CWG silver medal-winning boxer on what it took to be away from her 17-month old son
From being a mother to winning the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, boxer Sarita Devi has been through an emotional as well as physically tiring journey.
From the family album: India boxer Sarita Devi with her son Tomthil
It's been five months since Sarita has seen her only child, son Tomthil, who is just 17 months old and being looked after by her mother and sister-in-law back home in Manipur.
Many of Sarita Devi's friends were against her decision to be away from Tomthil for so long, as she trained and then travelled for the Games. But now with the silver medal around her neck, the boxer says it was all worth it.
"I never expected to win a medal at the CWG as I had put on a lot of weight after pregnancy. But I decided to go ahead as I couldn't participate in the 2012 London Olympics.
After my son's birth, many people told me to stay away from boxing, but I my husband (Thoiba Chongtham) encouraged me to go ahead," Sarita Devi (29) said during a media interaction organised by Olympic Gold Quest at a city hotel yesterday.
India boxer Sarita Devi and her husband Thoiba Chongtham with her CWG silver medal at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/Rohan Koli
Being away from Tomthil for the first time was very tough, said Sarita Devi. "Half of my concentration is always on my son. What he must be doing at home? Is he OK? Even in Glasgow, I was more worried about Tomthil than anything else," said Sarita Devi, who lost to Shelley Watts of Australia in the CWG lightweight final on Saturday.
Sadly, the Manipuri, who returned with the Indian contingent from Glasgow on Monday, will be seeing her son only next week, as she has to attend the August 9-11 trials at the National Institute of Sport in Patiala for the upcoming Asian Games (Sept 19 to October 4) in Incheon, Korea.
"I will be going home only after the Asiad trials in Patiala. Even then, I will be with my son for just a week," said Sarita Devi, who wants her boy be a footballer like her husband, who played for former National Football League side Bengal Mumbai Football Club. "It's our dream to see Tomthil play football for India some day," she said.