“I am tired of telling my story.”
CS Santosh is a unique athlete. Probably the best racer that India has to offer today, he has finished the Dakar rally three times- something no other Indian has ever done. Many hail him to be ‘India’s Most Accomplished Off-Road Racer’ as he goes on racking up trophy after trophy in the motorsport scene.
But that isn’t the only thing that makes Santosh unique. In an era and a country where athletes like him are seen as role models, it is tough to find someone as honest as him. He admits that he is tired of telling his story to people because what he’s been through is normal, if anyone wants to do great things in his/her career.
“Almost every person I meet wants to know how I did it, how I work so hard, the struggle I have gone through, commitment and many more such things. Aren't these things given? If you have to get be somewhere, you have no option but to do all that.
“You have to work hard everyday. Struggle is something that's always there, you can't escape it, if you are on my stage/level you'd put in the same work that I am putting.”
He believes that this isn’t because he wants to play himself down or because he isn’t special. But because he does things for himself. He does all off this because he loves what he does.
“I don't find inspiration in stories of people's struggle. I am no mother Teresa to inspire people, I do things for myself. Sometimes things I do affect people but the bottomline is that I do it because I love it and for myself, so it's fine.”
This mentality shapes his thinking towards life, Santosh believes. He feels that whatever he is doing is a build-up to something bigger and better than this. It is that special something that will allow him to achieve some of his dreams.
“Also competing with people is something I don't do, it basically limits you. You are always racing in your mind- an imaginary race trying to overtake people. Life is more than a race track and sports is a stepping stone for me to work on my bigger dreams that time will talk about. I am in a world domination mindset. I am more than just an athlete.”
Perhaps, it is this mentality that really makes Santosh special. Or rather, this mentality has made him what he is today. He might have acted as an inspiration to the upcoming generations, but he is honest enough to say that he does all of it for himself only.
He can hide behind a helmet in a race but Santosh isn’t the one to hide feelings about his bigger dreams behind a wall. For him, there is no substitute for hardwork and it is natural for anyone to struggle and rise back from an injury or a problem. This uncut version of Santosh might inspire people in it’s own right, but talking is always easier than doing.