Published: 10th January 2019
India's small wonder: All you should know about Dipa Karmakar's biography
The book hit the stands a few weeks back and the gymnast gets candid with us about how her coach suggested the idea to her two years ago and what went into writing it
For most Indians, the name Dipa Karmakar is synonymous with artistic gymnastics. After all, how many times has India made it to the event's finals at the Olympics? And so, on July 14, 2016, when Dipa was competing in the women's vault finals at the Rio Olympics, almost all eyes in the country were glued to their TV screens, eager to see her win that elusive Olympic gold and hear the Indian National Anthem sung proudly at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But to everyone's dismay, Dipa placed fourth. Sure, people were disappointed, but no one held it against her as they had faith that the young woman could do so much more.
For people across the country, this 25-year-old hailing from the capital city of Tripura was a wonder. So, when her coach Bishweshwar Nandi and journalists Digvijay Singh Deo and Vimal Mohan decided to write her biography, there was no dispute regarding the title of the book. Dipa Karmakar - The Small Wonder hit the stands on December 15. When we spoke to the otherwise shy and introverted Dipa, we were surprised by her level of excitement regarding the book. "It was all Nandi sir's idea. We had a discussion about this two years ago. If I remember correctly, that was right after the Rio Olympics," Dipa said, "Nandi sir and I would have long discussions during practice and this book is a result of those conversations." It took the authors two whole years to put her life into words, said Dipa.
Reading list: The book is published by Fingerprint
And after the long wait, when she finally held a copy of the book, she was no less than elated. "I was really happy to see a book about me. I would have never imagined this," she said, adding that Nandi was the first person to whom she showed the first published copy. "My parents were very happy too," she added. So, is there a part of the book that Dipa already identifies as her favourite? "Nothing as such," she said. "I just love the book as it is. I want to read it again and again," said Dipa, excitedly. Through the book, she hopes to inspire as many people as possible, especially children, and wants to let them know that their dreams can come true too. "There are so many little children in this country who hope to make it big through sports. This is for them. I want to tell them that they can do it too," she said.
Now that she's welcomed the New Year, this small wonder has a lot of dreams and hopes for the year and an Olympic medal is definitely one of them. But then, Dipa reminded us how difficult the qualifiers really are. "I''m trying to do my best here. The qualifiers are important and tough, and so, I will focus on training throughout 2019," she concluded emphatically.