BwC S4E7 – Geeta Phogat | Dangal Queen
Let me tell you something seriously… If I was living here,
I’d never get off this terrace. I’d never go out,
I would sit here and paint… Not that I know how to paint…
But, this doesn’t need talent. Just splash some green and
it’ll look awesome! The first medalist from
India’s most famous wrestling family and… The eldest daughter, Geeta, is on our show today I am heading towards Sonepat… Where she lives and trains… Where she works day and night to ensure… She gives flight to the dreams
of countless girls like her This episode features cool farm winds
and a breezy conversation. Namaste! How’re you? Good to see you. I’m absolutely fine, thank you. – You’ve just come back from training, right?
– Yes, morning training. So that’s why you’re near the dining table…
All these fruits will be had for breakfast? Well, wrestlers can’t survive without eating. You don’t have tea or coffee, right? Sometimes, I have coffee…. Green tea… – So shall we have some green tea then?
– Sure – Has Pawan ever cooked for you?
– Pawan? No Never cooked anything? Ever? Your wife is complaining that
you’ve never cooked for her. I can’t exactly remember when… If you don’t remember,
then it probably didn’t happen Because with 150 almonds a day,
surely you’d remember if it happened She was saying that he doesn’t cook for me
but he’s always stirring me up No, no… She didn’t say that.
I shouldn’t mess with wrestlers… If I say something stupid,
I’ll get body-slammed. – Shall we go up to the terrace?
– Yes, let’s. This is nice, you must share the recipe. It’s green tea, you’ve seen my secret Don’t be shy, eat the eggs.
Feel at home! We’re going upstairs to chat…
Leave a couple of eggs for us. Leave some for Gaurav too…
Leave 4 eggs. During ‘Dangal’ the film…
Everyone saw it, of course… But all the things going on around the film… All the press interactions you did… That lifestyle is very different to
your normal lifestyle… You’re disciplined, and that’s the opposite… It felt good, going to all those events…
Meeting different people… But the flip side is that all I’ve done
in my life is wrestling… Train for 2-4 hours in the morning,
3-4 hours in the evening… Then rest for the remainder of the day… Suddenly, after the film there was
so much travel, and that was tiring… I started to miss the life I had
before all of this happened… I wanted it all to get over quickly and
return to my wrestling, because that’s my life. There was no sense of time,
whether it came to eating or sleeping… Just keep going on and on… – Your daily routine, you wake up at 4?
– 4:30 Oh, a late riser! At my dad’s place, we wake at 3:30.
Training is at 4. The academy here has many more kids,
so we wake at 4:30 and train at 5. Training at 5am? So what exactly happens at 5, that can’t happen at 8? – It’s an important question
– Absolutely Aspiring wrestlers out there want to know… Well, this question does cross the mind… When we go abroad to train,
the sessions start at 8am or 10am… Here, that’s the time we go
back to sleep after the training My dad always used to say… “The one who toils under the stars
is easily spotted by God” Wow. We could start later, but when
you finish training, you’re exhausted… So you just lie on the mat,
don’t feel like getting up… That’s called ‘Shavasana’. – We go into a ‘silent mode’.
– Silent mode. And sometimes… When you’ve put in the extra effort,
then you don’t feel like talking to anyone. Because the body is incapable of anything! At my father’s place, if any of us kids
got into an argument or a fight… My dad would say that you’ve not
worked hard that day, or you’ve cut corners… So if both husband and wife are wrestlers,
then it’s great for the marriage… Absolutely. If I send my wife to the gym every morning
for a few hours to train… Then she won’t have the energy
to fight with me after she’s back. If I leave a wet towel on the bed, or toss my socks carelessly, I won’t get scolded. – I didn’t realise this happens to everyone…
– To everyone, right? When I tell my husband to
put something back in its place… He says he was better off before marriage! After marriage, now that both of you
go together for training… What do you think has improved
in your life or in your training? See, Pawan is also a wrestler… He’s competing at a high level… He’s also a Commonwealth Games medalist If you have a life partner from the same field… Your purpose is common, to win medals,
at the same events… So the way we look at things,
understand things… Our perspective to everything is similar… We do our physical training together,
although we don’t partner with each other. We push each other… 5 more… 10 more… Even when we’re alone at home,
we’re still talking about wrestling… Who the opponents are,
how do you train to beat them… So there are benefits… -When did you get that tattoo?
-2-3 months before the wedding – It’s really nice, I’ve never seen a design like this
– Thank you so much I’m assuming you are the first one
in your family to get a tattoo. Yes, and I had it before I was
to get married to Pawan… I got home after a camp with the tattoo,
I had taped up my hand… I had worn a full-sleeved T-shirt… I was terrified of going in front of my father… “What have you done?” – Pawan was surprised?
– Yes, I hadn’t told him After getting it done,
I sent him a picture He thought it was fake! I had to convince him it’s real. Say, “There’s nothing fake about me,
I’m the real deal” So now is he being pressurised
to get a matching tattoo? I’m sure he must have said that
he’ll get one done… He said he’ll do it for my birthday.
Two birthdays have gone by since then. According to you, what’s the best day
of your career? Commonwealth Games (2010)… Before that, I hadn’t won any medal
at a major event… Neither the Asian championship nor the Commonwealth championship… So that medal at CWG 2010
gave me a major boost in life… My confidence soared
and things haven’t been the same ever since. So that perhaps has been the most memorable,
the happiest moment… A life changing moment… You’ve always said the semi-final was tougher? Yes, because I was quite tense that day… The Canadian and Nigerian wrestlers were both good, and both were in my group. The Nigerian – as was shown in the film (Dangal) – she was very muscular… Her ears were battered,
she had really short hair… She looked just like a strong male wrestler. I was scared, just by looking at her.
She was strong… Nigerians, Cubans…
They’re usually very strong physically. But, the contest went to 3 rounds
and I won in 5 or 7 seconds… – Do you remember the finals day clearly?
– Absolutely! – What happened before, after?
– I remember clearly I had barely slept for 3 or 4 hours… There were two things actually… Whenever we go for a competition…
And further, these games were in India… There was a lot of talk in the media… High expectations from the Phogat sisters… So all these things were in my mind… And on top of that, pressure from the family,
that I have to win a medal… I didn’t know what I would achieve, but I knew that a medal will make my family happy… That I will meet people’s expectations… And if I lost, and didn’t get a medal…
The flip side was looking very dark. My family, especially my dad,
had worked very hard… He was waiting for the medal
that would satisfy his heart’s desire… That his efforts had born fruit… Although his dream is still unfulfilled…
He isn’t totally satisfied… He wants his daughters – Any one of us –
to bring home an Olympic medal. It was all his dream, his perseverance…
All his efforts… We didn’t even understand what winning an Olympic medal meant… And it is only because he impressed upon us
the desire that we have come so far… Before that, we had no clue… But when you were young, didn’t you wonder why your father is making you work so hard? When it was your time to play, have fun…. Gaurav, you can’t imagine…
Ever since I started wrestling… The next 7-8 years of my life were hell!
The worst part of my life! I don’t want to go back to that childhood. Most people would like to return to their
childhood, but I never want to. Too much tension! Tension, problems… I was always
in trouble with my father… We were made to work really hard… We trained in a mud pit… The mud would be freezing in winters,
and burning in summer… My youngest sisters – Ritu and Sangita –
They still can joke around with my dad… But Babita and I were terrified of him.
We still are… Recently… Before I went on
(TV show) ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’… This was after marriage, I had gone home… Someone had come to interview me…
They asked to meet my father… I told them, “He’s there… Please excuse me”. If you want to walk into the lion’s den,
you’re welcome to go there on your own… There’s just this fear… Also, Ritu had just returned from the Asian championships with a bronze medal… And then, my dad called me, but
Ritu and I went to him together… Papa saw her and said, “You’re here?”
“Yes”. “You came third! What good is third?” That’s how my dad is. He won’t encourage us unless we come first… If we win a bout by one point,
he’ll say, “One point wins aren’t wins”. So these kind of things… I was the best in my weight category in India… But he’d say, “That’s no use, you need to beat people a couple of weight categories higher”… “Until then, don’t expect any medals at the
international level.” So that’s his mentality, and I do believe… that he’s right most of the times… We’ve got to this point solely
because of my father. Others have given support, but that was mainly after we had become national champions… The support came when we were unbeatable Before that, it was only him that put in the hard yards for all of us, he did everything… He ignored all the naysayers… In any sport, especially for girls,
the parent’s support is vital… Because people… And society in general…
Even now… I meet the mothers of girls at my academy…
Once every week or 10 days… Sometimes they cry… The male members of their family don’t like the girls taking to sports… They feel these girls are an embarrassment… the family name is being dragged into the mud. If they don’t become a wrestler like me,
their lives will be miserable I still find it weird to hear such things… It pains me that the issues I faced as a kid
are still around. So the uncles who tell the girls that they’re dragging the family name into the mud…. You should tell the girls to drag them into the mud… Toss them right in… My dad used to say, “Don’t say anything…
Let your deeds speak for themselves.” And that’s exactly what happened…
All our detractors now pat our backs… Now they want to call us their own… Your family is full of wrestlers…
You married Pawan, a wrestler… His family is also full of wrestlers… Do you have any hockey players for friends? None at all. None from any other field. Basketball? Cricket? Football? Any of these? My father – See, the popularity of Cricket in India is at a whole different level… But whenever my brothers or cousins went off to play cricket, they got whacked by my father… He believed that Cricket has ruined this country. He always felt that other sports
never got any attention… Although things have changed now… We got medals at the Olympics in Badminton, and Sakshi (Malik) got one in wrestling… So these things help change the mindset
of the media and the people And most importantly, while it’s true that other sports are progressing… Girls in sports are moving ahead as well… Yes, and that’s what makes me truly happy,
to see girls doing well… It is wonderful to see India win
medals and tournaments… But when girls excel, it’s special… Of late, the girls cricket team is doing well… That brings another kind of joy… Do you meet parents who tell you that their daughter has been inspired by you? You’re not going to believe this… Whether it’s because of the Rio Olympics,
or because of the movie Dangal… Before Dangal, there weren’t any girls
at my husband’s wrestling academy… I was the only girl who used to practice there. Now, we have around 15 girls at the academy. And every day, girls are coming in…
Parents wanting their girls to become wrestlers. And it’s not just at our academy… All the wrestling tournaments in Haryana
that used to be exclusively for boys… Now have categories for both boys and girls. I’ve noticed the change happening…
Girls are being allowed to compete… Earlier, girls couldn’t even enter training areas, now they practice there alongside boys. So all this makes me happy. Obviously, you’re still at your prime…
You’ve got tournaments lined up… But we all think about what we’d like to
be doing 10-20 years ahead… – I’m guessing you’ll be around wrestling…
– Yes Contribute in some way…
So what have you thought? I find solace only in wrestling… This is all I know… This has been my life. When I retire, I’d like to become a
top-notch coach, maybe open an academy. Do as much as I can to get other girls
to achieve at least as much as I have. So that’s my dream… To be able to promote girls,
especially in wrestling Very good. So two things are important… ‘Golgappas’ and Iron chickpeas are not allowed… I think it’s going to rain… – The sun was playing hide and seek with us
– And here comes the rain Let’s go down, I’m also interested to check
if Pawan has run through all the eggs… I’d like just one… Let’s get the cups… – Here, give me that cup
– Don’t worry, it’s not that heavy Hey guys, watch me and Ritika on
‘Breakfast with Champions’. There…