'Boxing is like a punishment'
The petite frame does not betray the sucker punches it can deliver. The Olympic medal though has not come to Mary Kom by luck.
Always keen to be a boxer, Mary as a teenager, actually sneaked out of home to get trained without her parents’ knowledge. Incidentally, Mary’s father discovered her hidden talent only after he read about her achievement in the newspapers. That’s how Mary’s journey began and now a mother of two, she says that she’s thrilled with the honour she has brought to the country .
Yet Mary, who was in the City recently, with fellow Olympian and badminton champ Saina Nehwal, generates a certain sense of curiosity and admiration, which is evident in the questions people ask her. A native of Manipur, Mary is proud of where she comes from and says she’s overwhelmed by the love and respect she gets from her people. About the problems faced by her people, who live across the country including Bangalore, Mary says, “Yes, a lot of people from the North-East who have moved out, feel unsafe and I have my fears too. But I try and impart as much confidence as I can to my fellow North-Easterners. They must gather courage and move on,” confesses Mary.
The boxing wonder, who was till now a deputy superintendent of police in Manipur Police, has now been promoted to the rank of superintendent of police.
She says that all the hard work and rigorous training has strengthened her not only physically but mentally also.
“As a woman, I had to train really hard and literally punish my body to get to where I am. Boxing is like a punishment. As a boxer and as a cop, I am tough and I feel every woman must learn boxing for self-protection,” she laughs.
Mary gets all the help and support she can from her family, especially her husband. “I couldn’t have got this far without my husband’s help and of course I do miss my children.
I spend whatever spare time I get with them,” she says. “They are too young to understand what the medal means to me but when they see me on TV, they are proud of their mother,” she adds.
Now that Mary is in the spotlight, she’s open to appearing in reality shows and has been getting a couple of offers.
“Why not? If I get a chance, I will definitely appear on reality shows, not for making money but just for the experience,” she notes. And what about acting? “Never, I can’t even give a decent speech, then how can I deliver lengthy dialogues. Acting is not my cup of tea,” she states. Mary hopes to start an academy soon to train as many young people as possible in boxing.