When Sania Mirza was inquired about when she will “settle down” and choose motherhood, a question that the society haunts nearly every Indian woman with, the women's doubles World No.1 did not hide from it. In fact, by the time she was done, Rajdeep Sardesai had to apologize to her.
On the eve of the launch of her autobiography “Ace Against Odds”, Sania Mirza was interviewed by India Today TV's Rajdeep Sardesai. During the interview, Sardesai asked, “Amidst all the celebrityhood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood... building a family...I don't see all that in the book, it seems like you don't want to retire just yet to settle down”.
Sania, however, did not hold back, as she questioned whether the same question would be asked to a male athlete. Here is the excerpt of the conversation during the interview:
Sania: You don't think I'm settled?
Rajdeep: You don't talk about retirement, about raising a family, about motherhood, what's life beyond tennis is going to be...
You sound disappointed that I'm not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time.
Sania: You sound disappointed that I'm not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I'll answer your question anyway, that's the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face - the first is marriage and then it's motherhood. Unfortunately, that's when we're settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don't become settled. But eventually, it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I'll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.
Rajdeep: I must apologize, I framed that question very badly. I promise you, you're right, I would never ask this question to a male athlete...
Sania: I'm so glad, you're the first journalist to apologize to me on national television.
I hope that in few years from now, a girl, when she is 29, is not asked the question 'when she is going to have a child'
Sania was not done yet, though, when Sardesai asked her about the legacy she wants to leave behind, she said, “I hope I am remembered as someone who made sports a household thing to do in this country, for girls, for boys, for everyone, but more for girls. I feel very strongly about equality, and I hope that in few years from now, a girl, when she is 29, is not asked the question 'when she is going to have a child', when she's number one in the world. I hope that's not settling in."
Watch the full interview here. (The above conversation takes places from the 7th minute of the video)