Facing odds with courage

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Facing odds with courage

Her passion for the gentleman’s game was overshadowed by her noodle straps but actress and television host Mandira Bedi has come a long way since then. Candid about her stint in a field, which is male dominated, she says that she decided to brave the situation and do her job. 

Mandira, who was here in the City for the ‘Soldiers for Women’ campaign, says, “The whole idea of introducing me to host the ‘ICC Cricket World Cup’ in 2003 was to make more women watch the game. I remember that the series was happening in South Africa and I was away from the country. That gave me an added advantage and I kept myself away from newspapers and television.”

“People who gave me the most amount of trouble were the people on the panel. In a situation like this, you either call it quits or you brave the odds and I decided to do just that. The whole country was talking about me, I ignored it and as the series progressed, things became better,” she explains.

She says people in India feel that men’s cricket is the end-all and be-all of sports but there is much more. “Women’s Cricket World Cup’ was happening in our country but there was no crowd to watch it at all. There were a handful who were there to support the team. The team was great and had some very talented players. It is sad to see that a country which supports its men’s team, even in the regional tournaments cannot lend its support to the women’s team,” says Mandira.

About lending support to women, she says that she was overwhelmed by the fact that the people of the country came together to support the cause of women after the Delhi incident. “I was a part of many movements, which were led by Shabana Azmi, in the suburbs of Mumbai. The way it aroused the collective consciousness of people was amazing. This was perhaps the first time that so many women came out on the streets for women. Even people outside the country were aghast at the incident,” she adds.
Mandira says her experience here has been great and some of her closest friends are in Bangalore. “I come to Bangalore very often for different events and I really like coming here. The weather is great and people are warm. But the distance from the airport to the City is long and tiring,” she adds.

Currently, the actress has a lot of things in her kitty. “I am doing a film alongside actor Atul Agnihotri. I am also doing a new television serial but I cannot talk much about it,” she says.

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