I come from a conventional and mid-income family settled in Malaysia. My father, Sivagurunathan, encouraged me to take up an engineering degree as a stepping-stone in my career.
I pursued and graduated with my bachelor’s degree through determination and hardship. After that, I looked for a suitable job to support myself and my family. Unfortunately, things did not turn up so well, and I was a jobless graduate for more than a year.
I remember I was 25 years old when this happened. I attended multiple job interviews but was rejected. I was clueless and hopeless, which led to me having depression.
At some point, I decided to apply for the government sector. After several months of waiting, I was called for an interview for the position of Analyst Officer in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Despite passing all my criteria and requirements, I was rejected for the job. I was clueless and hopeless at that time, and I kept blaming myself.
Then, my mother encouraged me to never give up in the future, and she told me to take a break. During this time, I met a gentleman who changed my life forever. Talking about encountering the right person at the right time and destiny encounters.
Moment That Changed My Life
During my break, I was at a place called Ladang Alam Warisan. It is a nature park consisting of various animals such as horses, ostriches, peacocks, and many birds with lush greenery. It’s a place to embrace the living environment. This visit reignited my love for horses. I used to do horseback riding in my university days. Revisiting my hobby after so long was a great way to realize my connection with the gentle animal.
Also, I got to meet a gentleman named Muhamad Akmal Mohamad Dahalan. He is the owner of the stable. Both of us bonded over our love for horses. He told me about his journey as a national professional horseback archer and developed it in Malaysia. He shared some information regarding horseback archery with me and offered me free training under his wing.
First Indian-Origin Horseback Archer
I eventually became a professional horseback archer in Malaysia with rigorous training for almost four years. I participated in several local competitions, such as the Malaysian Horseback Archery League to compete against other strong contestants. I became the first Indian to take up horseback archery through hard work and determination, a sport that Malaysians dominate. The good thing about horseback archery is there is no discrimination between genders, and female opponents can compete against their male counterparts in the same competition.
In 2019, I obtained my horseback archery certification. I became the country’s first Indian horseback archer coach to train young students in traditional archery, horseback riding and horseback archery. Eventually, I became a part of the Malaysia Book Of Records as the first Indian horseback archer. The prestigious award was handed to me on 16th November 2021.
Bringing Back The Glory Of The Indian Martial Arts
If there is one thing that I want to see, it is more Indian involvement in the sport. The thing is, horseback and archery have been the backbone of Indian mythology, dating back to the Mahabharata and Ramayana and the days of our great Kings.
Unfortunately, not many Indians are interested in taking up this sport now. They tend to have the wrong perception that it is an impossible sport, maybe because it involves multitasking between horses and archery or might be an expensive sport.
It is not an expensive sport, and it is possible to accomplish it. Once one has purchased a bow and arrows and got its grip, it is up to one’s skills and talents to master the art. I would like to see more Indians take up this exciting sport, and I would like to help develop new talents in Malaysia and India.
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