Dilwane dulhaniya November-December mein le jaayenge,” smiles wrestler Babita Phogat, of the Phogat sisters who inspired the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal (2016). She is set to marry wrestler Vivek Suhag later this year. She announced the happy news on Twitter with the post: “@SuhagVivek you know it’s official when you get the blessing from my bapu. It’s time for Dilwale to take her Dulhaniya (sic).” It prompted congratulatory messages from pugilist Vijender Singh and actor Randeep Hooda, among others.
Daughter of former wrestler and coach, Mahavir Singh Phogat, and younger sister of Geeta Phogat, she is a bronze medallist at the 2012 World Wrestling Championships, and has won gold at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games. Vivek, also a wrestler from Haryana, received last year’s ‘Kesari’ award.
Babita says it’s a “love-cum-arranged marriage”. “We’ve known each other for four years now. Ek doosre ko jaante the, baat cheet bhi hoti thi (We knew each other, would talk a lot). We decided to make it official by getting married. Gharwaalon ko bataya. Our families were happy with the alliance. Papa ji jaake unko ashirwaad de aaye (My father went ahead and gave his blessings to Vivek),” says Phogat.
The wrestler adds that she plans to do all her wedding shopping in the Capital. “I’ll come to Delhi for shopping, and will also shortlist a designer soon,” she says.
Babita, who is recovering from an injury, aims to qualify for the Olympics and eventually bring home the glory of an Olympic gold medal for the country.
Mention how Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik married grappler Satyawart Kadian, and her sister Geeta married Delhi-based wrestler Pawan Kumar, she shares an interesting anecdote. “My mother says when I was small, jab papa bolte the ki ‘main apni beti ki shaadi kisi pehlwan se karoonga. Sabhi betiyon ki.’ (My father would say I’ll get all my daughters married to wrestlers). And when my mom asked him why a wrestler, he said ‘Pehalwan ke ghar khaane peene ki kabhi kami nahin hogi. Meri beti kabhi bhookhi nahin rahegi (There is no scarcity of food in a wrestler’s house, my daughter will never go hungry),” she laughs.
On a lighter note, she shares: “There’s a lot of support when your companion is in the same profession. Hum wrestling karte hain toh woh humein ache se jaante hain, kyunki woh khud ek wrestler hai, ki kitni mehnat lagti hai. (I am a wrestler, and he knows me very well because he himself is one). And what it takes to achieve great heights in this field. He would not have been able to understand me as much, had he been from a different field.”