The Telegraph
Saturday , September 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bangs, hair worn loose, glossy lips and a hint of kohl — Mary Kom looks far removed from her boxer avatar as she settles down for a quick chat at Hyatt Regency’s Regency Club with t2, moments before zooming off to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers Buildings’ on a rainy Thursday afternoon. One in a series of events, all lined up in one day. Yet Mary is all smiles. “I have been here many times. Calcutta feels like my second home. The style of living is very similar to ours,” she says.

For one who lands killer punches on her opponents, out of the boxing ring, Mary is gentle with a capital G. In fact, you have to lean closer to catch her words.

Like all girls, she loves shopping. “I am very crazy (about shopping)…. Don’t ask me!” she giggles, dressed in a Mango jacket and trousers. Of late she hasn’t gone shopping for herself, though. “After I came back (from the Olympics), I haven’t got the time to go shopping!” she says. She, however, had managed to pick up some goodies for her five-year-old twin boys while in London, including toys, clothes and chocolates.

She misses her kids she says. “They understand where I am going, but they don’t understand the meaning of Olympics or World Championship. Otherwise they understand what I am doing,” says the doting mom.

For the feisty pugilist from Manipur, it has been a season of many firsts. After a bronze haul at the London Olympics, it is tinsel town time for the 29-year-old. Omung Kumar is all set to capture her journey on celluloid. “I feel very happy, of course. It is not easy to make a film on me! Omung Kumar came and met me in Imphal last year. He said he wanted to make a movie on my life. I was, of course, very excited, but I thought he was joking. I never thought that directors would be interested in my story. It felt special. He asked me whether I was interested and because I did not believe it at first, I was a little shy.... This will be huge for me and youngsters in sports will also get inspired. Later he told me that he was not getting a good producer. But he promised that he would find one and that the movie would be made. Finally, Sanjay Sir (Leela Bhansali) is producing it. I met him in Mumbai last week. I am very happy that it is finally happening,” smiles Magnificent Mary.

So, who would she want to see play her on the silver screen? “I have no favourites. I love all the actors and actresses. They are all good! It is over to the producer and the director,” smiles the young lady whose last Bolly watch was Bol Bachchan. Has she ever given acting a thought? “Oh no!” comes the reply.

“She can give lessons (in boxing) may be,” adds her husband K. Onler Kom, Mary’s pillar of strength. So what was his gift for Mary, post the Olympics? “Onler gave love and hugs!” giggles Mary. For Onler, his wife deserves it all. “It’s been 12 years of hard training and staying away from the family,” he says.

This Monday was the first time Mary walked the ramp (Shabana Azmi’s charity show in Mumbai). “I was a little scared about falling down!” she confesses. “She doesn’t know anything about fashion… she was just supporting the cause,” chips in the loving hubby.