Very Interesting True Story
My name is Harjit Singh Billen and I was born on April 15, 1972 in the village Rai Pur Dabba, district Nawan Shahar. My dad's name is Late: Master Shavinder Singh Billen, and my mom’s name is Sarabjit Kaur Billen. I started wrestling in 1980 at the age of eight. My dad’s goal for me was to be a Rustam-E-Hind and so was mine, but I made a big mistake of not thinking of going to the Olympics. If I had dreamed to go to the Olympics from the start I could have achieved it. However I did achieve my dad’s goal with a lot of struggle and hard work. It was not easy to obtain this goal I had to put in all my strength and mind. Read on and find out how much I had to go through to reach my goal. My first coach was Pehalwan Harbans Singh Rustam-E-Hind. I studied until fifth grade in a primary school in my own village. I started wrestling in my primary school. Then I went on to Khalsa School in Banga for 2 years until grade 7. I always came first division in studies. My dad always woke me up at five o’clock and we went to Phagwara for my training then went to my school in Banga and after that my dad went to the school that he taught at. I trained at Phagwara two times a week and for the rest of the five days I trained in my village. In my village wrestler Sukhdev Singh Debi gave me training. I then got admission into Arya School from grade eight to ten and I lived inside the school away from my family and did everything on my own. D.P. Harimitter Bilga selected me into the school. This was because the school was near the place I trained at and my dad thought it would be better for me to just stay in the school. I woke up in the morning, went for training, came to school, made food, went to study, then at four o’clock I went for training again, and the came back to school at night, made food, and then went to sleep. In my wrestling club my coach was P.R. Sondhi. This was my daily schedule till tenth grade. After tenth grade I moved on to Sukhchana Collage in Phagwara. My schedule was the same in collage as well. I did part one and two here. At first I lived in the Collage, but then I moved into our wrestling club in Phagwara. In the club there were pictures of better wrestlers and we got blamed for ripping them even though someone else ripped them. Then the coach Dilbag came and told me that I never took care of the stuff inside the club. I replied by saying that I am not a watchman to take care of the stuff. I am here to wrestle and I did not rip the pictures. The coach got mad and kicked me out of the club. Then I stopped living in Sukhchana Collage and went to my village were I applied for Bunga Collage and got accepted. With me there was one of my wrestling friends, Manjeet and we both went to Alamgeer Wrestling Club in Ludhana, but the Sikander Pahalwan never let us join because we didn’t look like wrestlers because of our hairstyle. They thought we were junky type kids not wrestler types. However we had gone to Alamgeer Club because of my friend Pahalwan Parminder Lala went to the club. Then Pahalwan Parminder Lala told another coach named Pahalwan Major who came with Pahalwan Parminder Lala to my village and asked me if I would like to wrestle in his club Bahminmajra (Ghangrana). I accepted the offer and went to his club and lived in his house. I gave him a turban and called him my Guru Major Pahalwan. I trained really hard and had a great diet and every year I gained 10kg because of my Guru. I was really happy that I went to this club because after going to this club I went into the heavier weight class and became an enhanced wrestler. Balraj Bali, Manjit, Harinder Dhillon Pahalwan helped me alot. My training was helping me a lot. We wrestled in mud in this akhara (club). I became good in desi wrestling and mat wrestling. There was some terrorist trouble and because of that my coach had to come to Canada and my club separated. After I returned to my village where coach P.R. Sondhi and Sital D.P. found out that I had left that Akhara. They came to my house and asked me to come with them because they were making a team for Ramgharia Collage and they told me to wrestle and study there. I accepted the offer and went with them. I trained harder than before and became an even better wrestler. Then I had a tournament in the Shinj Mela (mud) at the village Saghwal where I wrestled Harvinder Alamgeer and I pinned him and obtained the victory. Then a girl came into my life and I purposed her. Then the P.R. Sondhi's wife started to say wrong stuff about us. After that I talked to the coach’s wife and told her that I am going to marry my girlfriend, and I also stated to her that she shouldn’t say wrong stuff about us. I got angry with her because she said something wrong about us again and so I lost my temper and yelled at her. However it was my mistake because I didn't respect her. I dont know know what she told the coach that coach told me to leave. I tried to explain to the coach that i respected him as much as I respected my dad ,but he still asked me to leave. Then I went to Bagichi akhara (mud) in the same town where I stayed and wrestled. I trained even harder because I was frustrated. I went to a wrestling tournament in the village Palli Jhikki and challenged any wrestler to face me. Then Kuldeep Pahalwan accepted my challage, but coach P.R. Sondhi said that the match cannot take place and that I could only wrestle the person he told me to. He was telling me to wrestle Malkita Pahalwan, but I had already beat him a month ago. Then we both argued and all the wrestlers from my club came back without wrestling. After one week I went to another Shinj Mela in the village Plahi, and I challenged all the wrestlers again and then P.R.Sondhi told me that there is someone wrestling me. He told me that I was wrestling Kuldeep, but it ended up that I was wrestling another wrestler names Jagjit. Jagjit had already beat me 2 to 3 times. I got really mad and wrestled Jagjit for two and half minute then I pinned him and won. Then we celebrated by doing bhangra and then coach P.R.Sondhi’s brother punched my friend. After that we all started fighting. P.R. Sondhi said that my friend said a bad word. The whole village was on my side. After P.R.Sondhi got mad at went back home. I took some of the wrestlers from his club and went to his house and told him that if my friend said something bad to you then I am sorry, eventhough I knew my friend didn't say anything bad to him.
Then in 1993 I came to Canada. I lived in Toronto and wrestled there and won two tournaments. In one of of the tournaments I wrestled Tajinder Sangha and the public enjoyed the match a lot because I fought against him really well. The next week in the other tournament I challenged anyone there and some other wrestler showed up and I beat him. Then after two weeks I came to Vancouver because there wasn’t much wrestling in Toronto. I lived in abbotsford B.C. but I went to a club in Cloverdale named Hargobind Wrestling Club. The owner of the club is Satnam Johal. Ravi Sodhi, Daneil Igali, Nasir Lal, and a couple of other wrestlers went there. Our coach's name was Keoam (Olympian). In Vancouver I wrestled in a tournament against Jogi Johal. He is a really big guy, and I was only 80kg and he was 120kg. It was a really good match, but I lost and people liked it a lot because I wrestled really well. After training in Hargobind wrestling club I went back to India. When I came back to India I went to the same Bagichi akhara. Then in village Rameal, Samsher Mahali was challenging all the wrestlers and Jagdish Bhola was there. I went and asked Jagdish Bhola why he wasn’t accepting the challenge, he told me he wasn’t feeling well so I quickly ran and accepted his challenge. Our match was really long, and the end the match was tied. No one won the watch.
On March 20, 1994 I got married to the same girl. My whole family came to Vanvouver B.C. Because of my wrestling my wife and I stay in Canada for six months, and then go back to India for six months. In India I had a job in the Punjab Police.On December 23,1995 my dad died in a car accident. My life became really hard because my dad didn’t allow me to work and they wanted me to focus on wrestling and become a Rustam-E-Hind. I had money problems and so I started playing Kabbadi and did wrestling at the same time. Many people then told me to quit wrestling and start working, but I didn’t quit and I wanted to fulfill my dad's dream. I started training harder than ever. In 1996 I took my dads ashes to India. Everyone told me to stop wrestling and I was always crying because I wanted to fulfill my dads dream and I didn’t know how to. I also had a family to take care of. My sister's and one brother helped me with money and encouraged me because I told them that I wasn’t going to quit. My middle sister, Sukhjit, told me that I have to keep up and she told me that my brother and all my sisters were with me.
In 1996 the Punjab Kesri tournament was going to come and everyone told me not to wrestle. However coach Sarwan Singh Foji in Punjab Police told me that you are a good wrestler and that you should go for the Punjab Kesri title. I believed that god was with me and so I won the Punjab Kesri title Anandpur Sahib. Eventhough it was a happy moment for me, but I still cried a lot because I missed my dad. I came to Canada and wrestled really well here. I beat a top Iranian wrestler in the 90kg weight class. Everyone was really happy because I wrestled really well. I had to leave the Hargobind Wrestling Club because of the trouble between my bother-in-law, Pahalwan Shingara Singh Dhesi, and the Club. Surrey Wrestling club gave us an offer and said that they would give me a free ticket to India every year. Sheeri Pahalwan was training there. I wrestled a Patka match in Abbostford against Amarjit Sabhi England and I beat him. I struggled really hard in this club because my brother-in-law, Shingara Dhesi, stopped wrestling and other wrestlers stopped too, and I didn’t have anyone to wrestle with so I trained with kabbadi players. I lost every match against Ravi Sodhi because of the lack of training. I think it was a really big mistake coming into the Surrey Wrestling Club, and if I stayed with Hargobind Wrestling Club I think I would have been even better wrestler. Since I didn’t have a car, phone and didn’t have much money I couldn’t go to SFU for training. Ravi Sodhi is a really close friend of mine and he took me to SFU sometimes when I told him to even though we were in different clubs. I sometimes cried at home because I didn’t have good training. I wrestled Ravi Sodhi even when I was injured, and didn’t have good training just to make the money for my ticket to India because I knew that I could do better training there.
I went back to India, and Principal Kashmira Singh, and Sital D.P. came to me and told me to come to the club that Pahalwan Sunny Gill was in. They forced me because they wanted me to train with Sunny Gill. I said no, because they had blamed me and kicked me out of that club. Then Pincipal Kashmira Singh said that I didn’t need to say sorry to anyone. I then accepted the offer. In the Bharat Kesri tournament I had a very strong match with Sunjay Pahalwan Delhi. Everyone liked the match a lot even though I lost. In village Shanker Shinj Mela I challenged all the wrestlers and Pahalwan Jagdish Bhola and Pahalwan Parminder Doomsheri were there. The owners of the tournament said that Parminder and Jagdish have their match fixed and that I couldn’t wrestle them. Pahalwan Parminder Doomsheri’s brother accepted the offer; I easily pinned him in one minute. Pahalwan Jagdish Bhola didn’t feel like wrestling Pahalwan Parminder Doomsheri anymore so he went away and they announced Pahalwan Parminder Doomsheri as the winner. I asked them if I could wrestle Pahalwan Parminder Doomsheri. He accepted the challenge and I had pinned him, but the village people were in his favor so they did not agree and they just continued the match. The match was really long and it started to rain a little and it was getting dark. They told us to stop wrestling and said that half the match would be tomorrow, but I told them that I would not wrestle tomorrow. I told them to make the match out of either five-minute point or first point but Parminder Doomsheri did not agree. I did not go the second day and that’s why Parminder Doomsheri was declared the winner. Few days later there was a tournament in village Sareen Shinj Mela, neither Pahalwan Jagdish nor Pahalwan Doomsheri came there. There was a different wrestler that I beat and won the Phatka. The second day in Hind Kesri I came second against Jagdish Bhola and I lost because of the caution point even though the real point was mine they gave it to him as a caution point, however all the coaches, and the people made me feel like I won in my loss because they gave me so much happiness. In Bharat Kesri I came second, in Rutam-E-Hind I came third, and in Mahabharat Kesri I also came third. I felt proud because I was getting really close to my dads dream. Then in 2003 the day came, when I had won the title of Mahabharat Kesri (village Hakimpur) against Baljit Kooner England by pinning him in the last round in a body clinch. I really missed my dad at that point and thought that my dad would be really happy and proud if he watched me.
Then I went to England in 2003 and played Kabbadi and wrestled. I went to many cities there and announced challenges and whoever accepted them I had beaten them. Then I went to India and Punjab Police dismissed me from my job. In 2004 I went to village Mununhana and I came second in Bharat Kesari. Then in 2007 I went back to India and placed third in the Hind Keseri tournament (Dyalpur).Then when I came back to Canada I remembered the time when Arjun Bhullar had challenged anyone. In 2008, I had a tournament in Vancouver and I was really serious about it. I had trained hard for this tournament and was confident that I would win. In the tournament I competed against Jagroop Bhullar. Arjun Bhullar did not wrestle that tournament. I had won the Patka match and was declared the winner. In the same year I participated in the Canada Kesari tournament and in it I wrestled Gurjot Kooner, and Gurdeep Beesla. I had defeated both of them and now in the final I would have faced Arjun Bhullar or Jagroop Bhullar because they were wrestling each other. I thought that they would tell Arjun to wrestle, but instead Jagroop did. Arjun had backed down again. When I was wrestling him I never took the match seriously because I had already beat him once and thought I could do it again. I took my first point easily from Jagroop, which made me more confident. After that I thought I could defeat him easily and than out of nowhere I started making several mistakes. From these mistakes I had lost the match. I thought that I would win against him in the upcoming tournament in Abbotsford, but however during training I was injured again severely on my other knee and so I couldn’t participate. On the other hand I think both of the Bhullar’s never showed up because they were scared that I would participate in the tournament.
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