Last week, a sealed envelope addressed to two young women in Haryana was dispatched from Aamir Khan’s Bandra home. They will now be carrying it all the way to Brazil.
Aamir Khan. Pic/Yogen Shah
The envelope contained handwritten letters to wrestler cousins, Babita Kumari and Vinesh Phogat, with Aamir wishing them luck for the Rio Olympics starting August 6. The star portrays Babita’s father, wrestling coach Mahavir Phogat, in a biopic titled Dangal. While filming in Haryana, he struck a bond with the Phogats and has kept in touch with them even after shoot wrapped up.
Aamir Khan with Babita Kumari
Says a source, “Aamir spent a good amount of time with them while shooting. Mahavir’s daughters, Geeta and Babita, are almost family to him now. He wanted to pass on good wishes to Babita and Vinesh for their participation in the Olympics, and chose the old-fashioned method of writing letters for that personal touch.”
The endearing missive that Aamir has shot off is meant to motivate the girls, who have earlier won medals at various wrestling championships, including the Commonwealth Games. This is the first time that three women wrestlers—Babita, Vinesh and Ravinder Khatri — from India have qualified for the Olympics. Geeta was India’s lone female wrestler competing at the 2012 London Games.
“Aamir first met Babita nearly three years ago on his TV show, Satyamev Jayate and they caught up with each other after that during his prep for the film.
In his letter, he says she has made India proud with her Olympics selection, specially since it was shrouded in uncertainty initially. Medal or not, representing the country on such a big platform is an achievement in itself, he has written,” adds the source.
Aamir’s message to Vinesh also has words of encouragement as well as caution. He has told her it’s a huge thing to be competing in the Olympics and since it’s her first time there, she shouldn’t feel stressed.
The actor’s spokesperson says, “Aamir understands the value of Olympics in their lives and the struggle that they have endured to pursue their goals. So, he decided to personally write a note to them, wishing them success.”