The Flying Sikh : Milkha Singh

Milkha

Sardar Milkha Singh is the greatest living Sikh Athlete. Born in a family of modest means, joining the army and then discovering the penchant for running and winning is his life in summation. . He deservedly got an epithet named “Flying Sikh” from Pakistan General Ayub Khan. Till date (Until 2000 Sydney Olympics) the ‘Flying Sikh’ is the only Indian to have broken an Olympic record. Unfortunately, he was the fourth athlete to reset the mark and thus missed the bronze medal in the 400m event at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

For the man who won 77 of the 80 races he ran, Milkha Singh has no medals. It has been some years that ‘The Flying Sikh’ donated his sporting treasures to the nation. No personal souvenirs line his living room walls, no trophies sit on the mantle. Instead, the walls make do with pictures of the surgeon in America who saved his wife’s life and Havildar Bikram Singh, a Kargil martyr. “I have given permission that my medals be transferred from the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi to the sports museum in Patiala,” says the 72-year-old Singh. Strangely, the stadium gallery lined with many of India’s sporting talent does not have a single picture of Milkha Singh. In a country where great sportspersons are few and far between, India has a strange way of honouring its stars.

But Milkha Singh’s achievements can do without such testimony. “The people of this country remember me. I may have started dyeing my beard but I am recognised at airports, railway stations — anywhere. School textbooks have chapters on me, and somehow the sobriquet ‘The Flying Sikh’ has endured in people’s memory,” he says. Singh, however, has no complaints about the recognition given to him by the government. A Padma Shri and Arjuna Award winner, the legendary athlete who started his career on a Rs 10 wage went on to become director, sports, ministry of education in the Punjab government. “I have received more than I deserved.”

It was a hard uphill climb for the refugee from Muzaffargarh in west Pakistan. The Partition massacres of 1947 took the lives of his parents and Singh was rejected by the army thrice. He subsequently enrolled in the army’s electrical mechanical engineering branch in 1952 when his brother Malkhan Singh put in a word for him, and experienced his first sport outing at its athletics meet a fortnight later. “That was the first time I saw a ground bedecked with flags,” reminisces Singh. “I later participated in a crosscountry race with 300 to 400 jawans. And sat down after the first half mile before starting again — that was my first race.”

Determined to be the best and realising his talent as a sprinter, the jawan took to training five hours every day. Motivated by his coach Havildar Gurdev Singh, he left it to the elements to hone his craft — running on the hills, the sands of the Yamuna river, and against the speed of a metre gauge train. He says so intense was his training that very often he vomitted blood and would collapse in exhaustion.
Every morning Milkha Singh still goes for a jog by the Sukhna lake in Chandigarh. Most afternoons are spent playing golf and he uses the gym in his house regularly. “Discipline. You have to be disciplined if you want to be world class,” he says, “That’s what I tell my son Jeev. I give him the example of Tiger Woods, and hope he would bring the medal I couldn’t.” Jeev Milkha Singh, India’s best golfer, was recently awarded the Arjuna Award and is striving to make a mark on the international golf circuit. Whether he does manage to bring the sporting glory that eluded his father, is yet to be seen. Till then, it is a disappointment that Milkha Singh will never forget. Forty years on, that failure in Rome still haunts him. 1960. The Olympics at Rome.

After clocking a world record 45.8 seconds in one of the 400 metres preliminaries in France, Milkha Singh finished fourth in a photofinish in the Olympics final. The favourite for gold had missed the bronze. By a fraction… “Since it was a photofinish, the announcements were held up. The suspense was excruciating. I knew what my fatal error was: After running perilously fast in lane five, I slowed down at 250 metres. I could not cover the lost ground after that — and that cost me the race.” “After the death of my parents, that is my worst memory,” says Singh, “I kept crying for days.” Dejected by his defeat, he made up his mind to give up sport. It was after much persuasion that he took to athletics again. Two years later, Milkha Singh won two medals at the 1962 Asian Games. But by then his golden period was over.
It was between 1958 and 1960 that Milkha Singh saw the height of glory. From setting a new record in the 200 and 400 metres at the Cuttack National Games, he won two gold medals at the Asian Games at Tokyo. The lean Sikh went on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, and was awarded the Helms trophy or being the best athlete in 1959.

Three years before the Indo-Pak war of 1965, Milkha Singh ran that one race which made President Ayub Khan christen him ‘The Flying Sikh.’ His defeat of Pakistan’s leading athlete and winner of the 100 metres gold at the Tokyo Asiad, Abdul Khaliq, earned him India’s bestknown sports sobriquet. “It has stuck since,” he adds.

Thirty six years later, Britain’s Ann Packer remembers him too. This time for his camaraderie. Jittery about her performance in the 800 metres against formidable French German and Hungarian athletes in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Packer clearly remembered her encounter with Singh in the lift they shared on the day of her event. ‘Ann you vill win,’ she recounted Singh’s words to a The Sunday Times journalist at her home in Cheshire recently. And vin she did. Packer clocked 2min 1.1 sec and set a new world record. Singh was among the first to congratulate her.

There are many who still congratulate Milkha Singh. “Sirji, I remember seeing you when I was a young recruit in the army,” said Gairwar Singh as he chanced upon the former athlete getting into his car outside the Chandigarh Golf Club. Elated that Singh stops to shake hands with him, Gairwar Singh — now a driver with a transport company in Delhi — tells him about his interest in wrestling. “It is appreciation from the people that helps me go ahead at this age,” Singh had earlier said at his home in Sector 8, Chandigarh. With two of his daughters married and one away in the United States, and his son travelling around the world regularly — Singh says he enjoys the tranquility. Last year, he adopted the seven-year-old son of Havildar Bikram Singh who died in the Battle for Tiger Hill. The child is at a boarding school and Singh has taken on the responsibility of bringing him up.

“We owe it to those who have died for the honour of our country,” he says, “Unlike our cricketers who have sold our country.” Deeply disappointed with these ambassadors of India’s most popular game, he firmly believes the guilty should be punished. “They cannot mock the aspirations of an entire nation,” says Singh surveying the debris of many a fallen sporting icon.

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Lamp And Life

Lamp
The oil in the lamp has finished. Only the burning cotton wick was emitting dim light was left. On seeing its dying moment, a householder couldn’t help asking it, “You have been guiding others by emitting your light for the whole life. You have been doing good to the world, yet when I see your such tragic end, my heart rends.”

The extinguishing lamp gathered its whole power and while emitting its glow for the last time, said, “Brother! In this mortal world, one who is born is bound to die. We can’t escape death even after our all possible attempts. However, we can do only this much: we shouldn’t let the precious moments of our life go waste.”

Vulnerable In True Love

You are subconsciously hardwired to connect with others – friendship, love, intimacy, etc. – and your willingness to be vulnerable is the gateway to the affection you crave from them. But it takes serious courage to push the limits of your vulnerability, to dig deeper and deeper into the core of who you are as a unique individual and not only love and accept the imperfect parts of yourself but also expose them to someone else, trusting that this person will hold them considerately.

Ultimately, to love is to be vulnerable, and to be willingly vulnerable is to show your greatest strength and your truest self. Finding and nurturing the right relationships that make this kind of love possible is a beautiful, lifelong process.

Fate! Can You Choose It!

Fate

Do you follow logic or your heart? Are you confused or afraid about what you want in life? Are you thinking of a big house, money, saving lives, etc? Many people in the world never get what they want due to this confusing war between heart and mind.

Find out what you want in life. This is the hardest question. We always have a choice; follow our parents’ footsteps, or decide what we want for ourselves, it is hard and simple all at the same time, how? When we are young we say “I want to be a fireman, policeman, doctor” but as we grow older, the fate is changing already, paths are colliding, our minds are thinking to much on what is important, these days “happiness, money, commitments” but we never have time to plan our own paths, finding that one thing that will make us all eternally happy, sit down, read a paper, search the internet, find something that screams out to your personality, something that will make you cry happy tears and plan that path, that fate, your new life.

Set your goals. Every life has a plan, but our schedules are always so booked, even if you want to do a certain task of volunteering it messes up plans with friends or family. When you want to schedule the goals and set them out, you need to find a calming place to relax your own mind, in the park, in your bedroom, even with music that relaxes you will be beneficial for you to find a way to focus on what you want, then just write, type and plan, remember to add dates where you can find a set target to be able to knock down the goal and move forward down your path.

Don’t let obstructions stand in your way. We have many distractions in life. They could be time consuming work, homework, people literally standing in your way, family or friends dragging you down or not believing in you. All you need to do is improvise. How can you handle being put down and still move forward? How can you keep up with your work and still plan your path? Firstly, don’t let anyone drag you down, those who aren’t there for you do not deserve to be in your life. You need people who stand beside you, not behind or in front, but by your side, ready to help you take on any more distractions, true friends, family will believe in your because you are a loved one, a son/daughter, no matter what, unless you are brought up in the torn family where love is not available, but you can easily find people to take there place, a teacher or group of believing friends. Second, work is easy, the planning is hard, easily find the time to do both, multi-task, hard to learn but if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish a lot, ask for help, friends, family, let them do a bit of work, gives you a break and time to relax the mind and open to new ideas.

Always believe in yourself. These days people drag you down, but life is about enduring, do not let the negative take over your mind, you can be strong without them, you can stand in a circle alone and still know that there is someone believing in you, YOU, so longs as you believe in yourself, you can go through any obstacle in your path just to gain what you need in life, our path is not a want it is a need due to finding your internal and eternal happiness, imagine finally, your goal was to graduate as a biophysicist, and when you get given the document, you feel your heart and mind fulfilled, and then you plan some more known you can go further, the sky isn’t the limit, you can go further, the galaxy is vast. You will find supporters and believers during your travels.
Accomplish greatness you need. All steps can lead you to the path you choose, it isn’t all straight through, it is narrow, curved, thick and heavy with a lot of obstacles in the way, emotional and physical, but as humans we have the capacity to push and break through anything that is thrown at us, make our mind, body and soul complete with the happiness we all rightfully deserve, and nobody can take it away, nobody can tell us what we are meant to be, we are our own person, our heart beats in our own chest, not those who do not believe, we are the only one who believes in us when others don’t. Go forward, break through the barriers and good luck!

Celebrating The End Of Exams

Exams Over
Get your parent’s permission if you live in their house.
If you live in a dorm, get permission from the people responsible for the dorm.
Buy party supplies.
Call or email your buddies 1 week before your party starts. These can make sure your buddies are available.
Rent or buy some movies. You can subscribe to Netflix, going to the clearance section of electronic stores (possibly a good movie there), or asking your guests to bring movies.
If you can, rent an inflatable swimming pool.
If you have a video game system, ask your friends to bring controllers and video games.
Choose some popular music. You can use a CD player, or if you have an iPod, buy a dock so you can play your music from it.
When your guests come, greet them and give them a drink or take them to the room you’re hosting the party in.
For girls, have makeovers and manicures with your guests.
For boys, have video game competitions and have a paintball fight in your backyard.
Enjoy the party. Remember, be a good host.
Prank call or ding dong ditch other people with your guests.
When your party is finished, clean up!

Life Can Sometimes Suck : Change It Today

Life Sucks
Sometimes, even if you’re playing a fair game, life deals your hand from the bottom of the deck. There’s no reason for it, necessarily, but it happens. For some people, “Life sucks” might be no date for the prom, or a big zit on the nose—just in time for that big date. For others, it might be getting a phone call as you and the children are decorating the Christmas tree, saying your spouse was just killed in an accident. You may suffer from chronic depression, such that even though you know how good things look on the surface (to others), life couldn’t be worse for you.
Examine your situation. What’s causing the pain you are feeling? This is going to be key to working your way back to positive territory.
If it’s situational—for example, you got fired, it’s pouring down rain, and on the way home with all your office belongings in the car, that little spare tire that you’ve been running on gives up the ghost, leaving you stranded on the other side of town—you’re going to need a different set of “positive” tools than if you have been diagnosed with a melanoma.
External factors can be dealt with by taking positive steps to repair or at least address the root problem as best as you can. Whatever the primary cause of the suck age that cause must be addressed first. You may or may not be able to solve the problem, per se, but at least knowing you’re taking positive steps forward is one less weight to have to carry, and it will help you improve your outlook. It will not be easy, of course, or we wouldn’t be calling this “sucking.”
If it’s physical or mental—maybe you’re bipolar, or suffer chronic depression—you must balance any attempt at “being positive” with an understanding that the reality is, it’s going to be an ongoing battle for your own survival. Because depression will undermine even the strongest of wills, you will need help to maintain—or at least be reminded of—a positive outlook. Counseling, psychotherapy, and the right combination of medication will play a crucial role in helping to keep you from sinking into that very dark place that is the essence of depression. Be patient, but don’t look for miracles. It may be that you will need the help of professionals throughout your life to maintain a generally even keel.
Don’t give in. When you’re in the middle of a suck vortex, those words will have little meaning, because everything you know in your bones to be true is telling you that giving in would be so easy to do.
People will tell you “just get over it,” or “get a grip.” They know—and you know—that if you were to look objectively at the sum of your life, that it’s not as bad as it feels; there are many people whose lives are measurably worse than yours. So what! Their lives, no matter how terrible, are not your life, and your situation is unique to you.
Don’t try to “get over it.” If one could “will away” depression, there would be no need of doctors or drugs. What you can do is understand why you feel like you do, and explain to your would-be counselors that you wish it were that easy, and that you appreciate their concern. Don’t push them away—at the very least, you can be positive that they are there for you, however clumsy and unaware their platitudes may be. Who knows, their bumbling efforts may even provide some amusement or distraction!
Take care of your body and soul. Given that you are probably an emotional wreck in a world of sewage, swimming in the debris of whatever damage the suck age has wrought, this is not the time to become a world champion hotdog eater, consumer of tubs of ice cream, or finding the bottom of the bottle of Jack. Treat yourself well, even though you feel like hell. How, you ask? Here are some ideas:
Give your pet some love. They know you’re not their normal human, but the beauty of pets is unconditional, unquestioning love. Be playful with them, find a simple game that amuses both of you (the fake ball-throw is always a canine favorite), and let yourself forget your troubles for 5 or 10 minutes. It won’t solve your problem, but it will lighten the load.
Eat as well as you possibly can. Even if you have very little money, make it a point to eat a more balanced, healthier diet than you do when all is well. Lots of greens and colored vegetables, and a variety of fruit and nuts, are all super healthy for you, and they’re much less expensive than meats, cheeses, and processed foods! Their nutritional value will elevate your body, and knowing you are treating yourself will elevate your mind.
Also, look for foods rich in vitamin B12 and Omega-3. These include dark green vegetables, nuts, soybeans, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
Cut back on the caffeine drinks. You don’t need to quit, but cutting back will help reduce chemically induced anxiety and stress, and smooth any recovery time.
Exercise your body. It may be a sport you enjoy, yoga, cross training, or even a simple walk in the park. But keeping your body active will help your outlook.
Throw yourself into a hobby you enjoy. Whether its art, photography, music appreciation, or building a ship in a bottle, focusing on something other than the suck factor will give your mind some time off for good behavior.
Join a community that you’re not already part of. It could be a support group for whatever you’re going through, or a group of people that share your love of Lord of the Rings, or a charity such as Habitat for Humanity. You may find solace and purpose in ways you never imagined.
Do not crawl into a hole and disappear. Your friends and loved ones probably know your life sucks. They may or may not be able to help you directly, but they can give you emotional and moral support.
Sleep. You don’t need to be told this. Your body is probably begging you for it when you are in the middle of hard times. You may actually be drawn to sleep all day. While that might feel good at the moment, it only puts off the inevitable, so try to maintain good sleeping habits. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, but allow yourself some leeway. If you sleep fitfully for half the night, then finally fall asleep at 4am, don’t get up at 6:30 unless you absolutely must. Let your body get about 8 hours for the best results.
Seek help immediately. Yes, life sucks. Sometimes, it can become overwhelming to the point where you figure that swallowing a bottle of pills, or a 9 mm, will be preferable to another day of pain. If those thoughts start to invade your senses, deal with them as if your life depended on it—because it does.
If you’re just starting to have those thoughts, speak to your physician or your therapist. They may prescribe something to help steer you back to the center, emotionally. It may be the act of talking about it is therapeutic enough, but don’t assume that. Leave that call to the professionals.
If you’re at a more advanced stage, thinking about last meals, what to write, how you’ll do it, and if anybody will even care (or that this will “teach them a lesson”), stop whatever you’re doing. Pick up a phone. Dial 1-800-273-8255, and tell them what’s on your mind. If your urge is not quite immediate, go to Google, and enter “suicide hotline.” The results should include the number above, plus local resources that can help, no matter what the cause.
Note that if you’re in the end stage of a terminal illness, the above suggestion may be not be the best course. Some countries, and one State in the United States, permit physician-assisted suicide—its purpose to provide for a quiet, controlled departure from this world.

Being A Friend To A Friend

Be a friend to your friend. If you’re there when your friend needs you, your friend will be there too. You know what they say “Do onto others as you want others to do onto you.”

Pack an extra desert or snack in your lunch bag. It’s always nice to share.

Record a traveling friend’s favorite television show.

Write a personalized friendship poem.

Tie balloons to a friend’s front porch to celebrate a birthday or a special accomplishment. Like getting an A+ on an assignment or making a team.

Treat for popcorn at the movies.

Loan your bike to a friend without one. You could loan other stuff as well.

Invite a new classmate to join you and your friends on an after-school snack hunt or shopping spree.

Mail a small souvenir from your vacation to a lonely friend back home.

Ask someone to take a group photo of you and your friends. Make color copies of the picture and frame them and give them to everyone as a special holiday gift.

Help a friend with a not-so-fun chore. Cleanup might call for a few good CD’s and a portable boom box. Accompany a friend on an after-school walk and use the time to catch up on the day’s events.

 

FRIENDS: Teenage Lesson #2

Our world begins & ends with them. This is the very age when they are like always your saviors. Be it any difficulty, problem, family issues, relationship, you can talk it out with them. Well, that is why they were made in the first place. You can be you with them. They know you inside out. Your good & your bad side. They know you enough for you not to fool them. Actually it depends, they can act like it if they really want to keep that smile of yours, glued on your face. Now here comes the big question, is it friends over parents? Most of us would be all naïve about it & would go with a big no. But the fact remains is, you guys are a bunch of liars. You know it is your friends in teens, always over your parents. To be honest, we would’nt be having this argument had it not been for our parents. So kind of it is bull shit. We definitely can’t compare the two. Both are very close to your heart. Your parents have been there for you & still are, before even you became friends with whosoever you now are really close to. Being honest, no one in this mean world is really your best friend. Even the closest to you would connive, deceive or end up hurting you in greed or anger. Your parents are the only ones who love you unconditionally, without any motive. Yes, I really mean it. Being a teen, it is really hard for me to believe what I’ve got myself into here. Folks, I’m on your side. Chill. I too go through this tussle at home all the time.  Trust me when I say ALL the time. Won’t lie to you all. Like yesterday only my Mom was all like you give more importance to your friends than studies. I had a ready answer to this. I get her point, but holidays are going on & I’m a lil’ relaxed about studies. Well, her say is studies should be my top priority (Most of them are like really close to what they think. Scares me at times. :P). We both actually have our own mind & to be frank are right in our own ways. But guys, no one would want to hang out with a dud, what say? Better study & then you’ll have the entire universe wanting to befriend you. I so can’t imagine me being this way but yes, my life is so not complete without my bosom pals being there to annoy me, make me laugh, giggle, hate myself at times & yet be so loved. Parents, we will achieve our dreams. Friends, we fly high, together, always. We party hard, dance & reach for the stars, don’t we? 😀 Infact, both compliment each other (I know what you guys are thinking, but ponder over it, they do!).

Signing off now! Hope you guys are there with me in my journey of teen diaries. Till then, read, learn & preach. ^__^