Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our ‘Magnificent Mary’!

Pussy-cat, Pussy-cat,
Where have you been?
I have been to London,
To meet the Queen!

Pussy-cat, Pussy-cat,
What did you bring?
I brought some Olympic medals,
Bling Bling!

Two silver and
Four bronze,
The brightest belongs to
Mary Kom!

Very well-played, Magnificent Mary,
Your Bronze - IS gold.

Congratulations Vijay - victory became yours,
Congratulations Narang, you reached for the Gagan.
Brave-hearts that touched the stars!

Congratulations Yogeshwar and Sushil
You carried a heavy burden:
An entire nation's wish - to fulfill!

Congratulations to our badminton champ,
It was Saina vs China:
The Great Neh-wal of Saina vs the Great Wall of China!

Congratulations to Kashyap.
Man! You were sharp.

And Devendro Singh,
You packed some punch and some sting!

Congratulations to Joydeep Karmakar,
And to Amit and Manoj Kumar.

Congratulations Vikas Krishnan and Sumit Sangwan,
You WON !!
You played and won - fair and square,
Your opponents played and 'won' - fair and lovely!

Hat tip to the great Gopichand as well.
You dreamt big and reached for the moon,
And got it too! Woo-Hoo !!

In the end:
Bronze was gold!

Mary Kom is our hero, or our heroine, if you may. She is our pride, Magnificent Mary as we say.

Mary is a five-time successive World Boxing champion, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six World Championships. [Do read more about her at: India's shot at Gold and HERE.]

For many, many, people ... ordinary people, ordinary Indians - like us; Mary has always been a star. And that's what she will remain. Forever.

The yardstick for judging a woman - in any profession or field - be it in leadership or administrative roles or even in sports, are very different and far more stringent - compared to a man.

Mary Kom - is a woman, a woman who has struggled very hard and faced difficulties and hardships with grace and spunk. She has succeeded on her own, through sheer dint of hard work and dedication - in a sport that has very few takers in India: women's boxing. In fact women's sports in this country hardly get any attention or coverage, though in recent times Saina Nehwal has been able to undo that - to some extent. Yet despite humungous challenges, Mary has won many laurels for the nation for a dozen years now and competed with the best in the world; with sportspeople that were the products of the best of diets, world-class facilities and who had the constant support of their governments and sponsors.

Mary had none - for the most part of her glowing career. Our gormint has always been too busy gorminting, and there has never been any hope of gormend.

Yet she has soldiered on and emerged triumphant, every single time; when she won trophies and medals, as well as when she did not, because her effort and dedication remained the same. She gave her best - all the time, every single time.

Hers has been an incredible journey that culminated in glory, for she created history. She worked her way up two weight classes in three years - to 51kg. She had to bulk up without slowing down. She had to work on a tight defence against bigger boxers. Four of Mary's five championships have come as a 46kg pin-weight. At the Olympics there were only three weight categories for women, as opposed to ten for men. In her new weight category (51kg, flyweight) she had fought the Asians, but never faced the Europeans, until close to the Olympic qualifiers held in May. [The first time Mary fought in this category, 51kg - was in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.]

So, changing categories, gaining weight, building strength, learning new techniques, facing new opponents - who have been playing in that category for years; in so little time ... and still bagging a podium finish, that too at the Olympics, is a gigantic achievement. It's extraordinary to say the least. Let us celebrate her stupendous feat. Let us celebrate her as a sportsperson. Let us celebrate her as a source of inspiration. For ALL of us. For India. And not just as a woman or for women.

That, to my mind, would be the most befitting tribute to a true champion, a true legend. We have much to learn from Magnificent Mary, including: grit, determination and humility. Let us also tip our hats to her husband, Onler Kom and to her parents, Mangte Akham Kom and Tonpa Kom, as well as to the rest of her family - for they have been her pillars of support throughout. And let us give all our love to her adorable twin cubs: Leinai and Rengpa.

Parting shot: Two people that deserve the Bharat Ratna: the phenomenal Mary Kom and the chess maestro Vishwanathan Anand. And I hope that Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) brings to us the stories of our sporting greats and Olympic champs - soon.

Photograph: Found while trawling the net, don't remember the link :(


  1. I love your poetry, Roshmi. Every line is apt.

    Yes, Mary Kom's whole family deserves appreciation.

    Vishwanathan Anand and Mary deserve more appreciation than our cricket personalities!

  2. For God sake,we have started looking beyond cricket and Tendulkur.
    Mary,we are proud of you

  3. @ Sandhya: Thank you Sandhyaji and I agree with you. It is time we appreciate the ones that really deserve it. This cult of cricket and Sachin is getting too much.

    PS: Good to see you back :)

  4. @ BK Chowla: You said it, Chowlaji :)