mihir sen

Mihir Sen : Story Of A Man Who Conquered The World By Swimming

Mihir Sen was the epitome among Indian Swimmers; perhaps the first ever Indian to swim across five different seas in five different continents in one calendar year. Mihir Sen rose to fame when he swam across The English Channel in 1958. It was the year of 1966 when he became the first ever man to cross water bodies in every continent by swimming.

Mihir Sen was born on 16 November 1930 in a small town of West Bengal, British India. Mihir Sen also spent time growing up in varied cities of Bihar and Orissa. Mihir Sen spent his early life under extreme poverty, he had to skim through a lot of difficulty and get his graduation completed. He always wanted to visit England and pursue the course of being a Bar member; lack of funds and patriarchal support made him succumb to the pressure but one lucky day he got onto a ship with a briefcase and princely sum of 10 EUROS.

The life As a Bar Member And Then Being A Swimmer:

Sen’s life was getting on track as a bar member in England. He was employed with an Indian agency and had ample of time to study at night and prepare for further courses.

One special day, Sen happened to read about an American female swimmer, who swam across The English Channel in 1950, he was extremely inspired with the courage the young lady showcased and decided to do something similar in his life.

From there started a journey of being famous, successful and apparently the best. Mihir Sen conquered every possible hurdle that came in his way and become the first ever man to swim across all five continents in one calendar year.

Mihir Sen trained at YMCA in England and started preparing for the big days in his life. His hard work and extreme dedication made all his teachers and mentors love him to the core. He was extremely popular and loved among his peers and colleagues at the Bar Council.

Trying Harder To Be The Best:

Mihir Sen was a hardworking guy but not lucky enough, he had to make several attempts to cross The English Channel. Few attempts and he was finally able to swim across the English Channel in 1958. He swam from Dover to Calais to be the first Indian ever to cross the English Channel.

Mihir sen
Image credit : commons.wikimedia.org


Mihir Sen has been successful in impressing the world crowd; he also won the highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in the country. Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, conferred him with Padma Bhushan in the year 1966.

How Mihir Sen Inspires The Contemporary Generation?

The simple truth that an Indian from the colonized India went on to be the first person on the planet to cross all the giant water bodies swimming in one calendar year is awe-inspiring and motivating. Mihir Sen had inspired a huge new generation of swimmers in India and across the globe. The impact of Mihir can still be witnessed in India and its subcontinent. People always talk about him and how amazingly he swam across the most difficult of water bodies. His courage and his passion for the sport will keep inspiring classic sports person in the country and across the world.

Life Past Swimming: Measuring Uncharted Territories

The glorious career came to an end at the age of 66. He was suffering from innocuous diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson, which led to his death under unwanted circumstances.

Before he left this world, Mihir Sen tried his hands at a lot of other things. He tried going across the world on expeditions and also tried to establish a business. He business faired well in the beginning but had to succumb to social and political changes India was undergoing during 1970 under the rule of Indira Gandhi. The chapter eleven of Business Rule Book also known, as Insolvency was the reason Mihir’s business died a bad an awful death.

It is sad that such a great sports person is mentioned nowhere in the school books or carries importance in the Indian Portfolio. Both the Indian government as well the citizens of India has forgotten this hero. He didn’t die because of the innocuous diseases that gripped him; he died because of the people like us who turned ignorant towards him.

Least we all can do is cherish the goals he achieved, if not worship him like a god then at least admire as a teacher. Indians need to identify the true heroes and start preaching their teachings.

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