“Put your feet on the footrest properly. Keep your back straight. Look in the front, I’m holding it from behind.” Such and many more desperate attempts by my trying-not-to-scream father and amazingly patient cousins fetched no results at all, because till date I cannot cycle.
My favourite excuse was that I have excess baggage (read overweight) which meant I needed more energy to pedal and got tired faster. Never mind the fact that if someone else mentioned the same thing I would squirm indignantly and go into solitary confinement! Cycling could’ve helped greatly in reducing though. It was a vicious circle.
I wonder why I never even wanted to try. As I grew up, Dad’s warning that I will have to walk all the way to college made me triumph over my slightly vertigo-induced fear of balancing and falling down and I learned to drive a Kinetic Honda. Yes, I agree I took the easier way out with absolutely no shame in admitting that I had been a wuss.
A look at this incredibly determined guy, and I feel a remorse for myself I had never known before. Jaswinder Singh, or Super Singh as he is fondly called, was born with no hands. Had he wanted he could’ve resigned himself to a life of dependency and self-loathing, but he chose to do exactly the opposite.
As a child, after watching his sister cycle, this young boy sneaked past his disapproving parents at night and learned to cycle on his own in the dark lanes of his village. His family couldn’t afford to buy a bike for him as he grew up, so he took up teaching and saved everything he earned to pursue his passion for cycling.
He is a fitness freak and cycles for 25 kms everyday. He participated in the Chandigarh State Cycling Championship in the 25 km Para-Boys Challenge and won a Gold medal there. He wants to participate in the Asia Para-Cycling Championship to be held next year and needs a sophisticated and customised bike for it which comes at a steep price.
Contributions are welcome from anyone interested in being a part of this event. Our country has the potential to produce many more such Super Singhs if we are prepared to do the little things that we can.
We so easily takes the things we have for granted that we don’t realise how difficult it can be to imagine a life where we need assistance for the smallest things. Despite that, having a steely resolve to not only overcome them but also achieve something that is nothing more than impossibility for others, is truly a miracle. Let’s help Super Singh live and achieve his dream and inspire many others.