Nothing is unachievable if two partners believe in the same thing with equal gusto. Borun and Momutha Yumnam, a couple who defied the social norms, broke the mould and realized a dream of motivating each other and be the internationally acclaimed bodybuilding stars. It all started when the couple dared to think out of the box. Borun Yumnam, a CRPF inspector hailing from Manipur, the Eastern most state in India, had an unstoppable passion for bodybuilding professionally, soon the thought got rubbed on to his better half Momutha Yumnam, Born in Imphal. Mamutha now resides in New Delhi where she manages a gymnasium and trains with her husband. She began her training in year 2011. The couple started working out together, and soon fitness became a shared passion. She is one of the few women bodybuilders in the country who has won the most coveted titles in the 'unthinkable for women' sphere. Borun Yumnam is interviewed by Jyotsna Kaur
Q You are in the CRPF and a much acclaimed bodybuilder yourself. How did your wife start her journey?
It was in 2011 during the world championship, Momutha and my sister visited, to watch the competition. I was not selected in the top 10 but I deserved to be in the best 5. From that moment Momutha promised that she would also compete in this event, and that's where she started her career in 2011 after 3 children born!
Q Bodybuilding is physically strenuous and as goes the myth alters a woman's chances of bearing children. Did this myth not falter your decision?
Yes bodybuilding is very strenuous game but it's a very fascinating as well, so we never thought twice about it.
Q How did both sides of the family react to her passion and your unflinching support to it?
Initially there were questions raised about her wearing bikini by both the families but they eventually agreed knowing it is a sport, not a glamorous industry thing. Moreover I stood rock solid to support Momutha as I myself belong to a sports family.
Q Momutha's passion broke a certain stereotypical image of women's beauty and perfect body standards. Building it to what she has today is no mean a feat. As a husband, did it ever occur to you that her passion might make her break away from that dainty woman's body image?
Everyone likes being beautiful and I see her beauty, not the commonly accepted way but as a human being. It's not only being externally beautiful that carries worth but laurel fame is as important as being beautiful. So I don't dwell on the changes in her body image.
Q How do people around you react to her commitment towards bodybuilding- friends, neighbours, colleagues?
Although we fully understand that no one's opinion matters much when it comes to following your heart.
Momutha Devi Yumnam is the only Indian body builder who has won many international medals for the first time in the history of Indian Bodybuilding and I'm very proud her. Even our respective families, neighbours and friends are extremely proud of her calibre.
Q How do you feel your wife has played a role in impacting the life of other women?
I’m very happy and feel proud of her because she is the only one who has won medals for India in body building, and because of Momutha many women bodybuilders are sure to emerge in India.
QYou have had a major role in supporting your wife to follow her choices. Could you share some key incidents, obstacles and success stories from your journey together?
Yes without supporting each other, there's no success. And it is not possible to pursue anything successfully. I support monetarily, mentally and give important advice whenever she gets frustrated.
Q If there is one message you would want to give Indian women of today, what would it be?
Women are diligent and can do anything, so I would like to share a message to the India women that they should try hard, pursue their goals and make our India proud. Never give up!
Team Pinkishe salutes this amazing couple and urges its readers to take cue and reformat the relationship goals bound by the societal norms that need to be refurbished in consonance with the fast changing world. When men like Borun break free the stereotypical shackles stopping women from taking a long flight towards success, legends like MomuthaYumnam are born.