A self-confessed Bula Chowdhury fan, Kolkata teen Rashmi Sharma emulated her idol and became the 11th Indian woman swimmer to cross the English Channel.
On her return from France after accomplishing the mission, a beaming Rashmi said that things were not easy towards the end but she was happy to achieve the target.
Rashmi had started in the morning on July 6 and swam 21 miles clocking 11 hours and 50 minutes.
"I was virtually gasping for breath in the last mile. It took me nine hours to swim 20 miles but there I was struggling. The monstrous waves made things difficult for me and on one occasion, I almost ended up being run over by the accompanying boat.
"Despite that, I was in no mood to give up. It was so close to my goal and there was no way I could backtrack and the next three hours seemed like ages before I finally did it," she recalled.
She was also elated after her idol called her up to congratulate.
"It was a very emotional moment as Buladi called me up and said well done," she said.
Rashmi has been taking part in butterfly and medley events since she took to water and last year, the teenager crossed 81 kms on the river Bhagirathi in 11 hours.
"I never had this experience of swimming in such cold waters and so we reached England on July 3 and practiced at the Dovan Harbour.