Having found a real-life heroine, Bollywood is unlikely to let her go. So Olympics medallist Mary Kom will soon be a celluloid character too, courtesy filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and director Omung Kumar who are making a movie on her life.
In Mumbai to talk about the importance of open spaces in a city that is getting more crowded by the day, the pugilist takes time off to chat with HT Café.
How does it feel to know you’ll soon be the subject of a Hindi movie?
I didn’t know I could make such an impact! Being born and raised in a place that has been constantly neglected, I appreciate this gesture. A film on my life by a filmmaker like Sanjay sir gives me goose bumps.
I’ve worked hard in the last 11 years, but not many people had heard my name. Now I will be imprinted in people’s minds.
You’ve been singing film songs all over TV channels lately.
I’m not a trained singer, but I can sing like a professional (laughs). I am multitalented. I’m a boxer, I can sing, cook and do other things.
Bhansali told us that the film will be a pure Bollywood movie.
I’m fine with it. Essentially, the journey of everyone’s life is the same, but the degree of having to combat with it varies. Isn’t life all about aspiration, struggle, relationships, rivalry, failure, triumph and achievement? For me, my life isn’t extraordinary, because this is the only way I know it to be. So as long as Sanjay sir and Omung sir keep the essence of my life intact, I’ll be happy. If they want to have songs and dances, I’m cool with that.
Will you make an appearance in the film?
Yes. Ideally, I want to be in the opening sequence of the film, just like the old lady in Titanic (1997) who narrates her life story. As for the rest, Sanjay sir and Omung sir will know better.
Why are you promoting the open space campaign in Mumbai?
I come from the north east, which has sprawling acres of land. Mumbai is crammed, so land and playgrounds for children are fast disappearing. I’m a mother and I know the importance of outdoor activities for children. And now, if the Indian government is really planning to emphasise sports, then open land is of immense importance.