I grew up in Shillong, and like any other family, my father wanted me to be a doctor. When I told him that I wanted to be a musician, he flipped. I went to St. Columbus in Delhi. I went to England after Class 10 to learn music. I was supposed to come back, because we didn’t have money. I told my mother to sell the house, because I was so confident, but she didn’t. Miraculously, a very kind lady decided to be my fairy Godmother, and benefactors.
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I never wanted to be an actor. I was very reserved and shy. Even today, I am very shy behind the camera. I became an actor almost by accident and when I started out, I didn’t know anything about the industry. But when I take up something, I give it my best shot. It was a struggle to go through all those auditions and deal with rejections but finally it’s all worth it. To learn the nuances of the craft, I did theatre for a few years and even learnt Bharatanatyam for six months. I also acquired post production skills like editing before becoming an actor.
“My father had the knowledge of wrestling so when he saw that four girls were born one after the other, he drafted us into wrestling. That was the time when weightlifter Karnam Malleswari had won bronze in (Sydney) Olympics, so our dad thought that if being a girl, Karnam can bring home a medal from Olympics then why can’t his daughters do the same?” recalls Ritu Phogat (Wrestler)
I told my husband not to push the girls into the sport. I was worried about how they will ever get married as pehelwans wearing shorts and cutting their hair! They would wrestle boys as there were no other girls.
“I wake up 4 a.m. in the morning with my sisters and train for 2-3 hours. After that we have breakfast which is supplemented by curd apart from juice and almond shake that my father prepares. Then we sleep. After having lunch, it’s leisure time as we play cards or watch news on the TV. We train for another 2-3 hours after that, come back, have dinner, and sleep. So, if you see, the total time we dedicate to the sport in a day is close to six hours” said Ritu Phogat in one of the interviews.