That is the question which was answered very clearly in the movie with the same title. It means a wrestling competition and not the WWF types but mostly the real gritty ones fought in the hinterlands of India and from where one father decided to fight against all odds of patriarchy and superstition in the state which was famous for female infanticide.

It is a story set in a village in Haryana and has been shot so realistically with the perfect cast, dialogues, accent and attitude that for a while I thought I was invading the privacy of this family where the father was deeply discontented, had a plan for his life and then watched it crumble bit by bit. Without revealing the storyline (please take time out and watch it in the theatre), I can say that I was put through the emotional wringer in three hours, laughing when they were laughing and crying unbashedly when they were sad. I must have got up and clapped quite forgetting that I was watching it with friends and their families and disturbing people with my antics!

Did female wrestling gain new fans? Undoubtedly! But more than that, this movie has done more for the girl child than any speeches or lectures would have achieved! Girls can be whatever they want to be, even dominate an erstwhile male sports bastion and emerge victorious! They need not be ashamed to aim for the stars and reach out to the skies! Aamir Khan has once again proven the dedication he has for each and every role he takes but I think he will be fondly remembered for this one! I didn’t think of him as a superstar but as the Haryanvi wrestler who turned the game around and thus the lives of thousands of girls who now could fight the feudal antiquated system they were born in!

But for every real girl who has a father like the reel Aamir Khan, there are many who don’t and have to rely of the kindness of NGOs and good samaritans to show them that they are capable of more. Everyone has in them what it takes to make something of themselves if only they find the right mentor to believe in them and guide them. Take time out and change a life — teach a child how to fight in the Dangal of Life!

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