Life in the Ring...a story

Life in the ring…

“This is the end of school Arjun. I have taught you whatever is to be taught by a teacher. But still there are many things you need to learn. Things that no one can teach, which you have to learn by yourself. From your experience, from your pain, from your practice. It’s time to close the book and face the real life.” he is my boxing coach. I call him ‘Bhai’.After the one hour warms up we are standing in the centre of the ring. He is wrapping the bandage on my hands. He and I both are drained in sweat. I can wrap my bandage on my own but today he is wrapping it purposely. I knew he is setting me for something else. He put my boxing gloves on my hands and put on his. This is not the first time that we are face to face in the ring but today is something different. Before today, he used to wear gloves to teach me but today he said ‘it is the end of school…’ I know what he meant. Yes, that is the end of school. He had taught me rules, technics, and strategy of boxing. Like, we learn about things in school from book and teachers. Today that school boy is going to do a real job with all his bookish knowledge. I am also little just like that school boy. And just like that school boy I am also excited and confident because I think that I know everything about the job I am going to do. As he indicates I wear my tooth guard. It will keep my set of teeth where they should be. It will also protect my tongue from my teeth to cut into half. We touched our gloves as an indication to the box.I am standing on my footwork. Forming a face guard with my gloves as I was taught. Bhai is standing in a very cool way, he doesn’t form face guard with his hands, and he is not even standing on his footwork. He is not following what he taught me. I get a question but am not in the position to ask. Question is ‘If it is not important then why he taught me all this?’  “You have to keep fear and excitement together. Fear will keep you safe and excitement will keep you moving.” He is able to speak because he is not wearing tooth guard. I am a good learner. I got it what he said. The fear I was  is not my enemy, it is my friend. It will keep me safe. It will make me think before doing anything. It will make me conscious about my decision. And excitement will not let me struck me into the decision-making process. It will keep me moving. Fear and excitement both are my friend. Both are to help me. Even thorn are very friendly to Rose. They are the protector of Rose. Moving little forward on my footwork I release my left punch but it doesn’t reach his face, even he moves to his right and punches on my face before I could move my punch to my face guard. God! This punch is threatened more than painful. I try one more time with my right punch but the result is same.I stop counting punch but he doesn’t stop punching in my face. After few more, or I don’t know after how many punches, I stumble on the floor. If it was an official bout then this is  called ‘knock out’. But this is between a master and a disciple. It is not friendly but it is to teach. He gives me his hand to get up again. I don’t know why I didn’t give up after this defeat, after so much pain, after the failure of whatever I have learned in last months. Maybe because I have faith in my master. Deep down I know he is throwing me in darkness to make me meet with light. In the middle of darkness, there is light, there is hope. Hope is a very strong driving force which keeps us alive throughout our whole life. I have hope that there is something I am missing that I need to learn. I clutch my hand in his and get up on my feet again. “This is what happen with your bookish knowledge. This is what happen with the thing you leant in schools. It doesn’t work in real world. When we were in school I didn’t punch you like this. You never faced any pain. You could move your punches in the way you like. But here you can’t. You never had been afraid of releasing a punch. But here you have to face fear before releasing a punch. You have to face pain on every mistake and sometimes without any mistake. This is life bro. This is the ring. You should not be afraid of pain and defeat. You have to love this fear which you are feeling now. This is the way to learn. This fear will teach you. Now don’t be afraid of this fear and this pain. Accept them. Know it very well that I am going to punch you on your every try to punch me. First, complete it to go to next level. And we again started. I am conscious while I am releasing a punch but am not afraid. I am not closing my eyes when a punch hit my face. I face it with open eyes. But pain is still there. With every punch on my face, the pain goes to the end of my head. I can taste blood in my mouth. But now it was not affecting the direction of my punches. He hit me hard on my jaw. I get it, my lower jaw break. I will not be able to eat something solid for next two days. My head was spinning. I feel like vomiting. So I ask for a break. “Yeah sure. This is the beauty of it. You can always ask for a break whenever you feel like it. And in life, there is no one to set time for your break. It only you. So use it to relax yourself, to regain your strength. A short break, a power nap can do wonders.” I remove my tooth guard and he gave me water to quench my pain. Within a few minutes, I was again on my footwork. “Listen Arjun! Forget everything. Forget every style, every step I taught you. Forget everything you have learnt till now. You are free of everything. Just fight the way you feel comfortable. The things I taught you are not absolute, are not universal. The way I taught you to release a punch is just base, you have to develop your own way. Face guard which I taught you to form may be good or may be perfect also, but it’s not your way. Let your hands move in their own way. You are free of everything. No rules. Just one punch on my face and end it for today. Just one punch.”It is true what he said. The things written in the books are written by someone else. We don’t have to follow the rules which were followed by Mike Tyson. They are his ways. We all have to develop our own. We all can’t hold the bat like Sachin Tendulkar hold it. It is you! Not Tyson or Tendulkar. I loose myself. I am feeling free. Like I have threw a weight which I was carrying. I never felt that much powerful and strengthen. You become perfect when you be yourself. Teachings from past doesn’t help as being in present helps. I doesn’t release any punch almost for ten minutes, he is continuously hitting me. I am not even trying to escape from his punches. I am just watching him. Watching his face, his eyes, and his punches. Suddenly everything comes in slow motion. I can see punches hitting me. But it is not hurting me, I can see it very clearly. Even I can stop it now, but I didn’t try. I let it happen more. Then my hand become my mind. Very easily I punched him in his face. And it’s over!I want to cry! I want to cry! I doesn’t stop tears flowing from my eyes. But I was not crying. I was standing still and straight. He is placing ice on my face after that. It is not pain, it is relief. Ice is beautifying my pain. Wowwww!  You can’t learn by reading this what I have learnt that day. I see myself that day, I know myself that day. 


  1. There is a lot of revelation about the life in this short writing. we don't have any ideas about the forthcoming painful tests given by the life after myriads of bookish lessons. Reason being, we are not prepared for it resulting in enormous pain and stress.
    Expressions i liked in this piece: FEAR and EXCITEMENT together are important for life; you gave here fabulous l explanation for the significance of the both together.
    YOU BECOME PERFECT WHEN YOU BECOME YOURSELF generally, people fail to realize the uniqueness in their own style and caliber. A great point to be considered by everyone but often overlooked.

    THE BEST ONE: THROWING ME INTO THE DARKNESS TO MAKE ME FEEL THE LIGHT. I agree with you with this. To come into the illumination, we first have to go through the darkness.
    It reveals that you indeed learnt a great lesson that day .
    All in All, it is a writing of self-realization, seeing one-self into the struggling mirror of the journey called LIFE.

  2. Thanx for this inspiring story and more to realize me that whatever fear I had realized in life journey till now was not my enemy but might it had strengthened my perfection ability.


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