As another glass ceiling cracks,a stuntwoman tells her tale

One look at 21-year-old Sanobar and you might think she's just another zestful college girl. But don’t take this feisty girl lightly.

Written by Dhanya Nair | Mumbai | Published:March 8, 2009 4:35 am

On Women’s Day,this 21-year-old shows why women also need that adrenaline rush

One look at 21-year-old Sanobar and you might think she’s just another zestful college girl. But don’t take this feisty girl lightly. For,a punch from her could land you in hospital for weeks. Sanobar belongs to the rare breed of women stunt artistes in Bollywood. “Dangerous stunts and women don’t go well together,but a constant desire for adrenaline rush got me hooked to extreme adventurous sports from an early age,” says Sanobar,who doesn’t like to use a second name.

That’s an understatement,as she started her career with sports like swordfighting,bungee jumping,scuba diving,horse riding etc at the age of 10.

“Despite people’s doubts on my abilities,I started training at a young age because of my interest. By the time I was 14,I was a karate black belt. My body somehow could take the physical pressure and even at that age I knew this is what I wanted,” said Sanobar. Despite her interest in sports,studies never took the backseat. “In my school days when I was earning my money,I used to think studies are unnecessary. But my parents didn’t want me to neglect studies. I had interest in science and later studied physiotherapy. Formal studies have helped me realise my unconventional dreams,” said Sanobar.

She vouches for her parents’ support. “My parents supported all my crazy demands. They never tried to live their dreams through me. If you don’t have their support,you feel a bit guilty which will eventually kill your creativity. Hence,it is all about loving your parents,” says Sanobar in true filmy style. Sanobar got her first break when she was in the seventh standard. “It was for an advertisement,I was required to do a somersault and land on the seventh floor. I wasn’t afraid a wee bit,but my art director had doubts. He had never seen a woman,much less a young girl,pull off such a dangerous stunt earlier,” said Sanobar.

Breaking into male-dominated turf in any industry is tough,and for Sanobar too it was not easy. “One look at me and all the directors would write me off. They asked me all sorts of questions,clearly unconvinced because of my gender and young age. It used make me feel weird but I knew that I would turn the tables on them,” said Sanobar.

She was right. “Today,I hold the record of getting a hat-trick in sky diving competition conducted by the Indian Parachute Federation. In Bollywood,I am not not only a stunt artiste but also a celebrity personal trainer and nutritionist,” said Sanobar.

Working in the demanding film industry has not made her quit as yet. “Bollywood is not a very secure place to work,especially for young girls. I am here only because of my family and my childhood sweetheart. No matter how tough the road gets,I know if I am not jumping off buildings,somersaulting,kick-boxing day in and day out,something crucial in me will just die,” says Sanobar.

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