I used to try to keep her in check but she was stubborn: ‘Golden Girl’ Gomathi’s stern brother
Gomathi Marimuthu is India’s first ever gold medallist at the recent 23rd Asian Athletics Championships. The 30-year-old finished first with a personal best time of 2:02:07 in the 800m sprint.
She proved to everyone that anyone can achieve anything with hard work and determination. She proved that age is just a number. She was hailed as the ‘Golden Girl’ after her incredible feat at the Asian Athletics Championships. Gomathi Marimuthu’s inspiring story will always echo in the hearts of young women.
Gomathi comes from Mudikandam, a village in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. Needless to say, her parents Marimuthu, who died of cancer, and Rasathi have been monumental in her success. She also has unconditional love and support from her three siblings. In an exclusive interview to Asiaville, Gomathi’s elder brother Subramani spoke about his sister and family life growing up together.
“We are from a farming family. We don’t even have land of our own. For two generations, our family worked at a local farm in our village. The farm’s owner only recently gave us one acre of land as a gift of gratitude,” he said.
(From left to right) Gomathi's elder brother Subramani, her two sisters and Gomathi herself
Subramani tearfully recalled how their parents struggled to educate and take care of all of them. During those days, their father used to struggle to even buy petrol for the bike which he used to pick up Gomathi from school.
“It was when Gomathi was about to join college that our father fell very sick. He had difficulty in breathing and appeared to have fits. We had to admit him to ICU in hospital for his cancer. Gomathi had wanted to study BA Economics for which she got an application. We were all worried about the expenses. But, our father, lying in his hospital bed, signed the application for her,” he said.
Their mother, Rasathi (55) had to pawn her earring to ensure Gomathi went to college.
“In our village, girls were not encouraged to study. In fact, most girls were married off by the time they become 21. But, Gomathi was stubborn in putting her studies first. She is the most educated girl in our village now and is now working with the Income Tax department,” said a proud Subramani.
He asserted that Gomathi’s hard work bore fruit over the years.
“During her college days, every day, Gomathi wakes up by 4 am. A typical day saw her exercise, go to college and then again go to Spoken English class, typewriting class and computer class in the evening. Now, she can speak in six languages. She had a different way of thinking. She wanted to just get better every day. Sometimes, even we couldn’t understand her!”
Gomathi is an introvert and is quiet, according to her brother. Subramani opened up about how Gomathi was at home.
“I fought big time with Gomathi only once. I’m a very strict elder brother. I would always be the one to keep Gomathi in check at home. But, she too equally fought back against me for everything,” he said.
Laughing, he added, “Even clothes, we all just wore whatever our parents got for us. Gomathi doesn’t even know where the cooking stove is in the house. She is obsessed about cleanliness. If you drink some water from a tumbler and give it to her, she will never drink from the same tumbler.”
Subramani feels he hasn’t done much for his sister. He ended on a sober note with a content smile, “I’m very happy now that the whole of India is celebrating my sister’s victory.”