Review : Unbreakable - M.C Mary Kom

“Sometimes I wonder how I sustained my passion given that I had neither exposure to the possibilities nor opportunities.” - M.C. Mary Kom

The above is what makes Chungneijang “Magnificent”. Whenever I read a biography or memoir I love to read about the author’s childhood and relate it to my own. Unlike in the cases of Feynman, Randy or Woz I was not able to make a connection. The reader will find out that they have taken a lot in life for granted. This reveal hits one hard and will stay for a very long time. The initial chapters look at her difficult beginnings and realization how far she has come against all odds. It is impossible to not root for Mary as you move from one page to another.

The book feels less exciting as it enters the phase when Mary actually starts winning big. This isn’t due to sloppy writing but due the very high standards set by the initial chapters. These chapters also highlight our country’s neglect of sports other than cricket.

Mary is blessed with loving in-laws who don’t come in the way of her pursuit. I am not sure if it is unique or has to do with the culture in Manipur. Either way, the rest of the country has a lot of learning to do here. Same holds true for Onler who sacrifices his own career to make Mary win. She is a rare example whose career was able to take the hits of marriage and childbirth. This comeback is no short of a fairytale given how things work in India for women.

Mary’s win despite the odds stacked against her is even more inspirational than that of James J Braddock. Read this even if you have watched the Movie. Read the initial chapters if you don’t have time on your plate but do not miss this epic story.

As I write this review today Mary Kom has missed the Rio berth. So far India has won only 2 medals and both of them are by women. Things have not changed and maybe they never will. On the positive side, I sure know the perfect birthday gift for a starry-eyed teenager. :)

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