After winning the bronze in wrestling at this year’s Rio Olympics, Sakshi Malik has been the talk of the town. It’s been over a month now and Sakshi continues to be felicitated at events organised in different parts of the country. And, why not? After all she won a medal when it seemed like there was no hope to win for Indian contingent.
At the time Sakshi was playing her final bout, her mother Sudesh Malik was in Rohtak watching her daughter break the glass ceiling, each move at a time. Video of her cheering as Sakshi won the medal went viral — many of us cheering along, as we saw her getting up and kissing the TV screen several times. `
SheThePeople.TV caught up with Sudesh Malik at the Young Makers’ Conclave recently, where Sakshi was felicitated by Minister Prakash Javadekar. We asked her whether the feeling has sunk in yet!
“Itna garv feel ho raha tha ki main aapko bta nahi sakti (I was feeling so proud that I can’t tell you),” Sudesh told us. She added, “I was going to faint at that time actually and I was feeling so good that my daughter, who practised so hard to win this medal, has saved the honour of the country. Our India which was so down, our necks were fallen in the initial 12 days and then after that she won it, I felt doubly proud about that.”
It was very difficult for Sakshi to reach the Olympics, especially because of the society. She grew up in Rohtak, Haryana and the mentality people had over there regarding girls entering sports is regressive.
Her family support though made up for those odds.
When asked about her support to Sakshi, Mrs Malik said, “I always wanted my children to do something big in their lives in whatever field they chose for themselves. I knew that Sakshi has a deep interest in sports, but I also encouraged her to get her degree, so she has studied B.P.Ed and M.P.Ed. I always thought that she should have both education and sports.”
She goes on to say, ”Every parent wants to encourage their children, but it can only happen if the child shows interest in something.”
And how is she reacting to all the adulation her daughter is getting? She responds, “Now she is not just my daughter, now she is the daughter of the whole country. Since she has won the medal, we have not got much time to talk to each other. Our relatives have not been able to come to our house, since she is never at home and is always attending some event or the other.”
About the fact that life has changed tremendously, Sudesh says, “Our life has got so busy that it is just hard to handle. It has been a week since I am out of my home. Today I’ll go to my house and stay for three four days and attend to the family and relatives, but Sakshi has no rest. She has to go somewhere tomorrow as well.”
Since athletes have to undergo a strict diet routine and Sakshi was surviving on boiled veggies and limited quantity of water, she was craving for some home-cooked food as her Rio journey was coming to an end. So we asked Sudesh what delicacy did she cook on the day Sakshi returned from Rio and she told us that she cooked Kadhi pakode with chapatti for her since Sakshi does not like to have it with rice.
“I have not had many chances to cook food for her as she is mostly busy but Kadhi pakode and aloo paratha are her favourites.”
An exhausted Sudesh takes her leave along with her daughter who was humbly getting herself clicked with her fans.
We can’t help but salute both of them.