Boxer

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Bikash was trying to pull himself up holding the ring ropes, his face was swelled, covered with blood dripping from the cut of his forehead. He could incoherently hear his coach shouting his lungs out to him, urging him to get on his feet, the referee is counting to ten. Bikash dragged himself up.

 

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From the very childhood, Bikash wasn’t that bright. That’s why when he is out of school with very poor marks, he couldn’t even make it to college. His elder brother told him to help with the grocery shop he is running and Bikash happily agreed. A happy go lucky, always smiling, towering over 6 feet with a strong physic, Bikash soon became the right hand of his brother’s business.

Shy, not so bright with a low profile life, Bikash wasn’t even known much in his area when it happened. The local goons were in his shop misbehaving with his brother and sister in law when he decided enough is enough. He single handedly beaten them into pulp. Doing so, he spotted by the boxing coach Karvalo whose staying nearby.

“You got a superb right cross man. Why don’t you join my coaching centre? I see a prospect in you to be a good boxer”

Karvalo was a respected name in his area, Bikash figured if he has Karvalo’s hand on his head, these goons won’t even think of coming back sniffing for their revenge. He agreed saying he has no money to pay him now, but if he became a successful boxer he would surely return his favor. Karvalo only laughed at that proposition.

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He was happy, he had got through the quarter final of the state boxing championship. Bikash was rigorous in the coaching center. All his life he had hardly any purpose of life, which was given by his coach Karvalo. To win the state championship and sure it was a stepping stone for him.

“A loaf of bread and ½ kilo sugar.” Nalini’s feminine voice jerked Bikash back to his senses, Nalini was standing there with her friend holding her bicycle. She is the girl in college staying next door, Bikash adores. Smart, outspoken and Intelligent Nalini comes often to his shop to get daily groceries. Shy Bikash never could strike a long conversation yet with her, but today it was different, he is going to play in the quarter final of a state championship.

He enthusiastically said “I am through into the state lightweight boxing championship quarter final, would you like to come and watch, I can get you and your family a free pass.”

Nalini twisted her lips and made a face “I hate boxing. Only hitting people, punching at each others face, I don’t know people even call it a sport. It’s nothing but two people brawling. Cricket is much better. Now give me the bread and the sugar. Take the money from dad in the evening.”

Bikash handed over the things to her like a fool. He was at loss of words. He knew his neighbor Rajesh is a cricket player of district level, his heart sank.

 

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Bikash was spending extra time in practice as the match was tomorrow. Once he was done, he saw nobody else in the coaching center, it was quite late. He came out in the street and started to walk towards home.

Then he saw a couple, the man and his wife with a kid were surrounded by 4 to 5 people.

“Listen, you just keep your mouth shut till this hearing, don’t go to the court, say you are sick, rest will be taken care of.” Bikash heard those words and shocked, it’s the same leader of the local goons who barged into his shop.

“I cannot do that” The man surrounded said in a firm voice.

“Oh sure you can, I am taking your kid away as the insurance.” As the leader uttered those words, the other man trying to snatch the kid from her mother’s lap, the kid and the mother both started to cry.

“Leave them alone.” Bikash roars….

The goon’s leader turned at him, “Ah look who it is? The shopkeeper. You need to learn you..rr…”

He couldn’t complete his sentence as Bikash’s right arm jab landed straight onto his nose, he fell flat on his back.

Another goon swung his iron rod at him, Bikash moved his right shoulder out of the way, as the same time the other goon punched him on his ribs, Bikash saw with the corner of his eyes, another goon is pulling out his 6 inch blade. Bikash took another body blow as the man with the iron rod swung and hit him this time on his right bicep. A left hook and a right upper cut took care of the thug who punched him, Bikash then turned to the man with the rod and boxed his face with one two one combination as he is doing all these days to the punch bags.

The man with the knife approached at Bikash, He took his boxing stance, guarding his face. As the assailant ran at him like a mad bull, he swayed out of the way and right crossed his jaw, with left arm jab on his throat.

Already people started to gather around, someone might have called the cops as well, because the police sirens were heard. The thugs were tried to skip away only fell into the mobs hands. Tired, hurt and exhausted Bikash sat on the nearby pavement.

“I don’t know how I could thank you enough.” The man saved by him was standing nearby him.

“It’s Bikash.” His wife still firmly holding her kid said out loud.

Bikash looked up to them, he couldn’t recognized them in dark earlier, it’s Malini, Nalini’s elder sister with her husband and her kid.

 

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“Get up and fight.” Karvalo was screaming at Bikash. His senses are nudged and jolted by opponent’s punches on his face, ribs and chest, his vision is practically blurred.

“Come on Bikash!” He heard those voices and looked to his right shoulder. Malini, her husband and Nalini is standing there on the corner. She’s late, but at last she came.

Bikash dragged back his weight in the middle of the ring as the referee is asking if he wants to continue. He nodded. He is lagging behind many points now.

He will show Nalini boxing is also a sport, it also need the same amount of skill and power if not more. Boxing is not only throwing punches, knocking people down or brawling. It’s about sheer determination, grit and concentration. It’s about anticipation and quick reaction, game of strategy, plan and execution.

As bikash took his guard again he could see his slightly tired and satisfied opponent started to under estimate him. First time the match he looks reluctant and dropped his guard against Bikash. “It’s time”, Bikash told himself.

 

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Mike-Tyson

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