The Hush Post: Shotputter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor was happy, excited, raring to come home with his gold medal that he won at the recently concluded Asian Games. He landed at the IGI airport, New Delhi, on Monday evening and took the road as fast as he could to reach home at Khos Pando village near Ludhiana. He just wanted to fly to show his gold medal to his ailing father who has been fighting throat cancer for the last two years. Destiny was not so kind to him this time round, the only time he yearned it to be.
His father Karam Singh breathed his last a few hours before Tajinder could reach home. The sacrifices made by his father, his coach MS Dhillon, his family and friends had pestered him to win that gold, he just wanted to do it for them.
“Tune karna hai (You have to do it). You should be with your father, but because you aren’t, you have to make it count. This time won’t come again,” Dhillon had egged him on from the empty stands at Jakarta when he had thrown the iron ball to a mammoth 20.75m, the furthest-ever distance recorded by an Indian and the most by any athlete at the Asian Games.
“You die of shame,” Tajinderpal’s coach had shouted while he was getting ready for his last shot put throw. “I told him, I have left my family for you and your father is fighting cancer. Think of us,” Dhillon had told The Times of India, after he won the gold, saying that he wanted Tajinder to be angry.
To keep focus on his game, Dhillon had shifted his training from Delhi to Patiala where his father was taking treatment, but Tajinder would get distracted and would long to be with his father every 3-4 days. Dhillon finally took Tajinder,23, to Dharamsala where he prepared for the Asian Games, and could not go back home frequently to be with his father.