10/02/2016 3:27 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Three Cheers For Our Sweaty, Sassy, Sporty Padmas

vandana_ djoko

Oh, dashing devilish daring Djoko... no, no, no, no... hang, on let's talk about him later. It's the girls who are my champions right now.

hingis and vandana

Do I need to say who? The invincible Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza who swept another Grand Slam, the Australian Open, taking their WTA rankings to world number 1 and definitely playing their way into the annals of tennis history.

And to add the glint to Sania's beautifully distracting nose stud she was conferred the Padma Bhushan. I love it when sportspersons get awards because the journey of sports in India is a perilous one laced with politics and sneaky whispers in the right ears for 'selections'. Yet, even if it's possible to pull strings at some levels, in the end performance always wins out. If you don't perform out you go, even your mama, mummy or Rakhi brother in the selection committee can't guarantee your return -- unlike politics, where mummyjis can get you incorporated as an advisor in government even if you lose the elections.

And you know what's amazing? These girls have no real "Shri" in their lives (Ok! Sania is married but her husband is always AWOL).

I don't know what's in the water of Hyderabad (or should credit go to the delish biryani), but Saina Nehwal was given the Padma Bhushan too. She's pretty much been at the top of her game in badminton and I got a firsthand taste of that when I visited China and was browsing in a sports arcade looking for a TT bat -- I noticed her posters everywhere. I had a picture with her in my phone, taken when she visited my home and signed a copy of my book 360 Degrees Back To Life. When I showed this photo to the salespeople they were giddy with excitement and I was elevated to goddess status because I was Saina's friend according to them. (I can't find that picture now, but I promise you when I get it I will share it with you.)

deepika kumari

Even our ace archer, Deepika Kumari, was awarded the Padma Shri.

And you know what's amazing? These girls have no real "Shri" in their lives (Ok! Sania is married but her husband is always AWOL).

So once again, big bow to my sportswomen and I know they'll continue delighting us through the year.

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