After more than forty years, my friend Nigel* who was my batch mate aboard the cadet training ship "Dufferin" in Bombay, e-mailed me the above photo of the both of us kids slugging it out during the ship's boxing finals in '64.
I didn't know of the existence of this photograph, nor did I know what hit me then. Nigel (on the right) was simply too fast for me and the referee (not in photo), who was also our physical training instructor (PTI) mercifully stopped the bout well into the second round. He awarded a technical knock-out (TKO) in Nigel's favour to prevent any serious damage and perhaps also to avoid creating an international incident or something.
Our burly PTI, an ex Indian Navy man, was also quite a character himself. I have always suspected that he had a soft spot for me for he was always on the lookout for yours truly. Whenever he catches me goofing off during our early morning mass physical exercises (PE) on the quarter deck, he would scream,"You Malayan mungoo! Go run 10 times around the main deck. On the double!"
Which should explain my odd penchant for running around in circles for the rest of my life.
* Capt Nigel Chaves now lives in Melbourne, Australia with his lovely wife Patricia and their three daughters. We are still keeping in touch regularly via our alumni website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Dufferin63-65/ , which we started some years ago.
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