I followed a boy to Bengaluru: Mayanti Langer
She is synonymous with sports anchoring in India, and her poise and grace has endeared her to millions who tune in to watch sports with love. Currently, she is being missed on TV as Mayanti Langer is on a break in Bengaluru after the birth of her baby boy last year.
“My network was very supportive when I had told them of my plans to start a family. They moved a lot of things around for me; I continued to host till I was five months along, and I wasn’t really showing. I would have loved to continue anchoring till the end of my pregnancy, but the lockdown happened. I do believe that it would have been liberating to show on television that I was pregnant; it is a great message to all women out there who want to continue to work,” says Langer.
The anchor, who started out as a guest sports anchor for a Football event before becoming one of India’s most prolific sports anchors, has had her share of detractors. Talking about dealing with trolls online, Langer says, “When I wasn’t pregnant, people used to fat shame me; surprisingly I lost a lot of weight post the pregnancy, and now people comment that I look malnourished. I’ve always believed you can’t make everyone happy, so it’s best to ignore the negativity.”
Originally from Delhi, Langer’s work takes her to Mumbai, and she flies back to Bengaluru to be with her family. The sports anchor describes how she moved to the garden city, around a decade ago. “I followed a boy to Bengaluru (laughs). When I had met Stuart (cricketer Stuart Binny) and we started getting serious, we decided to stay together after we got engaged. That is how Bengaluru happened. I knew it was a long term commitment; my husband got an apartment for us and that is how I came to be here. I love the city, it has a charm about it,” says Langer. “From Cubbon Park to Chinnaswamy Stadium, there are so many places that I’ve come to like and we have a great group of friends here, so it feels like home,” she adds.
But did she feel out of place when she first moved here? “Absolutely! I was a proper Delhiite. We would dress to the nines for an evening out with friends. But here, there is a calmer pub culture as opposed to Delhi’s clubbing scene. I remember being stared at when I once wore heels for an outing while everyone else was dressed down,” she reminisces.
What’s next? “I’ve had what we call a pandemic pregnancy and my baby is a pandemic baby. I had to be completely isolated since I was in the high-risk category during my pregnancy, so as of now I am not thinking about a career or going back to work.”
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika