In a star-studded evening across tinsel town, we had the five times World Boxing Champion and Olympic winner Mary Kom, commonly nicknamed as ‘Magnificent Mary’, come down on Wednesday evening to ‘The Hab’, a concept store by Usha Internationals in Khar. She was there to show her support for their initiatives in women empowerment and sport activities.
Usha- a brand we associate with electrical appliances, fans and sewing machines, recently announced its association with the upcoming biopic, ‘Mary Kom’ starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead. So if you watch the September release closely, you’ll see bits of Usha branding throughout the film.
Dressed in a plain-black tee and a printed palazzo, Mary Kom looked every bit magnificent and ready for her upcoming trials in the Asian Games. She said, “I really encourage women to come out and strive for their goals. The girl child should not be sitting at home.”
When asked how she manages to balance her role as a home-maker and an international sportsperson she said, “I work very hard to remain fit. And just because I play, I do not shy away from household work. I have to manage them both, and I am not afraid to take it up.”
But she put on a brave smile and added, “But I try to keep that aside. I’ve been through a lot; including an incident from my past that made me take up boxing. So now I’m focusing on the games and on my training. And I’m here to thank Usha for supporting women and their hobbies.”
And to prove that point, she went on to the training areas and worked on the machines, stitching her name across the boxing gloves and mini-punching bag that were made as an inspiration from her sport.
Before dashing off for the launch of the movie’s music in Juhu, we had time to ask Kom’s husband, the shy yet affable k Onler Karong, if he would encourage his kids to take up boxing; he smiled and said, “They’re too young. I’ll let them choose. But let them grow up first.” He waved his hand and followed her out.