Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Me, The International Boxing Champion?



The International boxer

I was amazed that he recognized me after 4 years. During the academy days there used to be a rapid metamorphosis taking place changing a caterpillar to the butterfly - that within four years boys change into a gentleman. I asked him that how he remembered me for we were not in the same squadron and I could hardly remember having any interaction with him. He told me that he made me a international boxer, that’s because he lost the novice boxing bout to me. When we were first termer in National Defense Academy, there used to be a compulsory boxing for the newcomers, for two rounds of three minutes, that three minute used to be the longest three minutes in our life. He was from Kolkata.

During the second month of our entry in the academy our body weights were taken so that we will get to fight with the same weight category. Names of our opponent and the squadron of the opponent were given out in the orders. We knew the name and squadron of the opponent but we never get to meet until the day we are supposed to fight.

On the fighting day we were met to sit in a long line like that of a queue where double lines were served together because of the reason that was obvious. I was sitting somewhere in the middle of the line adjacent to my opponent eying each other without talking. He looked quite formidable, tall and with long arms - that’s what matters in boxing to keep your opponent at bay. I was bit scared of him internally.

He was the one who broke the ice, asking me if knew karate and kungfu? To which I replied, I did know a little, just to intimidate him. I didn't know who told him that I was a martial artist for I have never learned that skills, may be because I got oriental look of that of actors in kungfu movies.  It must be the handy work of my course mates from Bhutan. Later, I came to know that my friend did tell him jokingly that I am a black belt in karate when he asked about how good I am in boxing.

One by one the line in front of us was getting shorter and shorter. We have seen boxers being knocked out  some winning, some loosing and some after mutual discussion not punching at all but just moving in the ring. Such match fixers were made to fight the real boxers and they were mashed like potatoes. My opponent and me tried to fix the match, to not to land strong punch, but to do little more than just making a dancing move there, so that we may not have to face the real boxer that too without considering the weight category.

Our turn came to fight. I was from the blue corner and my opponent from the red corner. The bell rang to start the fight. We moved for almost 5 minutes without punching each other. Oh! Wait. The fight duration was only for three minute for 2 rounds. But in the ring five seconds seems like 5 minutes. Referee stopped the fight after what seemed like 5 minutes and told us to take out the punch. Both of us knew that it would be better to receive punches from each other than to get it from the pro boxer so our internal pact of not fighting was coming to an end soon. But I did not want to break the pact first. Or did I?  I took out the right hook to hit him slowly but he moved towards my hand and he got punched so hard on his nose that it bled. I felt like saying sorry to him but there was no chance to say that in the ring. By the look in his eyes I knew that he was really angry with me. After that we were fighting and defending like two enemies put in the ring to sort out the discrepancies physically. Luckily for me the bell rang again signaling the end of the first round.

In the second round he became so fierce like a mad bull maybe because of the briefing he got from his seconds and because of the bloody nose. We kept exchanging punches but this time it was not light punches as we have discussed while we waited for our turn to get into the ring. I can almost heard the swishing noise of the of the punch, when I try to dodge his punches.  

I felt something wet on my lips and I realized that I was also bleeding from my nose. When I thought that my legs could carry me no more, the gong of the bell came to my rescue signaling the end of the bout. We removed our head gear and went to the center to get the result which was quite immediate. Whether winning or losing did not matter that time what mattered was that the ordeal of the fight that has came to an end. My right hand was raised by the referee declaring me the winner we did not posed for the photograph but photograph was taken anyway in that pose.

I brought the photograph from the official photographer known as Goyal studio. But the same photograph was bought by his parents when they came as a guest for the passing out parade that too enlarged one without his knowledge. Later when he went  home  during the term break he saw the photograph which he did not buy even in postcard size was hanging from the wall of the house large, framed and prominently.

He told me that he made me the international boxer, because he explained to his parents and his relatives that he lost the bout to me because I was international boxing champion. He also told me that he does not intend to remove that picture from the wall because his justification for losing the bout was well taken.