Challenge yourself: Meet India’s first blade runner

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“Make an excuse just quit and give up,” his inner voice clamored to take short cuts. “Take the bike lift and get dropped ahead so that you can close the race, tell people that after all, you are a Kargil veteran. People will understand why you did what you did.”

Fighters DISCOVER their POTENTIAL, Losers seek support 

The person who challenged himself was India’s first blade runner Maj D.P Singh and I had an opportunity to hear him speak for 60 minutes.

Major DP Singh considers the Indian Army as his alma mater and he continued to salute the Army for making him who he is today. In the 1999 Kargil war (Operation Vijay) Maj D.P.Singh had 30 lives on his command and based 80 meters from the enemy post. In a highly tensed environment, one day he noticed that there was a lull in the firing. He knew it was the storm that was going to hit him. And yes it came in the way of a mortar bomb. The raw iron pierced through his body and he lay unconscious in a pool of blood. “My team picked me up and rushed me to the hospital where the first doctor declared me brought dead.” A further investigation by a team of doctors brought him back to life but at the cost of amputating his leg. It was a jaw-dropping moment when he said, “Whatever happened to me, all this is destined. Destiny does play a role, but the last leg is in your control”.

He said the most important duty of an officer is to save the country, life of teammates and finally themselves. Post that incident, he understood that ” life is dependent on the support system around you“. He proudly declared that

Whenever there is a storm in your life, just take it that something good is going to happen after this.”

He went on to describe how he decided to challenge himself after that incident. He is a great believer in Karma and destiny which is a choice. He decided to shape his attitude as he quoted ” The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton”.


His constant reminder to himself was “ I am the blessed, I am the chosen one” when he went through emotional challenge and emotional trauma. He debunked the myth of disability. He said, ” I can’t even try is the most disabled person“. The mindset and attitude you cultivate determines how you can challenge yourself. His message was  “Try out and put in efforts and you have to be the fittest one to carry out that task.” His constant affirmation was on growth and that is for you and nobody else. In Hindi, he ended that segment of conversation ” Bolo Kam, kaam zyada(Talk less do more)“.

Major DP Singh said, ” I was not interested in running”. But he started thinking about long-distance running and started respecting the game as it is a real test on sedentary lifestyle, endurance, and finally about his leg.  The task ahead of him was to do 14 km. He had rarely done more than 6 km. He was not aware that the half marathon is 21 km and as it is you have to complete the run is 3.5hrs. He finally decided to prepare for the run as “Respect ke against choice Naheen”. His attitude was ” I will damage my product (leg) or respect my leg.” His determination to run the marathon showcased one simple philosophy in life, ” With Aim,  desire, passion, and intent, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

On the day of the match, so many people helped him. They were staring, brooding and chit chatting that he is in the wrong race.  That gave him the kick. He ran his first marathon in 3.49Hrs. All along the way, he had to battle with himself. He could have taken shortcuts but finally, he had to look deep inside and he had to redefine himself. He visualized looking at his son’s eyes and so decided to push the limits and decided to break open the conventional.


Towards the end of the session, he mentioned that he got 50 odd souvenirs in his body given by our enemy with love (Pyaar se diya). He went onto share how he went through the suffering. His instant quip was Choti pain ke leeye Chota ( Small pain, small shot). He had to undergo a vertigo treatment and the way he reframed his mind to overcome that was amazing. His hack when his mind was confused, was telling himself “don’t look down, don’t look sideways and run instead make sure you look up and run and it will vanish.” After all, “too many options lead to confusion”.

He asked the audience if all of us have heard about giving and taking. His question was why it is “give and take” and not “take and give.” He said, “if you start giving, automatically everything starts coming to you”. He decided to reach out and start helping people who are physically disadvantaged. He is an inspiration to become a challenger from the challenge. His mantra is ” Efforts will be there till you are not”. In these days he is setting up “new” challenges after his skydiving adventure.

I learned one very important thing in life from Maj DP Singh and that is ” Keep pushing yourself for the “new” as it is very much required”.

Challenges will be there when you are doing something extraordinary, Extraordinary results will be always out of your comfort zone 

At the end of the speech, he got a standing ovation while A.R.Rahman’s Vande Mataram was reverberating in the background and every cell in my body had the chills. His final message was “ Push and explore the sky. It might be the limit but don’t forget to keep your one leg on the ground.”

Finally, he asked all of us, ” How is the Josh? What next?”

He concluded, ” If you wish to GIVE UP anything, GIVE UP, GIVING UP.



  1. Super story of the courage of a true war hero. Wow… Inspiring. The pictures are testimony yo the power of his indomitable spirit and his resilience.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Vinod.


  2. “Give up giving up”, an excellent notion, very well written piece, insights into, life of an inspiring personality, who’ s awesome courage, words and determination is extraordinary


  3. That’s a great inspirational real life story. When most people Give up in life with the slightest set back / obstacles, this man shows the way that it’s all there in the mind set. I personally saw such bravery during Kargil war when injured soldiers were airlifted from forward war zones to Udhampur airbase. I was deputed there to shift the injured and fallen soldiers to the Military Hospital, Udhampur.
    On one occasion, I still remember that one injured soldier getting off from the aircraft, holding his amputed left hand in his right hand. When asked why, his innocent and simple answer was that ” how can I go back to fight with single hand”? My commander went allow me to go back to fight with single hand. I shall show him that I do have my 2nd hand with me”. What an attitude.
    There are others similar to him like Arunima Sinha who, inspite of losing both the legs did some thing unimaginable of successfully summiting Mount Everest and then going on to conquering highest peaks of all continents.
    Hats off to these heroes !!


  4. Loved the blog Vinod bhai. It is really inspiring.

    The word ‘taking lift’ is very provoking.

    Many people think their problems are bigger but then when they read this blog they will feel otherwise.


  5. Good job Vinod…Major DP Singh is the human form of courage and strength. Thanks a lot for sharing his amazing story with us. This will always be my inspiration…


  6. Amazing write up Vinod…we need such super heroes to inspire us everyday. Major DP Singh is the human form of courage and strength.


  7. Give up Giving Up, is something new as a phrase. However the essence is to keep trying, identify what you have and how you can use it to get to a goal.

    It also enhanced the power of BOW a practice in our culture to seek blessing.

    Inspiring Blog Vinod.


  8. Thank you for summarizing my thoughts.

    I am glad I am of some good.

    It helps me to refine these thoughts better. God bless 🙂


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