Updated: Apr 10, 2020
By Roopa Rani Bussa
Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds
Boxing was her dream,
Punches made her scream,
Passion evolved in heart,
Stubbornness was her horse,
Hurdles never stopped her,
No Hurt could wither her,
Mary Kom made her mark,
Always holding spirit and spark!
Proud to mention the name of an extraordinary shining star who burnished herself with dedicated hard work and emerged into a solitaire diamond-Mary Kom.
MC Mary Kom is our country’s pride.
She created history in boxing. Her perseverance is an example for everyone, especially to young girls and women. She showed progress comes from hardcore passion and proved the world that nothing is impossible. Achievement is evident if we breathe steadfastness.
An Indian Olympic boxer who has achieved numerous awards and won the toughest of the medals, today Mary Kom is a Member of Parliament. Her grandmother named her Mangte Chungneijang Mary. Her coach thought of changing her name as MC Mary because her full name is too long. She made her place in world records with the name given by her coach.
She was on March 01, 1983 in a poor tribal family in Kangathei village Moirang Lamkhai in Churachandpur district of Manipur State, India. Her father and mother are farmers who worked hard to meet the daily expenses. As an elder child, Mary Kom helped her parents while studying in Loktak Christian model school Moirang (till 6th grade), followed by St.Xavier catholic school and Adimjati School in Imphal.
From school days she was interested in sports and athletics. Her typical conservative father didn’t like her to be in sports or athletes. He himself was a wrestler in his younger days but he felt sports are not for women and that doesn’t give any life. Mary on the contrary was very confident and stubborn to achieve big in sports.
Dingko Singh who belongs to Imphal won a gold medal in 1998 was her inspiration to become a boxer.
One day she picked up a fight with a friend and ended up in boxing school. She got mesmerized with the aura and requested the coach to teach her boxing. She started her training with K.Kosana Meitei. She wasn’t ready to accept her father’s decision as she knew he won’t agree with her decision and hence she didn’t tell her parents about her joining the boxing training. She got selected for the women's State boxing championship. Everyone watching the ring was astonished with the energy she possessed with power and passion. She won the championship also. Her parents got to know about her boxing training with her picture in the newspaper.
It was quite difficult for her to move out of the family alone to pursue her boxing practice. That moment, she had to make a decision whether it’s family or boxing. Her determination and respect towards her passion was so strong, that with a heavy heart. she chose boxing over her family. Going through many emotional pains along with handling the politics around her, she climbed the victory steps uninterruptedly.
When Mary Kom was at the peak of her career she got married to her friend Onkhler. She met Onkhler when she lost her bag, passport, and money. She was upset with the incident and was finding a way to get her passport for the upcoming world championship in China. Onkhler volunteered to help her and they became good friends. Their friendship moved its angle and fell in love. Dated four years later, they decided to marry. That wasn’t easy either; both Mary Kom’s as well as Onkhler parents were against this decision. Not least her coach was against it too. Knocking out elevating career for marriage happened against kith and kins wish.
Her personal life was settled but there was no room for her passion for some time since she got pregnant. She delivered twin boys. Nothing could compensate for her passion. She knew raising boys was her responsibility and that should be her priority. Boxing was her soul. Onkhler understood how she was missing boxing. He encouraged her to accomplish her dreams. Onkhler’s support was an anchor for her comeback.
She didn’t wait till opportunity knocked her. instead she created opportunity with her hard work despite the hardships she had to overcome.