Invaluable Life Lessons from Hony Capt BS Thapa
I had the honor of being in the close company of Hony Capt BS Thapa of 5/8 GR (Arjun Awardee) in 1985 for two months. I do not think he will ever write an autobiography, or a movie like, ‘Mary Kom’ would be made on his life. As an athlete I consider him in league with the best in the World. In 1980 Moscow Olympics he lost to the eventual Gold medalist of Germany in the first round on a 3-2, controversial verdict in Boxing. He was that close to being the best in the World while training with primitive equipment and methodology. We used our Army issued kit bags as punching bags, jute filled gloves & did our sit ups & push ups on roads! We saw ‘speedball’- very important equipment for improving speed, coordination, etc, only on TV! We never used one! Great nutrition meant adding 2 eggs & half a liter of milk to the standard ‘langar’ food!
BS Thapa taught me two invaluable lessons for life:
Lesson 1-Diligence is More Important than Talent
BS Thapa said that he himself knew of several boxers who were as talented, or maybe, even more than him in the GORKHA REGIMENT itself, forget the country! These Boxers never even became national champions, simply because they did not match the discipline & dedication of BS Thapa.
Lesson 2-Meaning of Hard Work
BS Thapa had spent his major career boxing in the Light Fly weight category (below 48 Kg) and at times he tended to weigh more than 48 kg, close to competitions. To reduce weight and also to build endurance, he used to take off alone on a long run. He always told his team about the route he was taking and what time he expected to return. This information was very important for BS Thapa’s survival. In case he did not return by the expected time, a search party was to be dispatched on cycles to bring him back from wherever he had fainted from fatigue, dehydration, or whatever!
Conclusion- Invaluable life lessons from Hony Capt BS Thapa
I interact with students daily. They often crib about the lack of opportunities life has offered them. They think that success eludes them despite their hard work. I request them to seek inspiration from this real life hero and learn the lessons he taught me.
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