He is known to the world at large as Hawk-eye. His aim was to become the best there is at what he did and as such, when the local zone kick boxing championship came about, without even a second thought, he signed up for it.
Hawk-eye was his own master. He had no trainer nor had he any hype. He loved what he did and he wouldn’t be satisfied until he had given it his best shot.
The day of the tournament came and he was there. The fixture was fixed and the cheering began. He had to pass through 5 stages of hell to prove himself.
He had no one to cheer him. His own thoughts were his company and he got into the ring, ready to prove what he was worth!
His first three opponents were child’s play for him. First, the Nameless-warrior who had to return to his momma nameless after suffering a crushing defeat at his hands. Second, the Broken-sword, whose bone was broken from his ferocious blows! Third, the Red-dragon, who was bathed in red when Hawk-eye was through with him. And he reached the semi-finals.
Hawk-eye was lost in thought for a while. Whoever there was among the crowd who supported him, he had won them with his fighting prowess. They were not family, they were not friends. They were just amazed at his talent. True, unadulterated talent.
Thoughts were too much of a luxury at that time, for his next opponent was Super-bug! The three time champion! Super-bug was renowned for his single-hand, over-head kick. If you were to give him a fraction of free time and a small distance, that is all that Super-bug needs to launch his death blow. You don’t get up once he gets you with it.
But Hawk-eye was not called so for fun. He had a hawk’s eye.
Charging in went Hawk-eye! Cross jabs, uppercuts, shin blocks, front kicks, push kicks and what not! Hawk-eye went close in never giving Super-bug his space. Blows were landed continuously on both of them. But neither were ready to give up. Failure was not an option for them. One, defending his honor and the other, wanting to prove his worth!
In between exchanging the blows, Hawk-eye saw an opening for his trademark. A chance to deal some serious damage with his favorite move. The lethal round house kick!
He zapped around and his leg went swirling by! But Super-bug dodged. In his missing, his body came close to Super-bug’s knee and wham! His knee rammed into Hawk-eye’s ribs and two of them broke… Writhing in pain Hawk-eye took a few steps back. And that was the opening Super-bug was waiting for! He put his left hand on the ground and raised his body and legs over to deliver the crushing blow. But Hawk-eye is never defeated that easily. He saw the kick coming and he side-stepped it. That round was at an end.
Hawk-eye was grievously injured. But backing down was not an option for him. That is not what he was there for.
Both of them danced the dance for 18 long minutes, each round being of 2 minute duration. And finally in the 10th round, both were exhausted. They were humans after all.
The round started. Hooks and jabs were exchanged. Still Hawk-eye stood with steadfast determination and with a Hawk’s concentration. However Super-bug’s will was weakening.
In between the fight, Super-bug took a split second to look at his coach and unfortunately for him, Hawk-eye saw that tiniest bit of opening. His legs swirled around for the second time and BAM! Right on Super-bug’s head it landed…
He flew from where he stood. He felt as if he was being carried and the world had stopped moving. His floating sensation was cut short with his head crashing into the ring floor…
Super-bug did not get up.
With cracked ribs, Hawk-eye was hoisted the semi final round winner. But there was still one more stage of hell to go through. He prayed not to black-out. He had defeated the champion.
It was time for the final round.
Hawk-eye’s rival, the Fight-master! Both got into the ring. To Hawk-eye’s amazement, he was suddenly aware of the situation. A hawk’s instinct, you could say and he saw that his prey was a bit lost on grasping the danger in front of him.
The bell rang.
Even before Fight-master took a breath, Hawk-eye was upon him. A kick to Fight-master’s left knee threw him off balance and round came Hawk-eye’s legs with the round house! Wham! Fight-master was floored in an instant. It was only 6 seconds after the final had started. The count down was made and suffice to say, Fight-master had his fight taken out of him.
Hawk-eye won the final in 12 seconds. The record till then was a knockout in 17 seconds set by Super-bug.
Hawk-eye proved that he was the best there was. And he waits, looking forward to others who think they can top him. He waits, for a worthy opponent.
Dedicated to my friend who lives realizing the one thing all of us have taken for granted. Life, is a blessing.