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'Life has changed, but I'm still the same person'

December 10, 2013 10:21 IST

'Life has changed, but I'm still the same person'

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Bikash Mohapatra

Boxing ace Mary Kom expresses hope that her story will inspire Indian women.

"Outside a ring there’s a large audience cheering for you, but inside it you are all alone, fighting for yourself. Mary Kom has done it many times and is a proven champion.”

These lines above came from a famous baritone, that of Amitabh Bachchan.

The Bollywood superstar was eulogizing a champion boxer, minutes before launching her autobiography, aptly titled Unbreakable (Harper Collins).

Mary Kom, on her part, was visibly star struck.

“Amitabh sir was the first person to call and congratulate me when I reached the quarter-finals at the London Olympics. Today, he is present for the release of the book.

“I could not have asked for more,” she said, even as she expressed gratitude to the legend of India cinema.


Photographs: Courtesy: Mary Kom/Facebook

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Still not comfortable with all the attention and adulation she receives, and definitely not adept in answering the barrage of questions posed by the fourth estate, the reticent pugilist admitted the book was a medium of expression.

“I have opened up in the book,” confessed Mary.

“The whole world knows about the struggles I went though. What they don’t, they will know when they read the book.

“I have narrated everything that I had to in the book,” she added.

The 30-year-old expressed hope that her story will inspire Indian women never to give up.

“All I hope now is for other women to take inspiration from the book and overcome challenges to achieve their dreams in any sphere of life,” she said.


Photographs: Courtesy: Mary Kom/Facebook
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Five world titles in the last decade helped Mary rise from the relative anonymity of a Manipur village (Kangathei) and become a recognized name in the sporting firmament. However, it was her bronze medal-winning feat – in the flyweight category (51 kg) – at the London Olympics last year that got her instant stardom.

Accolades have not stopped since, the biggest of them being the Padma Bhushan earlier this year.

Mary admitted things aren’t the same before quickly adding she’s still be the same person.

“Yes, life has changed after the Olympics.

“But I am the same person. I still follow the same routine that I did before that,” she said.


Photographs: Courtesy: Mary Kom/Facebook

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Now that her autobiography is out, a series of unveiling in the major cities of the country has been planned in the coming weeks.

Besides, she has been invited for the Jaipur Lit Fest early next month.

However, what has her excited the most is her biopic, one that is being produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali – directed by Omang Kumar – and is scheduled to release some time next year.

“A film is being made on me. Can you believe it?” said Mary, unable to hide her emotions.

“And a superstar (Priyanka Chopra) is playing my role. I don't know how to express this in words, but it feels great.”


Image: Priyanka Chopra with Mary Kom and her family
Photographs: Courtesy: Mary Kom/Facebook

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