Published: 07th December 2019
This Telangana man is a master of everything from karate to swimming. Here's how Bruce lee inspired him
"I have always been extremely determined to learn martial arts and the Rubik's cube," says Rapelli Srinivas, who holds several records and is a resident of Karimnagar
A vegetable vendor and multiple medal winner, Rapelli Srinivas had no interest in academics as a child. He attempted the Class X Board exams in 2000 but was able to pass only in 2004, after seven attempts. And though today he is adept at karate, kung fu, swimming, boxing and other physical sports, back then, when he was in school, he had not one athletic bone in his body. In fact, he was bullied for being short. But he grew up with none of this baggage. "I actually took it up as a challenge to learn sports," says the now 34-year-old. So, what changed? In class VII, Bruce Lee happened to him. Watching the Chinese-American actor in black and white really encouraged Srinivas to rise above his shortcomings.
It took him six months of practice walking 137.1 metres on his toes
Soon, he took up karate and kung fu in his hometown of Karimnagar and even visited Hyderabad to train in kickboxing. But his learning did not stop there. In 2014, the Rubik's cube happened. "A friend had brought it to my vegetable shop and mocked me when I expressed an interest in learning it," he shares. But Srinivas solved it in three days and today, can do it blindfolded as well for which he even won a gold medal in a Mumbai competition. Today, he has more than 300 medals and holds various world records like solving two Rubik's cubes in record time, walking 137.1 metres on his toes in a minute and more.
He has received multiple awards and recognitions | (Pic: Rapelli Srinivas)
If you think that he's already done a fair bit to impress you, you won't believe what his next challenge to himself is. Srinivas aims to swim while solving a Rubik's cube at the same time, "I am 70 per cent prepared for setting this record," he says. As awesome as his resilience is, he feels that not everyone is encouraging when it comes to his efforts. Why? "Because it doesn't pay off financially or professionally," he laments. He currently lives with his mother, wife and two kids who keep watching him solving the Rubik's cube at home or practising martial arts in awe. Srinivas wishes that the government would recognise him and his records so that it would subsequently encourage others as well.
Look at what he can do
A day in the life of Rapelli Srinivas:
4.30 am: Srinivas wakes up early in the morning
5.30 am: Around this time, he makes his way to the ground and practises (what?) there for three hours
9 am: He goes to the gym and works out for an hour
11.00 am: After a short rest, he attends to business at his vegetable shop
7.00 pm: Around this time, depending on the season, he practises the Rubik's cube