I don't remember the day when I read in print media about an Indian woman winning the world boxing championship for the fifth time. it wasn't a big news either, just a small article at the last page. I didn't remember her name, but I remembered that media or in fact boxing world had rechristened her as "Magnificent Mary". Some days back when the Olympics began, as everyone else, I too joined the bandwagon of well wishers for the team.
We slipped,limped, but somehow managed three medals even though none of them were gold. Then came the event of women's boxing and all the news media had one name to chant,'Mary Kom'. By the time, she cleared the first round, she was everywhere in the news, even international news media covered her victory. I was just amused; "Who is this lady?, is she so great that even the westerner's hail about her?". After a little bit of R&D, I came to know much more about her, a mother of two; five times world champion, residing in an old national games village quarter; was about to retire, but continued due to her husband's insistence and obviously the medal hope of India.
It must be more than ten years back that I had gone through the maps of North-East India. We had this business of marking places in the map for our exams. After so many years, today after noon, I searched for Manipur in the map, well I rediscovered it from the dusted shelves of my memories, the forgotten state of this country, its people, its culture. Till this moment, nobody bothered about her or her state, but now everyone seems to know where she hails from. She is a boxer in true sense. Her punches are more on our insensitive consciences rather than her on- court opponents. It has knocked out the lethargic ignorance that we pampered, it has reminded us that India is not limited to Bollywood, Sunny Leone and Cricket, this nation is far beyond that. There exists people in this country whose sole purpose is not to fill our census reports or show off our territorial vastness, but who has every right to be part in the process of constructing a sensible nation.
Even I used to wonder how mongoloid look alike people can be Indians. Unfortunately many morons like me still exist in our society. But I realise, they are more committed too this nation than me. They have the spirit of unity running in their blood than me. They are more 'Indian' than me. Now I understand, why Mary Kom is 'magnificent', she seems to have achieved more than just a medal. She reminds us of what it means to be part of India, what it means to fight back against odds to succeed. She has waited for twelve years and sacrificed much more to be at the Olympics. She has succeeded and in fact, she is at our hearts. There is nobody who would not have goosebumps when she fights for the country, when her punches makes you yell.
When I mentioned about Mary Kom to one of our family friends, his wife asked me if she was Indian and not Chinese, before I could answer, her seven year old kid came upfront to correct her. She was still not convinced, she said, "But she looked like the Chinese..."; I just smiled at her, "She is very much Indian like us, may be much more..."