Vivekananda Anecdotes – Lathi Play

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Lathi Play

Naren had special enthusiasm for lathi-play. In this sport he took lessons from a number of Mohammedan experts, and acquired considerable mastery.
When ten years old and a student of the Metropolitan Institution, he was present at a display of gymnastics.
After some time, when lathi-play was going on and interest was sagging, Naren suddenly challenged anyone to cross lathis with him.

The strongest of the participants took up his challenge and soon the lathis of the two were clashing. Naren’s opponent was an older and stronger person, and so the outcome of the bout seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Yet, such was Naren’s skill and courage that he won the enthusiastic applause of the audience. Unmindful of it and deftly manoeuvring himself, Naren all on a sudden gave such a resounding blow that his opponent’s staff broke in two and fell on the ground, signifying total defeat. Naren had graduated, so to say, in his training. He won the day, and there was no end to the rejoicing of the spectators.

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