Chance Encounter…..

Two years ago in Singapore, Sangeet and I were fortunate to meet Andrew and his wife. Fauja Singh had come to Singapore, we went to see him running at Mount Emily Park. I was approached by Andrew who asked if that was the oldest marathon runner in the world. I answered yes and invited Andrew to the Gurdwara to listen to Fauja Singh give a talk, little did I know the talk was in Punjabi!! I translated the best I could…..I probably made up some stuff as well!

Here is a link to that post:

101 years young and still running…..

Since then we have kept in touch, Andrew and his family are now back in London. He is an amazing entrepreneur and gave me very good advice on business and the internet!!

Andrew sent me a link to Google Campus. At Campus, their mission is to create an environment that encourages innovation through collaboration, mentorship, and networking. With speedy wifi, a café, frequent networking and speaking events, and coworking space, Campus is seven floors dedicated to startup success.

Their website: Google Campus

I registered for the talk by Alexander Asseily, he and his business partner started Jaw Bone….

Jaw Bone

We arrived promptly at 6:30pm and got told that Alexander was running late due to traffic, finally this scruffy looking man turns up.

Whist we were waiting we all decided to check out the fast wifi. My ipad showed slow performance whilst Andrew's and Akash's smartphones showed a fast speed:

Andrew's smartphone:

We all thought to ourselves that they have probably picked somebody off the street and given him Alexander's script. It later occurred to me that we should be happy how we dress. Here is a guy worth millions and not giving that impression. Always seems to me that some people who are rich do not want to give that impression, whilst some people who do not have much want to show off a expensive exterior.

Alexander gave good advice about starting up in business, couple of points which stuck with me are:

If it is hard do not give up, others will also find it hard and give up.

If people do not understand the business, that is good. An easy to understand business has probably already been tried.

Alexander Asseily is a British Lebanese entrepreneur and founder of consumer electronics company Jawbone, one of the most highly valued private consumer electronics companies in the world. Asseily was named the 33rd most influential person in Silicon Valley.

Founding Jaw Bone

Raised in Beirut, Lebanon and London, UK, Asseily studied product design and mechanical engineering at Stanford University. His senior product design thesis became the foundation for the creation of Aliph, which he founded with his college friend Hosain Rahman.

He lived mostly in San Francisco, CA until 2010, when he returned to London. In 2011, Asseily and his brother Mark founded consumer software start-up Equal Media Ltd. to create State.com, and raised $14M in seed financing in May 2012. State was launched publicly at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013. Asseily is executive producer of the 2013 documentary, Aluna, and lives in London, England.

 

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Sponsorship – Thank you…..

 

 
I would like to thank my dentist Gursharan Singh Sudle for the fantastic gum shield he has made for me.

 

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Thank You…..!!!!

I have done it!!

Sparring and learning clinching from Master Pimu. I could spend a year here and still only have a fraction of what knowledge Master Pimu has. I have truly been blessed to have one to one training with him. He is a legend!

Whilst thinking about the people I have to thank for the help and support a few names became this huge list, I am very blessed and honoured that the following have supported me on this life changing journey:

Waheguru (God) without the creator none of this would have been possible, whatever I wished for came my way. I wanted to rent an apartment, I got it, I wanted transport, I got it. To name everything would be a long post!

Sangeet, for letting me go on this amazing life changing journey and for supporting me every bit of the way. When I was wanting to come home we would talk and Sangeet would give me so much comfort! I love and thank you so much!

Mum & Dad, well dad for planting the seed to make me! Mum for carrying me not just for the nine months but for a long time after that!

Master Pimu/ WPT, I have had about 8 weeks of one to one training with Master Pimu, he wants every single move to be perfect, it shows his love for the art of Muay Thai. On a personal level Master Pimu, Shum and the children have showed me so much love, it will be difficult leaving.

Randeep Singh, Meerat Kaur, Kiran Kaur, for the kind words of support and encouragement.

Shanti Kaur, where do I start?!?! Phenji (sister) has been an awesome inspiration to me, she has excelled in everything she has done. She is truly showing everybody how things are done!

Tony Myers, I have never met Tony, I hear amazing stories especially from Master Pimu, they have known each other for 30 years. Tony helped with my visa papers. He is a busy guy but always has time to answer my training, physical and mental questions. I am truly honoured to be able to come back to the UK and train under Tony

Bob Spour and Jagpual Plaha, in January this year, Sangeet and I were in Bangkok, I thought Thailand and Muay Thai, how difficult can it be!! I contacted my cousin Jagpaul and he contacted Bob. Bob gave us the details of the WPT gym. If it was not for Bob I would have probably gone to some “Muay Thai gym for foreigners” where they take your money praise how good you are doing and send you on your merry way!!

Kirpal Singh, back in January when I entered the WPT gym, I thought to myself this is definitely the real deal! All of a sudden I was nervous. Master Pimu approached me and said “we have a (now this is what I heard) sick boy here, Shum was knocking on the door and trying to get the “sick boy to train” in the meantime, Master Pimu said please go and change in that room. I sat on the bed now very nervous! I thought is it too late to get out?!?! After a while Kirpal walks in with a huge smile….all fits into place! This is a Sikh boy, not sick boy! Kirpal and me got on like a house on fire and have stayed in touch ever since. The weekend before I was due to fly out to Bangkok, Kirpal drove two hours, taught me some basics for 4 hours then drove back…entirely at his own expense.

Sukhdev masserji (UK), Rani Massi (UK), Keith Preston (Australia), Iris Yan (Brazil), for the amazing support through emails and comments on the GayGoat.com blog

My sisters from another murtha (& father!!):

Yiota, Frankie Smith, Alex Seaman, Karen Lim, Melanie Schafer and Julie Kauss, for the support and help

The original, WPT gang, Dan Costello, Simon Preedy, Chris McKenzie, Chris Aldridge, Matthew Wakeman, Yiota, Frankie and Bee, for making me feel very welcome at WPT, I was sharing a room with Simon, I walked into the room and said hi my name is Mandeep and I have a blog called GayGoat.com The look on Simon's went from smile to “what the….”

Luke Smith, UKMF English Title 54kg winner, firstly a huge congratulations on winning the title fight. Secondly thanks mate for your huge support

Khalid Ali, Gareth Maunder, Amandeep Chana, Balvir Chana, Vladamir, Raj Singh Randhawa, Charandeep Singh, for support along the way!

English students, when you guys did turn up, you were all fantastic, you are all very good at English. Just have the confidence!

Best quotes well we have two winners:

Adam Atkins “let's push the mattresses together” – please explain!

Chris McKenzie “you have become such a dick, since you went to your temple!”


 

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The Run…..

 

At the beginning of the training session, one does a run. The above map shows the run and the sprinting area.
 
S1 – a lot of the locals dump their trash and boy does it get smelly. In the rainy season it is not as bad, but in hot weather this is awful, so don't take big gulps of air here!
 
S2 – this is a house that skins chickens, sometimes the smell is bad.
 
D1 – this is a nasty dog which chases after you. Usually throwing a stone at it helps keep it away!
 
D2 – this is a small dog that tries to bite!
 
M1 – the motorbike taxis, they love football. On a friday and Saturday night they drink on the job. So be careful. Make friends with these guys, as on the odd occasion they will give you a free lift.
 
10 laps = 7km
 

 

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Paying it forward…..

From hating Bangkok to actually loving it for what it has given me. It has made me open my eyes to what a rat race we live in, people are just so busy within themselves and not bothered about anybody else. People here are very quick to judge, I have been called Osama, or they think I am an Arab or just a stinking ignorant Indian. When I tell them I am from the UK, they look at me with disbelief.

Apart from one, the Sikhs have been very unfriendly. This has actually stopped me from visiting the Gurdwara. My friend was doing an Akhand Paath, I asked what help can I give, he looked at me confused, help?! We just give the money to the Gurdwara and they take care of everything. We then only attend on Sunday. Here money talks…..!!

In the 'ghetto' you see people living in one bedroom houses, sorry that is incorrect and I should say one room houses. Everything is done in the one room, it is a living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining room in one, if lucky the toilet is outside. Yet, when you walk past they are happy to say hello and talk to you. Some people are actually offering me food! No matter how little food they have, they are always eating, smiling and joking as a family. We have so much yet we always want more…..!! The media, a fantastic marketing tool always brain washes us into thinking 'we need that…..!' Or 'we should look like this…..!'

There is a huge drinking and drug culture here. From doing a quick search there is no support network here for people to talk or resolve their issues. There is a Kundalini Yoga class downtown but they charge 400 baht per class (about £8 GBP). This is a huge amount of money so the clientele will be well off.

The people in the ghetto have got used to me, well I do stand out! Probably the only guy there with a beard and moustache! They always have time to talk to me. The motorbike taxis are always discussing football, now I do not know a thing about the sport so I just mention a few club names and they cheer me! The stall holders are always asking how am I or where am I going. It is a genuine interest. Of course this relationship did not happen overnight but built over the last three months.

I have got so much out of Bangkok but given back nothing. Now this really upsets me, the Thais are amazing and once you build a bond are very friendly.

If you have any ideas how we can help, please do comment or email me…..

 

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