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'A mother is always put on more of a guilt trip than men are,'' says Sania Mirza in the latest issue of Femina. The living embodiment of girl power in Indian sport, Sania Mirza has been making all the right moves from the moment she stepped onto the tennis court as a teen. Be it after injuries, marriage or motherhood, Sania has always made a smashing return to tennis. Acing the roles of wife, mother, and sporting icon to perfection, Sania shines in the February issue of Femina in a cover story that sees her smashing the patriarchy and encouraging mothers through her awe-inspiring journey.
Having become a mother back in October 2018, the opportunity to make a comeback to the sport that made her a global icon was tough, but only a matter of time. Speaking about it, Sania shares, "The first step was losing around 23 kilos. Once that happened, I started to look at coming back. About six months after I gave birth to Izhaan, my body told me that it was a realistic possibility that I could make a comeback."
Just like for any sportsperson out there, the pandemic put a spanner in the works with regard to her training schedule, especially after she had made a much-awaited comeback. Reminiscing on her time during the lockdown, she says, "I have also put a lot of things into perspective, with the feeling of being blessed and grateful for being healthy and having a roof over my head. With tennis, I kept telling myself that I had worked hard to make a strong comeback, and would always think of the bigger problems of the world at large. I just hope we come out on the better side of this!''
Despite giving countless girls across the country the inspiration to pick up a tennis racket and make waves in a male-dominated sport and society, Sania has never failed to voice her opinion on the gender disparity that exists. "We do live in a man's world; I think a lot of things are a lot easier for men in this world. I don't think we, as parents, need to prove ourselves but the mother is always put on more of a guilt trip than men are. I think they are made to feel that they are not doing a good job as mothers, whether it comes to breastfeeding, or going back to work after having a child. I do think mothers are judged a bit more, but I do not think they necessarily need to prove themselves to anybody."
Get the latest issue of Femina, now on stands, to read about Sania Mirza's upcoming projects, her special moments with Izhaan, her thoughts on marriage and motherhood, her preparation during matches, and her role models, among other fascinating topics.