Wednesday, October 26 2016, 12:43:18
  • fatasstic
  • fatasstic
  • She Says

Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

20 Gold Medals At 16 Y.O? JWB Shoots Questions At Rifle Shooter, Manini

  • JWB Post
  •  July 18, 2016


After a long while of roaming around, we finally managed to reach Manini’s house. Now, you might ask, who is Manini and what does she have to do with this story? Well then, let me tell you, Manini Kaushik is an amazing, 16-year-old shooter from Jaipur who’s won over 20 gold medals.

And Manini’s recent 5 medals (3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze) at the Maharaja Karni Singh National Championships that were held between 7th and 10th July deserve a special story. Anyway, moving on.

Manini is a student in the 11th standard pursuing Humanities from B.V.B Vidhyashram School. Her mother spoke to us, while the star of the story was dolling herself up for our little rendezvous.

Shooter-girl Manini soon joined us and told us her story.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m a very shy person.

And how did you get into shooting?

My family and I took a trip to Jammu and Kashmir two years ago where my father saw some people practicing shooting. He wanted me to get into shooting, so I tried my hand at it. When we consulted a coach, he said that I had a lot of potential, so I went along with it.

And, what was your favourite toy as a child?


I was a little surprised at this. Silly me, thought she was into shooting from the beginning, lol.

Not toy guns?

Not really. I mean, I’d go to melas or fairs very often, and I’d be attracted to see the balloons and toy guns, but I was more attracted towards playing with dolls.  

Umm… Have you ever been questioned for not being girly enough?

All. The. Time. My classmates always argue with me saying that I don’t behave like a girl. Honestly, I would say that I’m tomboyish. Also, I don’t care.

 You do you, Manini. Forget them haters.

Let’s move on. Do you remember your first competition?

Just like it was yesterday. My first competition was at the state level. I was super nervous, but my parents and coach were there to support me. It was something very new for me, but I loved the feeling that came with it. My heart was pounding and I was gulping out of anxiety. Although, at the end of the day, I knew that I could do it.

And did you win something?

Yes. I won three medals. One gold, one silver and one bronze.

In the first time?! Jesus! This girl is on fire!

I’m feeling a little inferior now, lol.  Anyway, you’ve taken part in a lot of competitions. What is your pre-game ritual?

I just take deep breaths and talk to my parents and coach.

How do you cope with defeats? You must’ve lost some time, right?


Not even once? Wow! Okay, well, let’s change the question a bit. How do you deal with the times when you win a bronze instead of a silver or a gold?

I’m actually okay with it. It is a part of life after all. There was a line in the movie ‘Sultan’ that I liked, and it went a little like: ‘Jo haartein hain, unhe hi jeet ki keemat pata chalti hai’.

Since a movie has come into the picture, do you like action movies?

Love them!

And which one is your favourite?

Fast and Furious series. I especially like the recent one that was the 7th part.

And your favourite TV show?

Manini’s mom stepped in immediately to speak for her daughter. ‘Kapil Sharma Show!’

*Laughs* I also like to watch mythological shows like Maharana Pratap, Ashoka, and Siya Ke Ram.

I have a feeling she likes History in school.

Does it bother to see shooting scenes in movies where the hero isn’t holding the gun properly?

Not really. The guns they use in movies are far different from the ones we use.

But if I do see newbies at the range making a mistake, I do feel the urge to go and correct them.

 Impressive! And do you like to play video games?

Used to.

Which one was your favourite?


Its-a me Maaario! LOL, sorry, got a little carried away with that one.

 How do you manage school and training together?

Well, during exams, I don’t go to the range for a few days. Rest of the days I have to make time for both shooting and studies. I come back from school at 3 pm, and then I go to the shooting range at 4 pm. I return at 8 and then I study. During vacations, I go to the range at 9 in the morning and come back at 1 pm. I also have to manage an hour of exercise.

And how do you manage exercising during school days?

My physical education teacher helps me exercise in school since I cannot after. My teachers have been very supportive.

Sports requires a lot of focus. How do you improve your concentration?

I meditate for a while daily. 

Wow! That’s why she’s so calm.

How can we encourage girls to get into shooting?

That’s a tricky one! * Ponders for a while * Hmm, I think that coaches can help. They can provide girls who can’t afford training for free or at lower prices. As far as awareness is concerned, I think that the media can help.

Smart girl!

What are some things that you love to do but have been told that girls should not do?

*Giggles* Nothing so far.

Girls are often told by the society that their only job is to get married and settle down. What do you have to say to them?

All I would say is that girls have potential to do even better than boys. Don’t hold them back but encourage them to move forward.

What’s one social fear faced by girls that you want to shoot away?

I would say that we shouldn’t be afraid of anything and only concentrate on moving forward.

What’s the most motivational thing your parents have said to you?

Everything my parents have ever told has been very motivational. But one thing I remember is that soon after I got into shooting, people started copying me, doing everything I used to and it bummed me out. My father said that “People can only copy physical behavior. They can never be like what you are on the inside.”

 Fact – Manini does not go to any competitions without her father.

Any pre-competition conversation that you recall?

None (Laughs). I don’t talk to anyone before I go play, except my parents and my coach of course.

Okay, well, do you have a shooter in mind that you want to compete against?

My only competition is me, so there’s no one specific that I want to compete against.

And some shooter you idolise?

I try not to because sooner or later, they will be competition. But if you ask me to name someone, I’ll say that I like Abhinav Bindra and Apurvi Jhandela.

Next one. What social issue triggers your anger?

Get it? Triggers?

I don’t pay attention to negativity. For now, my only aim is to study well and achieve more success in shooting.

I’m impressed.

How does it feel to stand at the podium while you’re being awarded?

I felt nervous and anxious the first time, but now, it’s become a part of my life, and I’ve learned how to control myself.

I now have a situational question for you? You’re competing in a shooting range, but you’re on your period. How do you manage yourself?

This has happened many times before. In fact, the first time I was trying out for the time, I was in a lot of pain. But I managed to break the record that was set by one of the boys there and scored 385 out of 400. I don’t like that score very much, though. Please don’t mention it.

Whoops! That wasn’t me. It was my keyboard, I swear!

And how do your schoolmates react to your achievements?

They ignore it. I get bullied quite often because of being shy, and if I try to tell them about my achievements and stand out, they ignore me. But my teachers are very supportive.

Aww, ignore those haters!

What’s your favourite subject in school?

I like all subjects. I love English, History, Economics, Psychology and Physical Education.

No favourite teachers?

Nope. I like all my teachers.

You are sure they haven’t asked you to say this, have you? Anyway, what is your favourite way to spend time with friends?

I don’t have any friends in school. There’s only this one girl in my class who’s very supportive of me. So, I don’t hang out with anyone.

Okay, well, I’ve heard that your father works in Sikar and visits you every weekend. How do you guys spend your time on Sunday?

I spend most of my Sundays finishing my homework, so we rarely go out. Although, we did go to watch a movie yesterday.  

You must travel a lot for your competitions, right? What’s the best place you’ve been to?

We’ve visited Pune, Indore, Delhi, and Kerala. We don’t get to explore much during matches, but I did enjoy visiting Kerala. We have a lot of time to tour the city then. Otherwise, it’s just moving from the hotel to the shooting range and back.

How do boys react to you holding a rifle?

*Laughs* They ask me to shoot the teacher’s they don’t like. Sometimes, people come and ask me about how the rifle works and about my competitions.

Lastly, can you teach me how to hold a rifle?

*Laughs* Not mine. If you join me at the shooting range, I can teach you how to use one. Otherwise, I cannot give you my rifles, sorry.

Well, I don’t intend on holding one anytime soon, lol. But thanks for the offer, Manini.

Manini’s mom had taken care of the Khatirdaari and was serving us delicious kachoris and mathris. Thank you, Mrs. Kaushik! She also told me that I was pronouncing Manini’s name wrong the whole time. Lol, I’m a little embarrassed.

Apparently, it’s pronounced as Maanini not Muh-nini, teehee!

Anywho, Manini, you’re doing a wonderful job inspiring girls all around the world. I wish you congratulations in advance for all the medals you’re gonna win in the future.

That’s all for now, folks. Annyeong! 

Contact us for your story


Leave a Comment

  • JWB along with the brand Jewel Saga bring you a selfie contest inspired by the campaign AidToMaid.