The Day I Became a Runner starts from a striking premise-that, since running is a solitary activity conducted in the public sphere, women who take up this sport pose a more direct challenge to patriarchy than those who play sports such as badminton, cricket and tennis. To support this thesis, award-winning journalist Sohini Chattopadhyay presents the compelling stories of eight athletes spanning the entire history of independent India and involving women from a wide range of social and geographical backgrounds.
Whether it is Ila Mitra, who could have been the first Indian-origin woman at the 1940 Olympics, or Mary D'Souza, who ran and played hockey for India through the 1950s; Kamaljit Sandhu, a star hockey player who made history for India in Bangkok, 1970, or P.T. Usha, who redefined the 1980s and the decades that followed for women in sport across the country, each of the women in this book will inspire and encourage the women reading it to break barriers and chase their dreams.
Written with remarkable insight and poignancy, The Day I Became a Runner is an alternative account of the Indian republic chronicled through the lens of its women athletes. In that sense, it is a women's history of India.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sohini Chattopadhyay is a journalist and a National-award-winning film critic. Her writing has been commissioned by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Lancet Psychiatry, South China Morning Post, The Hindu, Mint, Süeddeutsche Zeitung, and leading national and international publications. Her work has been translated into German, Bengali, Tamil and Malayalam. She is a recipient of the New India Foundation fellowship.
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