WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Pursuing professional sports in India is a daunting job and that job becomes even more difficult when the gender in question is the fairer sex. Women sports in India are still treated as a joke and therefore there is hardly any effort or expenditures to help develop professional women sports in India. As if that alone is not sufficient, boxing is one such sport which given the god like status of cricket in India, is hardly paid attention to. Thus, we can sum up to say that being a professional woman boxer in India is as easy as India winning the Men’s Hockey World Cup.
It was against such a backdrop that Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, more popularly known as Mary Kom emerged from the small state of Manipur in North-East India and emerged as one of the most acclaimed woman boxers in the global arenas, bringing home not one, not two but several world titles.
Unbreakable: An Autobiography is the autobiography of the unbreakable Mary Kom who never let anything come in between her and her quest for winning. She worked hard and showed the world that with mere hard work and utmost dedication it is possible for even a farmer’s daughter to become world’s leading woman boxer.
Mary Kom in her book writes with utmost candidness and composure about her struggles as newbie boxer. About how she had to fight her way through national boxing selections, about how everybody lost hope that she will ever be back in the arena after her marriage and about how she broke the age old notion that a mother can’t box and can’t win matches. Her writing in the most sincere way reflects the true pain which she must have felt while battling her way to Olympic fame. She also reflects on the sad state of Sports Affairs in her North-Eastern state of Manipur and about the usual attitude of mainstream Indians towards North-East Indians.
On the positive side, Unbreakable: An Autobiography is full of colorful and vibrant description about the Manipuri culture and life in Manipur in general. The most interesting thing I liked about the culture is the part wherein the boy’s family asks for a girl’s hand in marriage by going to the girl’s home and boiling tea in their kitchen and if the girl’s family drinks the tea, the proposal is considered accepted. Mary Kom also very vividly describes her family life including her parents, her husband and children.
Overall, Unbreakable: An Autobiography is a beautiful collection of Mary’s memories and life and is a definite must for every Indian to read. I hope that aspiring sports persons find enough inspiration in this book and move forward in their quest. With this thought in mind, I rate this book three and half out of five stars and recommend this book to all readers.