Chapter 5 - Chennai Loss

Returning from Mumbai gave me nightmares and I lost hope of winning a fight ever. I never saw the confidence in me. While practice session I am the master of all, while in the bout I am underdog who has zero probability of winning a match. Then I decided that to concentrate on the Katas then on and it became my specialty. I went to few local tournaments and participated only in kata and all the win was not even a cakewalk. I got a great reputation. This reputation gave me another opportunity in participating in Nationals held in Chennai. The tournament held in J.J stadium Chennai. Around that time I was not much aware of the place in which I am residing currently. The match was slotted to start on 9AM on the next day. As usual I wanted to participate only in Kata event and had no intention in participating in the fighting event. But I practiced for the fighting event along with others, to be frank I was the moving hit bag for the practicing participants and I was not uncomfortable with the tag.

Over confidence is always a problem and it showed its effect for the first time. The kata event started sharply at 9.30 AM and the first set to perform was me. I performed the Kata, and I lost. This was the first time in a tournament I lost in a Kata event and that too without even qualifying for the second round. It doesn’t make me sad but rather made me to think. I felt ashamed of going back to home with an empty hand and hence I decided to take part in fighting and for heaven’s sake I thought of removing the tag of moving hit bag for the first time ever. I decided to fight rather than move as a hit bag in the bout.

As always the events won’t happen as we expect. The twists in the tournaments are worth expecting as all happens in a matter of seconds. Here in this tournament the first twist was failing in Kata and the second twist came in Fighting. The referee in my bout was one from my own Madurai group. According to me one of the good man and thought to be a passionate soul. So I was happy that there won’t be any one side in that bout although other two referees are unknown knowing the first referee’s seniority and respect I had, I was confident in nailing the match. The first lot was chosen and in the fixtures my match was placed 18th bout and there were total of 27 bouts. The first bout was a cake walk for me and I won the match with ease. The reason is that I had the confident that I will win, but later I realized that the person I fought with is the previous year winner and also the open category fight winner. I never took it as a big deal at all, although the other person’s mourning made me sad as I was in the same state while losing in Kata. Now the second round started and this time I started hitting hard. My ultimate aim turned away from winning the prize to flatter the referees especially the one from our lot Mr. Eeshwar. The man from the Thanjavur origin and the stature of the big temple is reflected in his skills because his shadow won’t fall down not just because he always wears a Dev Anand cap but because of his height and the stout stature. He is the only one in the Madurai lot senior Senseis to have a Six pack even at the age of 50s. I had a great respect to him and that’s the reason for the deviation towards flattering him. The second match went just like the first except the hard hitting part.

Now its third bout and I am facing one of the deadliest people in my bout Raghav (at least to my knowledge). He is considered as the most dangerous fighter because of the reason that he never allows the opponent to play all three minutes. I have seen it a numerous times in my short span and a few times I was cheering for him as unintentionally he belonged to the Madurai lot. Now I am sparing against him, my intention was to flatter him too. I strongly believed that more than winning that match, getting a words “great fight kid” from him would be a gift for me. The fight started with signature Raghav slap punch combo and I exactly know where to escape to save my ass from the combo hitter. One of the unnoticed hiccups of Raghav is his template. He never uses single attack, always believes and relies in Combos that makes it easier to predict the combos and hit him right in the rib. As he plans and provides the attacks he forgets the defense part. I hit him with ease which I never expected at all. At the end of the first round of the bout the score card told Raghav 3 points and me with none. In the second round I hit him hard and careful to garner the points. This time also the score card was the same and at the end of the third round the score card told the audience that Raghav swept the bout with 9-0. It shook me totally, even in the presence of esteemed Eeshwar. Then I asked my coach to check the score cards and all the points given to Raghav are by the esteemed Eeshwar. That decision by him ridiculed me, the thought that Raghav’s coach is Eeshwar never occurred to me or I don’t want to think of that fact at all. The betrayal hit me hard. I thought Raghav would appreciate me for a good fight even after he won, but he just gave me a dirty look. I felt humiliated, I didn’t felt humiliated even when I was called as hit bag, but now I was totally down.

The point I thought at that moment is I am not going to win any Fighting medal. At that time I felt too bad to show my face to anyone. One of my coaches Mr. Ganesh showed up knowing the fact about my loss. He told me, “You are sad, you should be happy by now. You know Raghav and Eeshwar. The deadliest player won a match against you with help of one of the senior coach with him playing at the other end. He won the match by tying your hands and beating himself to the pulp and stated that you attacked him and he escaped even after that. Be proud that it needed his partner of crime to indulge whose crimes are never gone down to a beginner. Be proud that you saw the true colours of the Deadliest fighter and reputed six pack coach.” This made me feel happier and also gave me some thoughts of tackling these kinds of fights in future. The thought never occurred to suddenly but still the question wandered all over my mind leaving a small sadness behind and happiness over all.