Shattered – Dreams of an India footballer

Posted: September 30, 2013 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , ,

The heavens opened as the ball rose into the sky. It met with his head when it came down and skimmed the crossbar, it’s a goal kick. The ground is muddy and wet; enough to make even the best in the world slip a dribble. There are only a few remaining in the crowd. The game is approaching its climax. The tournament maybe small but the teams were fighting like it was the world cup final. There’s a number 10 for every team and for his team it was him. The ball came to his feet the drops are falling like missiles from the sky, not enough to stop him. Through the mud he dribbled his way through the defenders. It seems like the ball and his feet are in love. 1, 2, and 3,4,5,6 he passed through six players like reminding of what Maradona did against England some time ago. And he shoots the ball found another love- the back of the net. The referee blew his whistle the final score- 24-1. It can’t be called a match instead it should be called the stage show of the wonder kid who smashed 17 goals in one match. It his first state level medal for top scorer. He has made his school proud. The next day a small column in the newspaper said “INDIAN MARADONA FOUND”, He could feel his dream near him “PLAYING FOR INDIA”.

“Does India have a football team??” one of his friends asked him. 

“If you want to play, play cricket “his mother told him. 

“Seriously you want to waste your life playing?” his father asked him.

“You don’t get a good girl if you play football “the worst, his uncle told him.

He was puzzled. He was seeing his dreams shatter. For one moment he asked to himself “why was I born here?” If he hadn’t he would have been in the youth team of any European club by now, he had that belief in him. He has the flair, the talent, the magic but not the support in a country where sports are built upon money and fame rather than passion and love.

A decade went just like a blink of an eye. The heavens opened at the old Trafford stadium, it is raining just like that other day. The drops turned into missiles. But the ground is not muddy and wet, it’s a world class stadium, it has its facilities. It is an International friendly match between India and England. “INDIAN MARADONA FOUND” he looked up that old newspaper report once again as the team lineups was shown in the screen. There was his name in the starting lineup, the number 10 of India. He was living his dream. The players came out through that famous tunnel of old Trafford. They lined up for the national anthem. “JANA GANA MAN.” He held his head high as the nation’s national anthem was played. The match started he was gazing the pitch in the rain with some of the legends in the world. Time went and he finally got the ball. The love between the ball and his feet was restored. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 he justified the title the newspaper gave him. He passed the ball into the back of the net as the crowd went into rupture. He slid in his knees and punched the air. The lights went off. His UPS started making noises. A drop fell from his eye. He moved the keyboard to a side and switched his computer off. He stood up and looked at the newspaper report again and threw it in the dustbin and told to himself “It would have been better if it was just “NEW MARADONA FOUND””. A cricket ball smashed into his window shattering the glass. He looked out through the shattered glass. It was going to rain.

Renjith Ravindran

Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kalady


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