Bhubaneswar: Sports fans and bibliophiles of the capital city will have their day out in the upcoming Ekamra Sports Literary Festival (ESLF) as the top gymnast of the country Dipa Karmakar and her coach Bisweswar Nandi will narrate their journey filled with struggle.
The cover of Dipa’s autography titled ‘Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder’ will be released during the festival. However the book, co-authored by senior journalists Vimal Mohan and Digvijay Singh Deo will hit the market during the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in December.
“The book is basically about Dipa’s journey from Tripura to the fourth place finish in the Rio Olympics 2016. The role of her coach Nandi who was an integral part of Dipa’s journey has also been depicted in the book,” informed Digvijay.
“Everybody was stunned after Dipa’s incredible success in the Olympics. They inquired how a girl from a small hilly northeastern state of Tripura was able to reach such big heights. We have tried to provide answers to all these queries,” he said.
“Generally people have a very wrong notion that Tripura is underdeveloped and there are no sports facilities there. So when Dipa and Nandi were asked how they came thus far overcoming all obstacles, it initially hurt and upset them. Thus, the concept of the book was born,” he clarified.
“The idea of the book was to depict how Tripra dominated national gymnastics from 1965-1985 and swept all the competitions. Therefore, Dipa’s rise was not surprising. She came from an establishment that is considered to be the fort of gymnastics. This fort has earlier seen eminent gymnast like Bharat Kishore Dev Barma.
Tripura has won 80 gold medals in gymnastics in the last two decades. But people have forgotten all these achievements. This book reveals the history of Tripura gymnastics in the first chapter,” he added.
The forward of the book has been written by one of the greatest gymnasts of the world – Nadia Comaneci. It reveals the unknown aspects of pint-sized dynamo Dipa.
“Dipa had exposure to facilities, which were in a rudimentary stage. But Dipa didn’t take it as an excuse. She stunned one and all with her performances in the Olympics by dint of her hard work and dedication. In this way she changed the narratives in Indian sports,” the author observed.
The process of writing the book started just after the Rio Olympics and it took nearly three years to finish the book.
Bisweswar expressed his pleasure on the release of Dipa’s autobiography. “Ekamra Sports Literary Festival will be the perfect platform to release the cover of the book. The festival is a great initiative to popularise sports and sports literature in the country,” he opined.