Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Taste of Fame

Being recognized is a great feeling.

Ok, so I'm not exactly hounded by the paparazzi, but I have tasted from the fountain of fame. (alright, alright...maybe it was more of a sniff of the vapor from the fountain of fame...minor detail).

I cameoed as a Model in a local coupon magazine. (If only any of my stunning photos made the final product).

I starred in a commercial once. (Ok, so I had no lines, but I did demonstrate some solid tennis skills in a commercial for an athletic club). This immediately vaulted my middle school popularity.

I have a moderately popular blog.

But possibly the most recognition I received was from a newspaper article written about me soon before I left Anchorage, Alaska for college. It was a HUGE article which took up the front of the Sports Page in the Anchorage Daily News.

To be fair, this article was ridiculously complementary and makes me sound like Mother Theresa (oh the similarities between "Momma T" and I). But then again, it is ME afterall :) So today I present to you the article in its entirety. The picture above took up a huge section of the page.

Rapped up in tennis
East High's Arun Srinivasan is a tennis champ, rapper and scholar

By Josh Niva
Anchorage Daily News

(Published June 26, 2001)
Arun Srinivasan knows a good racquet when he sees one.

He's a 10-year tennis veteran, a high school state champion as a doubles player, a state runner-up in singles and even a tennis instructor on the side. So he's no stranger to the tools of his sporting trade.

But Srinivasan didn't need a good racket to land him a $6,000 scholarship from the USA Tennis Foundation Educational Scholarship Fund. When applying for the honor that rewards tennis achievement, tennis involvement, community service and academics, he simply let his off-the-court statistics speak for themselves: a recent honors graduate from East High with a solid 4.0 grade-point average; a volunteer math tutor and tennis instructor; a Key Club member; the embodiment of sportsmanship.

"It's really exciting," the 17-year-old Srinivasan said of receiving the award. "And it will help a lot (financially)."

Every bit helps when you're about to enter your freshman year at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo to study computer engineering, including the $1,500 East Anchorage Rotary scholarship he received earlier this year.

"I was so happy for him -- I feel like I won this, too," said Srinivasan's tennis mentor and friend Cathy Tracy. "He's just always there to help out and do anything. He's a selfless, wonderful person.

"I wasn't surprised at all (that he received the scholarship)."

And it shouldn't be too surprising that a person as ambitious as Srinivasan has an extremely well-rounded background to go with his tennis acumen.

His parents are from India, he was born in Kansas City, Mo., and he moved to Anchorage in 1990.

Then there's his advanced placement calculus, AP English and computer engineering background that would fry the average mind.

He's into music, too. He plays the cello, sings jazz, is in classical choir and he even raps. Yes, the honor student raps, and his name on the microphone pays homage to his GPA ... A-Plus.

"It's just a lot of fun," said Srinivasan, who began rapping with a friend seriously two years ago after an AP English assignment called for him to compose a rap song.

But this rapper doesn't spit the typical Parental Advisory lyrics. His lyrical content is intelligent, and his flow is as tight as his court game -- quick, hard hitting, wise and no unforced errors. He volleys tongue-twisters like tennis shots and even sprinkles a little of his favorite sport into his raps as he sizzles, "players who pose on the court" of the "prodigy" with his lyrics.

While Srinivasan has only been in the rap game for a brief time, he's been serious about his tennis for quite awhile. His family always followed the sport, but his interest piqued when he was 8 and he decided to attend a clinic that Tracy conducted.

Tracy can still remember that day 10 years ago when she first met the aspiring tennis star who would turn out to be her assistant tennis instructor at the Alaska Club years later.

"He was 7 or 8, and there were probably 55 kids there," said Tracy, the Alaska Club's director of tennis. "I noticed him right away with his great attitude and athletic ability. Sometimes you see someone for the first time and see that this kid could be good."

"I just fell in love with it," added Srinivasan. "It came naturally and I just enjoyed it."

Srinivasan is a right-hander who likes to play a serve-and-volley game, a strength that makes him a strong doubles player. After making the East tennis squad as a freshman, Srinivasan toiled, paid his dues and eventually won the state doubles title with teammate Adam Stauffer. A season later, as a senior, Srinivasan finished second in singles play to Service's Deric Saffell.

"He's got an awesome serve, good hands and touch shots," said Tracy, evaluating Srinivasan's game.

But his physical skills are just part of what makes Srinivasan a special player. He also plays by his own strict code of tennis ethics, a code that gets him accolades and one he spelled out in the essay he wrote to the tennis scholarship committee.

"I always try to keep a level head when playing and show class on the court," Srinivasan said. "In the essay, I wrote about how I started playing tennis and how it helped me not only do well in school, but how it changed my attitude. It teaches you how to be a sportsman, and it teaches patience."

It's a message he tries to get across to teammates, opponents and now to the fledgling tennis players he teaches. But he also knows when to just have fun with his sport.

"As an instructor, he's great," said Tracy. "He's always aware of the whole situation, and he makes sure the kids have a good time."

And that's one aspect of his lessons Srinivasan is sure to focus on.

"I usually instruct kids, and not so long ago i was that same person," Srinivasan said. "So I always have to make it fun for whoever's taking lessons. If it's not fun, they won't come back. That's why I came back."


Back to the real world...there are some innaccuracies in this article (through no fault of mine).

Computer Engineering Background???...I had no clue about computers back then, and struggled with those damn machines when I got to college.

Rapping Seriously? Umm..I did spit some solid rhymes but I don't think anyone would have called what I did serious.

Oh well...I guess when you're as famous as me, you have to accept that media will, on occassion, fabricate information or perpetuate rumours :) Ahhh, the price of fame...

No comments: