This is the story of Arjuna awardee Harmeet Desai, written by him.
Life is not always easy to live, but the opportunity to do so is a blessing beyond comprehension. I have experienced this throughout my journey in Table Tennis. Standing in the place where I am today was not an easy task, but the support of my family, the sacrifices it demanded to get here made it possible.
At the age of 6, I was introduced to a table game: the game of ping pong, a game that's so farfetched. I was fascinated by it. From an early age, I have strived to make the impossible a possibility, to make success a reality.
I hail from Surat, a city of textiles/diamond industry which had no history in sports culture back then. It was challenging for me to make this decision a reality. We received criticism for taking this decision from our very dear ones too but nothing could hold me for I was firm to pave my way in the career.
Little by little life threw obstacles in my way, but they acted as yet another stepping stone to my success.
Things have only gone upwards since I started my career with a firm decision. I started working on polishing my skills and fine-tuning some minute details in my game. Some games did not start on a good note with unwelcome performance, but I refused to be deterred. I sacrificed a lot to accomplish my goals and determined to be fit.
There’s always a scope for improvement. That’s how you get better, eventually. Once you can gauge where you stand in the world, you understand how much it is that you have yet to achieve.
I may be in the right place today, but I still fight to make sure that I not only hold that place but also constantly improve. I am happy to have been able to chronicle my journey to sports in the city of Surat, which did not exist in the past 70 years.
The journey doesn’t end here. If I remained satisfied with every little accomplishment, I would never get anywhere. The year 2019 marked as the best year in my career as I was honored with the Arjuna award.
Looking back, I am glad to have made my father proud of the way I dealt with things since a little kid. The role my family has played in my journey cannot be described in words.