hawking had no other option but to agree. Anushree, a club level tennis player, went through all the Wimbledon finals thereafter and finds herself to be the Ladies Singles Champion of 2025.
“I needn’t manipulate my destiny. I am going to be the Wimbledon champion in 2025.” she boasted proudly.
Dr. Hawking didn’t have much to say:
“Provided you work hard”, he said and left.
But Anushree could not hear. She had already been transported to her world of fantasies. The next morning saw a different Anushree rising up. The highly talented and hardworking girl had suddenly become indisciplined and arrogant. Her coach could notice changes in her. He kept quiet for some days thinking that she might be disturbed. But he finally spoke up when she had crossed all her limits. Her rants turned physical one day. She hit her hitting partner in anger.
“What’s wrong with you?” her coach shouted furiously.
“How dare you speak to me in that tone? I am the future Wimbledon champion.” she declared.
“We don’t need Wimbledon champions here. Just well-behaved girls.” he asserted. “You will regret this,” she said and left the academy to not return.
She kept on switching clubs subsequently, thanks to her inappropriate behavior. And suddenly one day it is 2025. Anushree is still a club player, an unknown name in the WTA circuit. But she was sure that she is the next giant-killer and fame and money would follow her after the next two months. She could not hide her excitement. Then, one fine day, the list of women who will be playing qualifiers was out. Anushree could not believe her eyes. Her name did not appear in the qualifier’s list, let alone in the main draw. She approached the officials and ranted as usual but to no avail.
Wimbledon, 2025 was over and she was not the champion. She was in a state of utter shock. She could not understand anything. She went into depression. Her life had no meaning to her anymore. She started having suicidal thoughts. Just when she had decided to end her life, she reads about a new discovery made by Dr. Hawking. She decides to visit him once before committing suicide.
“You cheated me. You gave me a fake device. You destroyed my future, my life. Why did you do this to me? You should have simply told me that you cannot give the device to me. You shattered all my dreams.” she started yelling as soon as she met Dr. Hawking.
Dr. Hawking patiently listened to her and spoke only when she was done.
“Trust me, girl. I didn’t cheat. The device I gave you is the same one that I used to improve my life, not manipulate it as you say.” he assured her.
“You are lying. Everything is so obvious now and still you have the audacity to lie, you cheat.” she cried in despair.
“First let me complete. After that you can call me whatever you wish to, a cheater or a liar.” he requested.
“Carry on” she sobbed.
“Do you know something? We both aren’t the only ones to have operated this device. Many people have used it in the past. Don’t you think that if you could come to know about my secret, then there could have been many like you? And this is what I have noticed over the years. This device is not a time machine. In fact, it only shows us what we desire and what we desire is what God has planned for us.” he said rather philosophically.
“If that is the case, then why did you see your deathbed?” she inquired
“Because I wanted to die. I was in excruciating pain. It was agonizing. But when I saw myself dying, I decided that this is not how I am going to die. I decided that I won’t give an open invitation to death as I did earlier. Even if I die, it would be after giving the disease a tough fight. That is how I survived.” Dr. Hawking said with a humble smile on his face.
“And why didn’t I get what I desired?” Anushree asked curiously.
“Because of your arrogance. You thought that you will succeed in any case. So you stopped working hard. I had warned you on that day itself. You only saw the victory. You failed to notice the amount of hard work that you had put in over the years to achieve it.” he made her realize.
She was devastated.
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
“People know that they aren’t going to die while crossing the road. But that doesn’t mean that they just casually cross it. They look and cross and that is why they don’t die. They work on it and hence they survive. Likewise, you have to work hard in order to get what you desire. We don’t just visualize our destiny, but create it step by step.” Dr. Hawking explained.
“So is there still a chance for me to become the Wimbledon champion if I work hard?” inquired Anushree.
“It might work or it might not. I can’t say. You have to realize it yourself. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. I can just say that God has definitely planned something beautiful for you.” concluded Dr. Hawking.
PS: The moral of the story is not as fictional as the story itself.