Something significant happened last week in the limestone tunnels in a cave outside Johannesburg.
A group of cavers discovered Homo naledi, a new species of human ancestor.
More significantly – remember you read it here first -- the geologists have discovered that Leander Paes, who won yet another grand slam last week, is older than tennis itself.
Exactly how old is Leander Paes?
Tennis archeologists Doosra spoke to completely dismissed Leander’s claim that he is merely 42. They call it a thousand times bigger scam than Shahid Afridi’s birth certificate.
“He could be a Homo naledi himself,” a geologist said on condition of anonymity, since nobody knows him anyway.
“To give you an idea how old he is, our team in Egypt recently unearthed this set of hieroglyphs. It doesn’t mention the precise time but clearly states that after winning his first grand slam, Leander got a camel, a hunk of gold and spices as prize, as the concept of money was not born yet.”
Leander’s early coach, a Neanderthal interviewed over planchette, could not confirm the player’s actual age but confirmed he was pretty ancient.
“Leander is the only human being to have spotted a dinosaur. He would brag about it to his younger teammates who naturally thought he was nuts. Leander, if my memory serves me right, in fact started tennis playing with the egg of a tyrannosaurus,” he scribbled on the Ouija board.
“Separately, could you please tell Leander he still owes me a bison as training fee? Thanks.”
A timekeeping enthusiast was not so sure about Leander’s age but confirmed a 17th century tennis match featuring the Indian and the nephew of Pope Urban VIII was suspended in unique circumstances.
“It was cloudy, so the sundial was of no use. But official reports must mention set and match timings of a tennis match. So they suspended the match and waited until Galileo came up with the idea of pendulum that would lead to manufacturing of pendulum clock.”
In such a remarkably lengthy career, Leander naturally partnered a significantly large number of people to win those doubles titles.
“According to a moderate estimate, if all his men’s doubles partners form a human chain, they would twice circle Mars,” said a tennis historian.
“And placed end-to-end, his mixed doubles partners would reach the moon and back twice,” he added.
A retired ATP official shared an interesting Leander anecdote.
“In the 1970s, an airline misplaced Leander’s luggage but he simply borrowed a mandolin from the local crowd and went on to win a three-setter,” he said.
“His opponent did complain about the noise when ball struck strings, saying it was far from music to his ears. But the officials said with formidable grunters like Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters ready to swarm the game, Tennis better got used to such noise.”
Asked why there was no record of it in ATP books, he said: "Rats abounded in our storeroom and a particular rodent, feeling unwell after swallowing a rancid piece of cheese at dinner tore and downed this particular page of ATP records to see if it made him feel better.”
Meanwhile, a physicist at the ISRO explained Leander’s split with long-time doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi.
“The real reason behind the split is not ego clash but laws of physics,” he said, stuffing his nostrils with radioactive snuff.
“Remember how they used to celebrate? Yes, chest-bumping. Once they bumped with so much force that the velocity sent them flying in opposite directions, putting between them so large a distance that they could never come together.”
Doosra is not in a position to independently verify these claims and only a chump would allow facts kill a good story.