Blog by Mohan Mali

Mohan Mali is a freelance photographer, artist and musician. He occasionally shares his photography and thoughts on this blog. All images and text on this blog are copyright © Mohan Mali 2012-2009

Category: Photography

Dr. Walter’s daughter wins Wimbledon 2013

Marion Bartoli

The trademark Marion Bartoli Serve

As one commentator mentioned “It is a wacky world of Marion she lives in”.

I would say Marion has been living in Dr. Walter’s wacky world for the last many years. As a six year old you start following what your dad and coach tell you. Marion’s dash, in disbelief, to hug her father after her victory at Wimbledon, did not look any different than a six-year-old running into her father’s arms.

For many years, tennis spectators at different tournaments’ practice courts could not resist laughing at Dr. Walters ways of training his daughter. Looking at the straps, springs and thick rubber bands that he utilized, many of the kids in presence of such methods decided never to chance an encounter with this wacky sport. If I ever wanted to deter my children from becoming tennis players, I would have shown them Bartoli’s intense training regime. It never looked fun. Fun to watch… maybe?

People would argue that Bartoli won a Grand Slam Title only after she parted with her father as a coach. The fact remains that he laid the foundation for the hard work and work ethic that Marion followed through her life and career for close to twenty years. She came very close to winning Wimbledon Championship in 2007, when he was still her coach.

It was also good to watch the usually fidgety Dr. Walters sitting calm; clapping, enjoying and witnessing the first grand slam win of Marion. (He used to be so tense that Marion once publicly ordered him to leave the courts.) – The relationship has been widely talked about in tennis circles.

Well, people can talk, argue, laugh or whatever they like and the commentary may go on for some time at least. However, Dr. Walter and his daughter Marion deserve all the respect in the world of sport for achieving the success through self-belief and sheer hard work. Good for Dr. Walters and good for Marion.

There is definitely more than one way to skin a cat.

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Federer claims Wimbledon 2012

Roger Federer Wimbledon 2012

Federer’s on court movements have been compared to ballet by many.
© Mohan Mali

If Novak Djokovic was huffing and puffing on Friday, Andy Murray was seen tumbling down on his head, in a yoga like pose on Sunday.

While this was going on, a guy named Roger Federer from Switzerland, was performing a superb ballet, on a grass turf across the net.

Murray was made to deal with 34 different spins, 57 different bounces, 147 different lengths and speeds of a tennis ball in one single tennis match. The variety and ferocity was simply too much for Murray to handle. The final produced some of the best grass court tennis.

My heart goes out to Murray, who cares so much for the sport of tennis. Murray tried everything that was legal and available to him. He was very emotional but gracious and generous to his fans and Federer, in the post match interview.

Jim Courier once commented, if you want to beat Federer;  just make him play some mundane tennis, like… forehand to forehand rallies and simply bore him. Do not challenge him with your skills.

Murray was not listening and decided to break Federer in his very first service game of the match. That is a bit too soon to stir up and wake up the genius in a guy like Federer.

At times in the past, Federer has been guilty of leaving it too late to bring his A game to the court. This time Murray took care of that problem, for Federer.

Talk soon.

Vintage Federer in Wimbledon Final 2012

Image
Roger Federer, earlier.  ©Mohan Mali. (photo not taken at Wimbledon)

This is one time I enjoyed being proven wrong.

Considering the way Federer has played against Djokovic and Nadal in the recent past, I had given Federer no chance of coming through the semifinals of this Wimbledon. I was expecting Djokovic to defeat Federer in 4 close sets.

On the contrary, what millions of tennis fans watched world over on Friday, was vintage Federer at his best.  Silent and calm Federer, had Djokovic, the present world No 1;  huffing, puffing and grunting at the other end.  Apart from some time in the second set, where balls started flying past Federer’s forehand. But in the end Federer served for the match and prevailed, under the roof at  Wimbledon.

The reason I did not choose  Federer over Djokovic is,  in my opinion guys like Nadal and Djokovic are  prepared to get dirty on a tennis court. On the other hand Federer  makes sure the number of strands of hair, over his Nike head band are the same, after every long rally. Except Mirka, no one knows how much time Federer spends in front of the mirror every day. The man is all about style and even more about  substance.

Federer plays Murray on Sunday in The Wimbledon final. Once bitten, I am staying away from making predictions again. Instead, I am looking forward  to watching Federer, the poetry in motion (not my superlative) against Murray, the counter-puncher (again not my description) in the Wimbledon Final on Sunday. Good luck to everyone.

Learn Quest Academy Boston

Yogini Gandhi© Mohanm Mali 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Yogini Gandhi performing kathak at the Learn Quest Academy Music Conference at Regis College in Boston.

Checking into Hilton Back Bay Hotel in Boston during a recent visit to America, a phone call revealed a plethora of information about an ongoing music conference organized by Learn Quest Academy. There I was in the evening, attending a lecture demonstration by Yogini Gandhi, a very talented Kathak dancer and another lecture demonstration by Pt. Ashis Sengupta, a tabala maestro from India.

The person behind the academy is Dr. Pradeep Shukla, who teaches mathematics and computer science, but is passionate about Indian classical music. After a formal chat with the mild-mannered Dr. Shukla I decided to shoot some images on the first day of the conference. The conference was hosted at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts.

The afternoon started with a kathak recital by Yogini Gandhi. Yoginiji is very meticulous about her preparation of the stage, light and sound. Not surprisingly her performance was close to perfection. She was accompanied by Amit Kavthekar on tabala , a disciple of  Zakir Husain.

© Mohan Mali 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Gundecha Brothers from Bhopal India

This was followed by a performance by Gundecha brothers from Bhopal. Dhrupad Gayaki  is a genre of Indian classical music which has a very old tradition. Gundecha brothers left the audience spellbound. Their ability to hit the lower registers, up to mandra shadja was just fascinating.

© Mohan Mali 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Pandit Ashis Sengupta during his lecture demonstration at MIT Boston.

Previous evening, Pt. Ashis Sengupta’s lecture on playing tabla was a superb demonstration of his mastery over the instrument. I personally was very impressed with his humility and down to earth attitude as an artist.

© Mohan Mali 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Vinay Mishra on harmonium accompanying Panditji.

Without getting into the merits and demerits of any particular gharana, he left the gathering richer by sharing a lot of information about the traditions and history of tabla as an accompanying instrument. Kaniska Prakashan has recently published a book written by him called ‘Facets of tabla playing’. Soft spoken Vinay Mishra, accompanied Panditji even more gently on harmonium, with raga shyam kalyan.

Unfortunately I could not attend Manjusha Patil Kulkarni’s performance the next day. (I also missed her singing while in San Francisco). The conference in Boston was staged over a week at different venues. The musicians and artists who performed at the conference included Pt. Vinayak Toravi,  Padma Shri Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Pt. Debi Prasad Chatterjee, Subhra Guha and others.

For more information about Learn Quest Academy in Boston go to http://www.learnquest.org

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