Monday, July 7, 2008

To Be a Boxer

This is something I wrote on 29 March 2007.

Boxing is an art. A difficult art to master, moreover. [i dont like that word overmuch]
So when a pudgy little kid fresh from swimming in talkatora/ National stadium entered the boxing hall..... she cudnt breathe.
Cause the place stank. Until the smell became really really sweet to her. Until she was one of the 50 odd people in there, warming up, running until she was ready to collapse [except the times she was lazy and very tired] skipping until she learnt how to do those beautiful things gud pugilists can do with their ropes.
It took time. She wasnt, and still isnt, the kind to just jump in and start leaping around without one clue as to the technique. While the other newcomers immediately started punching the air, this female stood about, very sheepishly, waiting for instruction.
"it was okay mum.. i just dont know anything yet and they arent teaching me!"
Her first mentor was Jyoti didi. She'd been a swimmer, not seen much success [like this girl] switched over to boxing and found a national medal in her hand in three years.
"its not easy to get beaten up aunty, lekin ladki ki personality acchi hai. u dont worry.. we'l take care of her"
i stil dont know what "ladki ki personality achi hai" means.
My coach was, is, a tiny little sardar, an amazing boxer, [lightning footwork] and great at his job. He just dint have enough time i think, for us foundlings.
But we learnt. The bhais [i refused to call them that, i dint say anythig to any of them the 4 years i was there. WHY AM I SO SOCIALLY INEPT?] kept correcting us, pushing us.
The part of training i ADORED was the weight training. I had sum sort of an advangtage over my elfin, petite, featherweight contemporaries there.. it felt good :D

Fast forward to my first delhi state at munirka. The place was a municipal park, the ring was in the middle of it, the sun beating down on our heads, the prize bicycle glinting proudly in a corner. Apart from the locals, and the parents, the only other spectators were the cows.
I was to fight my own friend, [there wasnt much competition], for the gold. [there wasnt much competition] I was convinced i was gonna get RSCed. I'd been boxing for half a year then. I did. I got pounded left right centre, my mum was too scared to look, but the blows surprisingly dint hurt. And i stood for 2 rounds. And i dint fall either.
The punches dint hurt. I did. I cried.
Boxers dont cry.
:D oh lord.... anyway... all in all it was fun. I beat gunjan later, and that was reeal good.

The part i loved BEST was the people. They'd tease me about my english.. and then thump me on the back after my tenth result- saying "hamare 3 saal ke marks mila kar bhi itne nahin bante"
Earthy, human, wonderful people they were.
No airs. Nuffing
i miss my hall.
i miss the pulpy, ten ounce gloves.
i miss the scramble for the gloves when the whistle blew and sir said..punching baag
i miss cheering
i miss the people
i love boxing. =)


UDit said...

"Boxing is an art."
sums up for me what this post was about... i really wanted you to write something like this... "zen and the art of boxing, by the one and only aqseer "the boxer" sodhi.." ;-)

You're the best sodhi... keep on writing for the benefit of mere mortals like us... :-)

but somewhere while reading this post, i got the impression that even though the admiration you got was something you enjoyed, the act that got you the adulation wasn't precisely what you cherished about it... or maybe it was... i'm a confused and evolving soul... lol... :)

Aqseer said...

mm u mean i didnt like boxing?
i did dude.. i loved it :)
it didnt come easy to me, not at all, but yeah