One went on to win the gold medal and the other lost the bout in the bronze medal fight but the loss too was glorious!
‘Someone wins and someone loses. Neeraj Chopra went on to create history in the javelin contest but Deepak Punia missed out by a whisker. But what really won the hearts of the people in Tokyo was the spirit of these two young men in the arena where they gave a stunning display to compete at the world’s biggest sporting event which comes after every four years. Neeraj is Subedaar and Deepak is Naib Subedaar in Indian Army and both are from the same Regiment, the mighty Rajputana Rifles, the Royals who love excelling in each and every field be it warfare where the legacy is insurmountable and sports fields where another legendary `trail has been blazed for the others to follow’!
-‘ These two kids off the blocks were picked by Regiment’s special team who moves for talent hunting as far as sports in the Services go and have an uncanny habit of searching out the raw and bustling talent that could be potential stalwarts of moving to the pinnacles of glory for the Nation and its people, Indian Army, The Regiment and finally for self. The motto is simple and disciplined, your strength doesn’t come from winning. It comes from struggles and hardship. Everything that you go through prepares you for the next level. These two young thoroughbred tiger cubs showed it how it could be done with an added cliché, success in life is not for those who run fast, but for those who keep running and always on the move. They indeed were and proved that everything is in reach provided the brimming spirit is there!’
-‘ What a proud moment it would have been for the Regiment when these two men entered their arenas and showcased their skills in the art of competing and bringing tremendous accolades for the country and what a proud moment it would have been for Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon who at the moment is Colonel of the Regiment, The Rajputana Rifles. As a young man in the playfields of the cradle known as the Indian Military Academy he himself was an awe inspiring sight for the first termers who had just joined in. But that was the past and now is the present so let us live with it and enjoy the new found glory by this giant of a family, The Rajputana Rifles’
Winning a game is good; but winning a game together with winning your rival’s heart too is brilliant and this is a real win! These two boys from Raj Rif did precisely that!
For the man with the golden arm Neeraj Chopra we wrote in plenty as the boy created history by getting the name of we Indians on the chronicle of the gold medal winners of the Olympics. He is young, strong and spirited and thus we can hope for a repeat performance in Paris 2024 but before that many other competitions would be there where Neeraj would start as a favorite in each one of them therefore for him the magic will always happen because when you direct your inner powers to the object you want to change the result is always the winner you bursting out. He showed it in Tokyo but it is bound to happen again. For the other bouncing lad Deepak Punia for the time being what can be said is that sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. I will give you a small little story here of the battle of Hastings that was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson. After a series of battles in which many commanders died the invader William was left with Harold’s as his only serious opponent. In the battle of Hastings it was William who prevailed but someone in the history did write, so let the sun go down on you like King Harold at the battle of Hastings fighting gloriously. Maybe a loser but what a loser! Greater in defeat than the conqueror. Certainly not a coward that rusted out lurking in his tent. So there is always a next time and maybe that day it was not Punia’s day when he lost to Myles Amine from San Marino. But he had done the Nation proud since the margin for the San Marino wrestler was a thin thread one and anyone could have won it. The two wonder kids from India with the color Olive Green all over their hearts did what Indians are capable of and one man who would have swollen to the size of giant with pride had to be Colonel of the Regiment KJS Dhillon.
I. About LT. General KJS Dhillon:
The General has always advocated to his boys from the regiment, some things are better than winning and sometimes you need to loose in order to win. They did exactly that! Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, UYSM, YSM, is the Director General Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Intelligence) under the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) since 9 March 2020. Gen Dhillon last served as the 48th Commander of the XV Corps of the Indian Army, assuming the post from Lt Gen Anil Kumar Bhatt. He is not an unknown face to the people of Kashmir by the way. KJS Dhillon took charge of Colonel of Regiment after succeeding Lieutenant General Abhay Krishna. The General played a key role in ensuring total synergy amongst security forces after taking over the command of Chinar Corps at that time. General Dhillon’s long experience in counter-terrorist operations in Kashmir was instrumental in elimination of a large number of terrorists, especially the leadership of various terror outfits post Pulwama attack. His famous one liner after the Pulwama attack, ‘request all mothers of Kashmir to tell their sons to surrender and get back. Anyone who has picked up the gun will be killed and eliminated unless he surrenders, (within 100 Hours the entire Jaish leadership in South Kashmir was sent for a toss then) There was no option but to payback for the attack that happened in Pulwama’ is still remembered but he was also considered as a man with the golden heart who wanted peace and tranquility by the Kashmiris’!
II. Incentives after the gold medal performance:
Rewards for Neraj Chopra were far too many from money to SUV’s Nationwide but there was something awaiting for him from his Regiment and this had to be special. But before I come to that, let us talk you through Deepak Punia’s rise to fame. He won a silver medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in the freestyle 86 kg category and secured a place in the 2020 Summer Olympics. He was born in the Jhajjar district of Haryana. This wrestler forfeited his quarterfinal bout against Zahid Valencia. Punia who was also participating in the Tokyo Olympics and thus pulled out of the Poland Open due to hand injury. He is the former junior world champion! Therefore Punia’s exploits equally deserved attention and of course the rewards and his Regiment was there to give him. Colonel of Rajputana Rifles Lt Gen KJS. Dhillon felicitated Tokyo Olympics gold medalist javelin thrower Subedar Neeraj Chopra & Olympics semi-finalist wrestler Subedar Deepak Punia with a cheque of Rs 6 lakhs and Rs. 4.55 lakhs, respectively with a small word, ‘this is just the beginning so keep doing it time and again’!
To end this one I will talk about a few parables about unlocking your destiny the way these men of the hour did. At times it looks that It is sheer madness. Sometimes as one goes through the same routine over and over again to attain perfection, to many ignorant onlookers it may look mundane but often, madness is needed to separate the winners from the losers. The second one champions realize that defeat and learning from it even more than from winning is part of the path to mastery. It indeed is and the corollary to this is It is said that you have only one chance but thereafter you have many chances so don’t ever quit because chance has only a fifty-fifty probability and you never know when the probability will be in your favor and you would be next winner standing on the podium of glory with the flag of the great Indian Nation in hand! Those who cannot make it, ‘there is always the next time’