Veterans and Diversity this Wimbledon Season


Scrolling though the draws in this year’s Wimbledon, I couldn’t help notice the stark difference between the ladies and gentlemen’s section of the draws. While there was diversity and an open playing field on one side, the other had very predictable favourites (FYI – mine are the Swiss ones). While there is a significant amount of diversity at one end, the other lacks any succession plan.

With so many inspirational players in the gentlemen’s draw belonging to one generation, I wonder how long this can be sustained. When they all retire en mass, I often doubt if I would take an interest in tennis.

The ladies, though, give me much hope. The story of Wimbledon so far is definitely about a certain fifteen year old, Cori Gauff who played her idol, Venus Williams on Court No.1 on her very first Grand Slam. From her shot making, to how she handled the big stage, and her humility thereafter — thanking Venus after the match — is awe-inspiring.

I hope she goes on to achieve many more wins (she plays later today) and retains her focus, grace and composure.


Earlier today, I learnt about the number of moms (Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Evgeniya Rodina, Maria Martínez Sánchez & Mandy Minella) playing on the circuit. It amazes me how these players continue to compete at the highest level, digging up reserves, beating not just physical strains but also fighting a patriarchal system. There are far more fathers on the tour, as compared to mothers, who are forced to quit due to lack of child-care facilities at most courts around the world (barring the four grand slams).

Mother’s Day may have gone by several weeks ago, but these heroes do not need a specific day to celebrate them.

Thank you, ladies, for inspiring us with your grit and determination.

Related read: some other posts I’ve written about tennis.

Finding priorities


Everyday, while performing mundane tasks, such as doing the dishes, I open the YouTube App on my phone, and allow it it show me videos that it has learned to curate for me. For the most part, the app gets it right — US-based late-night political comedies and TED talks.

Today, this talk popped up in my feed: “How to gain control of your free time.” I had watched this video before, but because my hands were engaged (and because this is a great talk), I allowed the smartphone to remind me of how wasteful I have been of my time.

Time management expert Laura Vanderkam says that when people say they don’t have time for something, what they mean is, that it’s not their priority.

When something is a priority for us, we make time for it, no matter how busy our lives are.

I have experienced this first hand, several times. Including, as recently as, last month, when I got around to digitise my mother’s art, in time for her 60th birthday. My previous attempt was way back in 2015. And after four years, with enough motivation to drive me, I finally opened shop on Society6 (This announcement should, and will be, a separate post) .

Under virtual dust

At the end of last year, one of my regrets was not having maintained this blog much. Two posts in a year was a dismal number, considering that the previous year saw me celebrate my 300th post during the NaBloPoMo.

I have several unfinished drafts and ideas — some that are many years old, and some only in want of a ‘featured image’ to go live.

As this video reminds me, somewhat harshly, blogging isn’t my priority anymore. And that is an unhappy thought. Why did I stop doing that which I absolutely loved?

The answer: The decline in my writing on the blog has coincided with my use of Instagram.

Most of my blog posts go through multiple iterations, with me reading, and re-reading them, to make sure it is something worth reading. There is this burden of responsibility, to do justice to the reader’s time. On Instagram, however, there is lesser pressure to write.

I do realise that this pressure about ‘quality of writing’ is pretentious. Clearly, I blog for very selfish reasons.

Another reason, is the decline in community participation — or more appropriately, the narcissism factor. Back when WordPress had ‘featured posts’ on its homepage, and ran Weekly Photo Challenges, there seemed to be a greater incentive to post (read, greater likelihood of ‘likes’). Blogging was chance to discover, and be discovered. (The Discover tab on WordPress now is rather uninspiring)

I found Instagram to be more engaging. Words are less appealing than pictures. Those who couldn’t be bothered to read, are happy seeing pictures (and that includes me). Today, Instagram is what WordPress used to be — fun.

And so, since that NaBloPoMo in 2017, when I gingerly opened my Instagram account, writing has moved to another platform.

Finding a way back

Over the past two years there have been so many exciting things I should have written about here — in my safe space — but didn’t get around to. (I published on four different platforms, travelled to new places, let go of toxic relationships and put myself on a path to heal myself).

Most nights, I lay awake simply because there are so many ideas jumping in my head, waiting to explode (here’s why).

This, rather impulsive post, is my attempt at making a comeback to blogging. Will it succeed? Only time will tell.

Words


Street art
Street art in Darjeeling

Words;
They’re funny little creatures.

When you have no time
They’ll drive you crazy.

When you least expect them
They’ll dance in your mind.

You crave to indulge them
And promise them your time.

Only, when the moment arrives
They become hard to find!

In Pursuit of Inspiration


A speck of dust
A stitch on a rag
The artist’s note
The labourer’s hand

The rainbow above
A bug below
Dense air around
A journal unbound

Can it be seen?
Can it be heard?
Pray, tell me!
Where can it be found?


This evening, inspiration came to me through the electricity. Or rather, the lack of it! With no computer or wifi, I decided to pick up an unfinished drawing (and there are plenty of them!). I’m not sure when I started drawing it, and I’m not sure when I will complete it. I don’t even know what it is that I am creating! Hopefully I’ll be able to complete this soon and show it to you.

Meanwhile, I can’t seem to move away from seashells. Some of them made their way to my painting!

Work-in-progress
Work-in-progress

Explore what inspires bloggers around the globe with the Daily Post.

Daily inspiration at the doorstep


As I prepare to step outside, I keep my phone camera handy.

Click!

I turn around and tell my mother how I interpret her drawing. In the 30 seconds it takes to get down the staircase, we have had a full conversation of the different ways in which we perceive the world around us.

Amma‘s drawings on the floor are my inspiration – a world of art that flows effortlessly through the stone powder – a new one, every single day.

Daily Inspiration
Sunrise at the doorstep

More about Amma’s kolams here.

And here are interpretations of the kolams in verses, written by my mother.

To see what a-muses bloggers around the world, head over to this week’s Photo Challenge at the Daily Post