"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller
It is a bitter truth that everybody in this cruel world is going to hurt you. They will test your patience and try to make your life a living hell, but you just got to find the ones worth suffering for and patiently wait for your time until you overcome it. Most of the people could not endure the torment and end up as piles of broken bones, but the real survivors suffer and desperately wait for the perfect moment to changes the complexion of the scenario.
Among such survivors is the pride of India, Shahzar Rizvi, a man who suffered a lifetime of torment, pain, and suffering but never took NO for an answer. Throughout his life, he only came across people who mocked him, demotivated him, taunted him, but this guy stood firmly like a rock, irrespective of the magnitude of the whole situation. He waited for an opening, and when the time came, he pounced and snatched every opportunity which makes him the most decorated athlete of pistol shooting all around the world.
Shahzar was born on June 18, 1994, in a small village Manwa Khurd of Meerut, India. The village he was brought up in was very backward and orthodox, which in turn affected his childhood. He was born to a down-and-out family who somehow was feeding themselves. He was the eldest of the three siblings.
Shazar quite early realized that his potential belongs to a sportsperson and not to any ordinary corporate or official. The only task left for him is to identify the sport he is good at. One day, while playing double-trap with his two cousins, Rayyan and Sahul, he understood that he is good at aiming and should start practicing more of shooting. Even after being teased numerous times, he never gave up his dream.
As the children grew up it became much more strenuous for his father Shamshad to provide for the family. In the meanwhile, Shahzar expressed his intentions with lots of hopes and dreams of being a sportsman and pursue his career as a double trap shooter. His plan just backfired as his parents blankly denied his proposal and refused to hear a single word regarding his hypothetical dream as they could not afford. They considered providing money for this a waste, but by this time he had already made up his mind and was willing to go to any lengths to do so.
It took time but Shahzar convinced his parents to go for pistol shooting instead of the double trap which was not too costly and their parents had to give up in front of son. In 2009, he joined the Amar Pratap Singh’s academy in Meerut and that was the very first step in his illustrious shooting career. He marked his presence in the academy by dominating all the other competitors and qualifying for the nationals in just a few months. That's how good he was, that's how focused he was that he had achieved an accomplishment that others seek throughout their lives with just a borrowed pistol and the level of creativity and resources available.
Crossing the Barriers
“It always seems impossible until it's done”. - Nelson Mandela
Life can never be a bed of roses and it the roses turned into thorns when the relatives and family came to know about Shahzar's quest. There was a series of nasty criticism mocking him about how he is wasting all his parents' money, left for emergency purposes. They called shooting a game of rich spoilt brats, and he received a nasty blow from all those criticism as it was a stomach-churning act. To further add to his misery he noticed that even his parents and siblings had no trust in him.
The effects of all the family melodrama started affecting the game of this superb athlete. He failed to qualify for a few local tournaments and his father launched a missile on his head saying, in case he was unable to perform in next match, he had to give up this shooting dream. Shahzar now realized that failure was not an option for him, and somehow collected himself hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel. His parents had shut all doors on him, so he had to take a loan of 2 lakh rupees to buy his first pistol. This pistol was no ordinary as it was the one that changed the complexion of the whole scenario. This imported pistol from Austria is going to write history and silence all the haters, all the doubters, all the mockers and all the criticism once and for all.
Now or Never
Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” - Jack Ma
The 19-year-old had it all and now he became more confident than ever, laser-focused and with his lucky pistol went on an unstoppable spree of dominance. He came through the national tournament with flying colors and bagged the silver medal in 2014. That was the first national medal of his life, and then he never looked back. He settled his old score by winning the gold medal in 2015 when he defeated the Olympic medalist Vijay Kumar. Then he went to Tehran in 2016, and won a goal medal in Asia Air Gun Championship, and became the best pistol shooter in Asia. He was hungry for more competition, and to satisfy that craving he went to Commonwealth Championship in Brisbane 2017. The result was apparent as he topped the list. He went further on the world level and won a silver medal in the World Cup in South Korea 2018.
Shahzar broke the world record as he scored 242.3 points in the final, and dominated the whole world by winning the gold medal in the World Cup held at Guadalajara, Mexico, 2018 which also happened to be his maiden world cup appearance.
As time passed, he became very clear about the goals he had in mind, and his successive progression towards the aim made him grow stronger and stronger mentally. The only thing deprived was the tag of world No 1, and on May 2018 he achieved that milestone too.
Shahzar Rizvi and his life full of torment is the proof that there is always a silver lining even for the darkest cloud. There comes a moment in everyone’s life to either give up and lose or to get up, fight and snatch every opportunity. He could have easily given up as there was so much criticism throughout but he chose to struggle and grow stronger day by day and has set an example for the significance of never giving up.