Bajrang Punia trains first and deals with everything else later. He has the eyes of an entire nation on him. Bajrang is the number one hope and he will win a medal. Please play the first sequence.
How Bajrang Punia started Wrestling
This is the wrestling arena where he started wrestling in his childhood. He is successful thanks to this soil. Whenever Bajrang has bouts I come here to watch. This soil has made him famous worldwide. His father wanted one of his sons to be a wrestler. I would go play with my brother so that I can skip school. He used to go there to skip school & used to attend the first class as they took attendance. My teacher used to say that he was the most decent student in school. She didn’t know that I attended her class and then disappeared from school. He didn’t care about his school bag, he used to throw it. Then I’d scold him. He’d tell me that he went to watch wrestling.
When my brother stopped going there I started having fun playing in the soil. The soil in the arena carries a different fragrance. Because it is mixed with oil and turmeric. We add many things to it. Kids develop an affection for the soil while playing. I used to reach earlier than others and sprinkle water on it. It is known as Palti Lagana, done by using a slab. I would keep the arena-ready before the others arrived. It was my hobby because the older wrestlers in the village used to say that one should worship the arena and the mat the way one worships God. It will help us progress.
Wrestling Matches in Arena
Bajrang Punia used to have eight to ten matches. And when wrestling matches take place in an arena people come to watch. When they like the match, they give us money. People used to give me 5 or 10 rupees. Back then, it was enough for me. I have worked hard with Bajrang. I used to wrestle too. Then I wanted a son. I have fought in wrestling competitions. People used to love to see me wrestle in wrestling competitions. Bajrang told me that he wanted to become a wrestler. I agreed. I told him that it was my wish asked him to fulfil my wish.
Yes, my father supported me. It didn’t matter if I went to school. He always supported my desire to wrestle. He wanted me to be successful. So, he took me to the arena when I first went to Chhara. There have been many problems at home. My family’s finances were not very good. Still, they put in so much effort for me. They gave me everything. They have given me everything that I asked for. Once, he lost a Haryana State Competition. He lost hope as he was not selected for the national game. He was disappointed. I told him that losing is important to progress in life.
After all, losing helps a person learn. My aim was to make him understand and set his mind. You have to look up to your seniors. Keep moving. Winning and losing is a part of life. You should never let it affect your mind. No one likes to lose and everyone feels bad after training so hard. I consider myself fortunate. Whoever I have been with since my childhood I mean my friends and coaches, they’ve always motivated me to say it’s okay. They only asked me to work hard. Whenever I lost a wrestling match they told me to analyze why I lost. “Work on it. If you are forgetting it after the defeat you are making a big mistake.” It is great if you learn something from your defeat. Defeats are also important.
What I like about him is that he is very focused during training. If he has to attend any program he trains first and deals with everything else later. What I observed initially was that one day when I woke up in the morning, his clothes were full of sweat. The mind feels relaxed after I sweat and that gives me a different kind of peace be it day or night.
My seniors tell me that I can train any time of the day. If God is watching the efforts that you are putting in you will be rewarded for it even if it takes some time. My most memorable victory was in the Asian Wrestling Championships 2017 which was held in Delhi. We had not won any gold medal. It was the last day. When the National Anthem played after the victory… Every Indian in that moment could say proudly that our national anthem was being played. That was a memorable moment for me. Bajrang has won medals from the cadet level to the senior level. He has been continuously improving. His experience kept increasing. His technical levels improve every year. And his aggressiveness is the strength of his wrestling. His endurance level is good. He fights strongly till the last moment. Everyone likes to watch that kind of wrestling.
Bajrang is the most experienced wrestler in the Indian team. He is the only wrestler who has won three gold medals in the World Championship. According to my, Bajrang is the number one hope and he will win a medal. I believe that he is not just my son but an invaluable treasure to this country. Now, Bajrang is before us. He has the eyes of an entire nation on him. He can win the medal. I will be proud the day he wins a gold medal in the Olympics for the country.
In Russia’s Ali Aliyev Tournament, there was a seating of 10,000 to 12,000 people and the stadium was full. He had to wrestle against a Russian wrestler. The entire stadium was cheering for Bajrang. They were rooting for him because his wrestling was powerful. Only people can tell you why they like it. But I try to do my best. I receive a lot of love from the USA too. I had received a lot of love from Russia too. And Germany too. People were asking for me. People are supporting me and it feels good that people support me wherever I go. When people there support me I feel like I am playing in India.
If you talk about individual sports in our country Abhinav Bindra has won a gold medal in the Olympics. We have silver and bronze in wrestling. But nobody has won a gold medal. Many people have hopes for me. People tell me that they are expecting a lot from me. I will do my best. The day I go for the match, it should be my day and God should be with me and I will win a gold medal for our country.