Different strokes: Paint brush keeps Anjum Moudgil, Ajay Jayaram busy

While shuttler Jayram has polished his strokes, rifle shooter Moudgil has used her leisure time for charity.

By Naveen Peter ·

On the face of it, there’s barely anything common between Anjum Moudgil and Ajay Jayaram.

While one is an ace shooter gunning for a place in the Indian team for the Tokyo Olympics, the other is an accomplished shuttler who’s been on the circuit for over a decade. 

But their interest in colours is common for the two athletes.

Both Anjum Moudgil and Ajay Jayaram love to spend time with an empty canvas, letting their brush flow. And the past three months have seen them explore this side of their life a bit more. 

“In a way, it's been a welcome break from my regular routine,” Ajay Jayaram told the Olympic Channel.  

“I have been painting for a few years now and I have been enjoying that. But it's been very sporadic. However, during this lockdown, it became more of a weekly thing for me. And I think I did hone my skills a bit more. It was fun.”

It’s been no different with Anjum Moudgil who’s back home in Chandigarh. 

For someone who makes it a point to carry her brushes along with her gun on almost every tour, the break has seen the 26-year-old spend more time in the company of her art. 

Anjum Moudgil goes a step further

However, this time, the Indian ace has gone a step further by using her artwork to raise money to help a cancer patient. 

“My mother is a school teacher and there is a lady in her school, whose son is fighting cancer. I decided to sell some of my work and donate the amount for his treatment,” she informed the Times of India in a recent interview.

“I keep diaries to take notes while shooting. I realised that I had some diaries with me, which were blank. I decided to customize the diaries as per the buyers’ choice.”

With the lockdown in a few parts of the country being slowly relaxed, some of the Indian athletes have been lucky to get back to their training routines over the past weeks. And one among them is Ajay Jayaram. 

While getting back on the court has been a welcome relief for the 32-year-old shuttler, he is in no hurry to push himself yet. 

“It had been close to 2-3 months since I was last playing on the court,” shared the shuttler who has been training under Indian international Anup Sridhar in Bengaluru.

“It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be to get the rhythm back. I had been maintaining some sort of fitness level. But I am taking it a bit slow as well. It doesn't make sense to push too much right now because there's still no certainty that any tournaments are going to resume.” 

Meanwhile, with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) deferring shooting activities till July, Anjum Mudgil has resorted to training by herself with a make-shift target in her backyard.