There was once a man named Karoly,
The greatest shooter in all of Hungary
Not a target he has lost, a victor in all his past
With echoes of his pistol fires, and the watchers’ cheers
Felt in his every throbbing heartbeat.
In the fall of 1938, Karoly camped at the bases of the army
A hand that held all laurels, held a faulty grenade
A loud blast, blood splashed;
Shattering his dreams into dust,
Turned all he had to all he will ever have.
A castle he built all his life,
With all his might, and a vision in sight
Moulded itself into a house of cards,
After seeing a hurricane so bright
Thirty days in a forlorn sickbed,
Blue and grey in all his veins
Dark eyes, red, and pillows wet with stains
Angry clouds and fiery stars knocked his window to heal his scars
“There is petrichor after the storm
All you have lost is just an arm
Why stay fallen down when you can rise and stand?
Your story isn’t over, it has just begun
Go pen it all with your left hand
March down and seize your gun!”
And so he did, behind closed doors, training harder than ever before
Ten fingers with a new purpose, writing down their best verses
Trudging inch by inch towards the peak so high,
A thousand sleepless nights with the bullseye
Came back mightier to a war zone,
The challengers rushed and gave him sympathy
Some thanked him with all apathy
There, he revealed, he came to claim the throne
Left everyone open-mouthed and wide eyed
Gasping at the impossible he made
While he left home with the trophy and a stride
Every bone of his bleeding pride!
His hand was the best in the town, but to make it the best in the world,
The Olympics must hand him the crown
So, he toiled with his left hand, as much as he could
When the world was at war,
With bloodbaths and funerals everywhere,
The games were called off and his dreams were pushed back.
Doubts rising with the sun each dawn
No silver lining to hold on
Four years with no fortune in sight
Spent longing for the Olympics to kick-off
When it was kicked back another thousand days
A journey too long, but not yet done, after eight cruel summers, the Olympics begun.
Whispers of "wrinkled and worn", murmurs of "armless and amputated"
All fell on his deaf ears
He marched towards the starting line with the others
The shotguns in their best hands, the shotgun in his only hand,
A feat no one achieved, not once, but twice
Karoly hoisted the gold medal
A miracle made of discipline and drudgery, painted with perseverance and patience.
He etched his tale in the enlightening pages of history
A sip of hope at the depth of drought
A reminder that it takes thousand thrashes before victory
And we must fight, even if we fall!