03 JULY 2017

Dear Barb,

I'm not sure how to respond to your letter, because to be honest, I've never experienced such support and love from a close friend. Saying "thank you" for your support and for your wishes isn't enough, so instead, i'll just say, kfanx.

Considering how competitive I can get, and how much of a perfectionist I can be, I wasn't upset in the slightest by missing the group stages in the singles by a couple of points. I was just grateful to be playing on an international platform and meeting such amazing, inspiring and driven athletes. One of the table tennis players is a full-time dental nurse, her child needs full-time day care at home, and she won a gold medal. How could I possibly be upset on missing out when I was blessed to meet such amazing people who inspire me to be better each and every single day.

It's funny how last night you asked, 'so now that table tennis is over, whatcha gonna do?' I replied 'what do you mean? I start training again tomorrow!'

If I had an exam, I would procastinate for a month before I would start studying again. But not in this case - is this what people call 'passion'? Have I found it? I've always been told that sometimes you have to keep trying new ventures and one thing leads to another and what you've been looking for your whole life will come to you. I always thought this idea was totally overrated and it was the sort of thing people would tell themselves to make them feel better. Putting it simply, I would call it 'loser talk'. But in hindsight, I guess I was wrong. I didn't really go out looking to start a podcast, I didn't go out looking for Amandeep (sorry, I had to mention him, it's been too long), I didn't go out looking for table tennis - it all sort of just ended up on my plate through hundreds of interactions and ideas.

So to conclude my research on 'passion', I think it's safe to say that your 'passion' will come to you as long as you've put in the effort. With your own charisma, enthusiasm for what you love, something will show up. You have to face rejections, you have to face dissappointments and perservere. Ten years ago, I was told that I couldn't play table tennis for my country because there was no money to help me. My parents couldn't afford it, and neither could my table tennis club. That didn't end my dream, because I still believed what I was capable of. Here I am, in 2017 proudly holding my flag and performing on a huge platform.

But now that I'm back, I have to hit a huge reset button in my brain and get to work! Thank you for working on everything by yourself for one week and leaving nothing for me to clean up - that's why you're the bestest! I never have to worry if I step out for some time.

I would continue writing, but my roti is almost ready, and well, ROTI > WORK.

Love,

Meenal