Renowned boxing trainer and manager Cus D’Amato once said, "To see a man beaten not by a better opponent but by himself is a tragedy." And I feel the man, who worked with some of boxing’s greatest like Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson, wasn’t talking of boxing alone.

While sports coaches and fitness trainers will tell you quite often contests are won or lost much before they are even fought on the field, it is also true that in life, in general, the euphoria of success and achievement is nothing but vanquishing our inner demons of doubt and dilemma. Our fight with our fears and limitations defines our path to glory – that position on the podium we call validation.

Indian woman boxer and bronze medal winner at the recently concluded Summer Olympics in Japan, Lovlina Borgohain epitomises that infallible persistence to prevail. If Lovlina wasn’t fighting off logistical challenges posed by limited resources or gender-related prejudices and misogynistic rhetoric specifically faced by sportswomen, she was also combating her own mental monsters that were strangulating her in varied ways.

In the interview with Friday, Lovlina says while her gloves, skills and intense training are her weapons in the ring, off it she relies on familial support and self-belief to be her arsenal against societal scepticism.

But that is not the only reason I wish to celebrate this 24-year-old wonder woman.

For me she signifies all that the festival of Diwali stands for – victory of truth which is sincere, hard work over demons of doubt and pessimism.

Let me know what you think and 
wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali.

Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com.

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