In the later part of Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting career, Bishwas Polissar served as one of his main assistants, constructing and setting up the weightlifting apparatus that Sri Chinmoy would use to life. On 26 June 2008, the 23rd anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s beginning weightlifting, Bishwas recounted the following story
In the fall of 2004 Guru announced that he was going to have another Weightlifting Celebration at York College in November. Of course as usual Guru wanted new machines, so we built a few – the shrug machine, leg press and a few others which Guru liked, and then I suggested to Guru the idea of lifting his car, the blue smart car, in new way – from a standing calf raise position but above the car, that it would be a really spectacular lift. I knew that this way of lifting would be more difficult than the usual standing calf raise lifts that Guru had been doing from the ground over the years and I remember thinking that – as long as the car didn’t weigh over 2,000 lbs, Guru should be able to lift it. I didn’t know the weight of the car at that time.
Right away when I mentioned the idea to Guru, He was very excited and a few seconds later he was on the phone to Pratyaya (who had bought the car for Guru) asking how much the car weighed. It turned out it weighed 1,971 lbs.
Guru’s next question was “will I be able to lift it?”.
I told Guru he would definitely be able to lift it, but that it would be one of his more difficult lifts. He asked how long it would take to build (a week I said) and a few other questions and then Guru again asked “but I will definitely be able to lift it?”
Yes, definitely, but again I warned that it would be difficult.
So Guru asked us to start working on it, which we did, and as many of you know, when Guru is excited about a new project, He will ask about it quite a lot. Also, even if you told Guru that it will take a week, he’ll call up the next very next day and ask “is it finished yet?”
Almost every day over the next week, whether it was in the prasad line, by phone, or anywhere, Guru would ask “are you progressing?” “how many days more?” and the conversation always seemed to end with, “but I will definitely be able to do it?”
almost as if Guru was saying “remember, you promised me!”
Of course I would reply “definitely Guru, it’ll be difficult but you’ll definitely be able to lift it” but inside I was really starting to worry, because this was the first time that Guru would attempt this kind of lift, so I really didn’t know absolutely for sure, and I was starting to get nervous.
After about a week the machine was nearly finished and so that evening we started to set up here in the driveway of Aspiration-Ground inside the main gate (it was the only place that the machine could fit and the smart car could also access). As we were setting up, to add to my already nervous state, Guru came to the court and sat in Dhanu’s car about 20 feet away outside the main gate, watching us work for about an hour, just watching. and we were still actually finishing the machine, we had to cut some additional steel braces, sparks were flying, I-beams moving around, bolts being tightened there were 5 or 6 of us working, it was quite a scene.
we didn’t actually finish until quite late, I think around 11 pm or even later, and then Guru went up the elevator to the top, did a few warm up lifts with people and weights, then we put the car underneath and … Guru wasn’t able to lift it.
At this point I was just about ready to head for the hills in embarrassment. but we made a few small adjustments to the height of the shoulder pads and the tension rods attached to the, and on the 2nd attempt Guru was able to lift it very clearly. I think that was the most relieved I have ever been in my life.
And then of course Guru went on to do that lift as the finale at the weightlifting celebration at York College a few weeks later.