I happened to sneak a peek at the screen that showed an Indian and an Irish boxer, making a bout in the commonwealth ring,it brought back memories of my school days when we had a tap dancer heavyweight teacher of African origin called Mr Nat Terry.
He had us sweat it out at shadow boxing with iron holds and taught us all the ways of ducking and blocking a punch with guards, and feigning moves, and how to offer an upper cut when the opponent went in for a head down position.
The boxers were matched according to the weight and their arms reach, and houses.
We were given an afternoon rest before the evening bout and allowed to get into the ring ,with a sash around the waist and gloves and shorts and a vest,to the cheers of all the school mates sitting on the parapet wall and the sounding of the gong.
The red and blue corners had the massagers who gave us hints and allowed us to gargle out a bleeding cut during the time outs.
Many a best boxer and a best looser were made in these rings, and who even fought again to exchange titles.
The last time I had my nose bleeding was when we had the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu “perunthalaivar”(great leader) kamarajar hand out the certificates to the young pugilists, hoping that the kids would stop fighting and finish all this during school itself, and grow up into friendly relationships in the future world of adults.
He was a soft spoken Tamilian who had a way of prophesying every future plan with “parkalam”.
He must have been the only chief guest to ever speak in tamil in an English medium school, to the clapping and thunderous applause of the kids who did not know what he was speaking.