THE PRINCE OF PADMA GOING THE DISTANCE WITH RAJU SENA Portraits by Hamish Humphreys • Action by David Deckers
If 12-year-old Raju Sena was a boxer, he would be a mini flyweight. As an amateur fighter, his spindly frame would earn him the ring name “The Spider Monkey.” Later, as he made his way up the professional ranks, he would make his hood proud fighting as “The Prince Of Padma.” After mowing down the world's top featherweights, Raju would become a world champion and an Indonesian celebrity. Paparazzi would photograph him dashing out of clubs with actresses and supermodels at his side, and he would be a guest judge on Indonesian Idol. Raju would suffer the inevitable superstar pitfalls. There would be a nasty divorce. And he would be forced to file for bankruptcy after it was revealed that his promoter, accountant and entourage were all stealing money. After retiring from professional boxing, Raju would attempt an ill-advised career in politics, and later open a chain of steakhouses around Bali. In his later years, his body withered and his faculties rapidly declining from one-too-many blows to the head, Raju's nurse would push him in his wheelchair along the promenade at Padma beach to see the sunset. Raju would watch the happy surfers playing in the waves and think, “Damn, that looks fun. Why didn't I ever give surfing a try?” But Raju isn't a boxer. He's a surfer. Thank God. It almost didn't happen that way.