Biography By Indian Authors Non-Fiction

Unbreakable: an Autobiography by M.C. Mary Kom – Book review


Unbreakable: an Autobiography Book Cover Unbreakable: an Autobiography
M.C. Mary Kom
HarperCollins India
November 2013
Read on my Kindle

‘My Years of hard work, the refusal to give up, pushing every boundary there was. The thrill, the joy of winning, the successes. The Olympic bronze, my most prized possession. And boxing, the sport I gave myself to. All of it is real. I was the David who took on the Goliaths in the boxing ring – and I won, most of the time.’

MANGTE CHUNGNEIJANG MARY KOM. Queen of the Indian boxing ring. The winner of give world championships and an Olympic medal.

Born to parents who were landless agricultural labour in the state of Manipur in Northeast India, Mary’s story is one of relentless struggle and unflagging passion for the sport of boxing. A childhood of hard labour prepared her body for the sport just as well as any fitness training might have. Her own will and aggression carried her through the minefield of politics that any sport in India is. Nimble of foot and pulling no punches, the boxing ring was Mary’s dominion.

M.C. Mary Kom is not yet ready to call it a day, but here she tells her story so far, no holds barred – her tough childhood, her rebellions, how long she waited for Onler to propose marriage, how she was willing to run away with him and , of course, how she held her won in the male world of boxing. It’s all packed into this inspiring, exhilarating tale of a woman who faced impossible odds in a man’s world – and won.


Mary Kom, I think there is nobody who doesn’t know who she is. She is a five-time world-champion boxer and mother of three sons. She is the inspiration for millions of Indians. Her life has been presented in the movie but I wanted to read this autobiography to know her life from her voice.


Chungneijang was an ordinary girl who lives in the remote village of Manipur. She is the eldest daughter in the family. Chungneijang’s parents were landless labor and they worked very hard to feed their family.

Chungneijang was a tomboyish type of girl who always protects her siblings. She loved to play but doesn’t get time as she has to work with her father on the farm. During school, she dreamt to go into the sports and get a government job through sports quota and support her family.

But sport training doesn’t come free. Chungneijang and her family worked very hard to meet the need of her sports ambition. This was the time when she changed her name from Chungneijang to Mary. She desired to go into boxing, but boxing was not famous during that time and it comes with various taboos for girls. But Mary chose to fight against the odds.

Mary goes through from various sports academy and won several medals for the country. During one such time, she met Onler and soon they became husband and wife. Her father opposed this marriage saying that marriage will put a full stop on her career. Opposite to all of the assumption, Onler always put Mary and her ambition first. Mary writes that ‘People refer to Onler as ‘Mary’s husband’, but I know that behind Mary’s success, there is Onler.’

Soon Mary got pregnant and delivered two baby boys through cesarean. While the operation, boxing was the only thing was in her mind.

After the babies, people thought that Mary’s career is finished but she proved all of them wrong after winning silver medal at the 2008 Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in India and a fourth successive gold medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in China, followed by a gold medal at the 2009 Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam. In this book, she has also pointed the partiality she had faced and also written how our sports ministry should help players.

This is the Mary Kom a simple girl from Manipur who becomes the world champion boxer by her efforts and dedication. There cannot be any one like her. Currently, she is running a boxing academy without any cost.

Writing style:

The language of this book is very easy and narration is flawless. The chapters are properly divided which helps to finish this book in pace.

My perception:

This book is really inspiring. There are so many lessons which we can learn from her life. She has not lived a privileged life but still, she manages to fight all the odds and fulfilled her dream. No doubt she has suffered a lot and sacrificed a lot but the way she embarked on the positive way is something must learn. I am not a sport enthusiastic but Mary’s success always delights me. This book is very pleasant to read as I also learned about the culture of north-east.  Mary is the iron-lady and there is no one who can challenge her, even her unplanned pregnancy isn’t able to stop her. This book should be read by each and every individual, to know about the Mary Kom, to know her struggle as well as to get an inspiration from her. There are also many beautiful quotes in this book, you can read them here.

Grab a copy of this book from here, 

Until next time, Keep reading 🙂 

Sheetal Maurya

Sheetal Maurya is a full-time blogger. She is a die-hard bookworm and has read more books than she can count. She believes in the art of storytelling and reviews books so that the world can choose the best ones and embark on an adventurous virtual reading journey.


  • Purba Chakraborty August 31, 2017 Reply

    Mary Kom is such an inspiration. Very well reviewed dear 🙂

    • Sheetal Maurya September 1, 2017 Reply

      True, I really loved this book. Thank you 🙂

  • Kiran September 3, 2017 Reply

    Great review. Mary Kom continues to inspire women in India.

    • Sheetal Maurya September 3, 2017 Reply

      True, Thank you so much 🙂

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