“I know that my body defeated me at one point. But I won’t defeat my body.”
– Bhupender Sharma
A few years ago, Bhupender Sharma, 35, who was then a regular guy from Jaipur, became extraordinary overnight. It did take him a limb to get there. Literally.
He was riding his motorbike on the Jaipur highway on a fateful night when a speeding jeep hit him and dragged him for two-kilometres down the road before he fell unconscious. When he gained consciousness, he was at the hospital and all that was left of his right leg was his thigh.
He didn’t want to live anymore.
Somewhere on the difficult journey of survival that followed, Bhupender Sharma not only found the strength but he mastered the art of self-discovery. He bought himself a prosthetic blade leg and slowly but steadily, he began to move forward. He represented India at Table Tennis for the disabled, learned to swim, and now he’s also a rocker mountaineer! In a conversation with DC, he revealed things that all of us can learn.
Tell us about the aftermath of the accident?
A lot of friends and relatives came for support when I had this accident, but it was impossible to not notice that they slowly drifted away. Earlier, we would go on trips together, but at that point, I think it was natural for them to feel that they would be restricted if I came along. I started receiving lesser invitations to hang out with friends as well. At work, I was moved from my position in marketing to a small cubicle behind the office for operations. It was another blow for a man trying to cope with depression. I was a marketer—I wasn’t someone who could just sit at the desk in the back office all day.
It was the lowest point of my life.
I could have accepted that fate. But I decided to fight the urge to accept defeat. With my wife and family as my pillars, I took one step, then another.
What drives you to better yourself?
My children. The least you can do is be a hero to your own kids. So that you don’t have to go looking for role models to inspire them. I also do it for myself. On this journey of self-discovery, I explored Table Tennis for the Disabled-but realised soon enough that it was not funded and I dropped that idea. I then learned to climb mountains. People didn’t think I could do it, but I did. Last year, when I came to DC, I realised that I didn’t have enough upper body strength… I’ve come back this year to better that and to convince myself that I’ve improved.
What would you tell people to inspire them?
People have a lot of excuses these days—that they don’t have time, that they have work, or that they have different priorities. Some people also say that it costs a lot of money. I’d like to tell them that not staying healthy costs more money. Hospitalisation charges for a day could be double the amount you spend at a gym in a year! stop giving excuses and do something for yourself.