“Mujhe lambey baal ka shauk hai, par papa ne kaha baal badhaoge to kheloge kaise (I like long hair, but papa says if you grow your hair, how will you wrestle),” says 26-year-old freestyle wrestler Babita Kumari about Mahavir Singh Phogat, whose story will soon hit theatres in an Aamir Khan film. And the Phogat family can hardly wait to watch it. “We’re excited. If people see a film about wrestling, they’ll want to know about the sport,” says Kumari, who’s all praise for Aamir. “He’s so down to earth. We’ve met three-four times since he invited us on his TV show and it’s always wonderful,” she adds.
As for their portrayal in the film, Kumari says: “When we were narrated the story by (director) Nitesh Tiwari, we loved the fact that there was nothing fake in it. It was all about what actually happened in our lives.” Perfection matters to the young girl, who’s now training rigorously for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as expectations are high. “People think if Phogat sisters have gone to a competition, toh kuch toh jeet ke ayengi hi. We, too, give our 100% every time,” she says.
Ask her about her hobbies, and Kumari shares, “I like to read books on freedom fighters and ones that are spiritual.”
Is Aamir her favourite actor? “(Laughs) Mujhe Salman Khan badey acche lagte hain (I’m fond of Salman Khan).”