Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Real Deal

Britain has a new talent. And I'm talking about a genuine talent here, not just a person with a vague ability to not bore you on television, which seems to be the only requirement for celebrity these days. No. I'm talking about a person blessed with a true gift that we can admire. A gift to inspire us to be better in ourselves and reassess our own goals.

I'm talking about Kiran Matharu. She's 18, a girl of Indian heritage, and she plays golf like you would not believe. Basically, she's Britain's ass-kicking answer to Asian-American wunderkind Michelle Wie, but without the attitude. In an interview for this month's Golfpunk magazine, she chats about her iPod playlists, her myspace site and her favourite TV shows. Oh, and the fact that she can consistently shoot 70, 71, 69... At the moment Kiran is the best-kept secret in British sport, being more famous in India than over here, but that can only change. She's at the beginning of her career, but how amazing would it be for her to realise her potential? You're not telling me that British Asian kids aren't crying out for a mainstream hero/heroine to call their own, being stuck year after year with the increasingly nihilistic corporate banality of hip-hop culture or TV celebs. Talking of which, here's a wonderful fly-in-amber snapshot of Kiran's London visit for the Golfpunk article - which seemed to me a real Join The Road moment:

"She's been looking forward to this, but rolling in the studio straight off the train from Leeds, dragging her Puma travel bag behind her and with her mum and dad in tow, she betrays not the merest hint of excitement. Vernon Kay walks past, flanked by the sort of people who would be screaming 'Out of the way! 'A' list British celebrity coming through!' if they weren't trying so hard to be cool. It's a moment - the toothsome ex-model who reads autocue for a living striding purposefully past one of the most naturally gifted young sports people in Britain. Oblivious to it all, Kiran shows us her new pink grips..."

I should link to Golfpunk because I've shamelessly stolen their copy, and it's brilliant. Also, here's Kiran's site. Oh, and a great BBC article about her here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wide eyed and helpless

My finger hung poised over the sunroof button the second I sat in the car, the rays bursting in as the motor whirred the roof backwards, always too slowly, the mechanical creaking evidence of its wintry inertia. That single button press sets in motion a whir of wholesome activity - a season's worth of fun and breathlessness bundled into a single day. A tangle-haired barefoot run in the park transformed us into 2K7 hippies. Daisies were picked and stored carefully for a necklace probably never to be made - we'll just pick more next time, when they're long enough to be tied. It's a learning process! That doesn't matter because there was a slide to climbed again and again and, oh why not, again. Ice-cream vans were chased after and caught (with a special ice-cream van catching net ha!) and oh so difficult choices were made as to which one mummy would like and which one would I like and which one would be the best one of all for Amelia to have. We nibble at twirly coloured ice-pop until brainfreeze sets in and our tongues have turned green, and we rock to and fro on the big swing bench. One of us can touch the ground with our feet. One can't yet. Both of us giggle.

Cars were soaped and rinsed and the high powered mist of the jet-wash made beautiful shimmering miniature rainbows in the sunshine, before making our shoes sopping wet. We practiced our alphabet too, but had trouble with the letters 'm', 'n' and 'o', so we just shouted 'mellow mellow' instead which just summed things up nicely and it seemed the perfectly formed philosophy of any 4 year old.
The Sunday tiredness descended like a blanket, school in the morning, and ice-cold milk was drunk straight from the fridge before lids began to sag too much. The sunroof stayed open for coolness, Norah Jones for lazy smiles and a Wurlitzer tinged soundtrack for the homeward journey of a little day worth being alive for.