Football is life. This may be just a sentence for some but for some others it’s true and I am one of them. Some people would laugh when I say football is in my veins but I don’t know how else I will explain the emotion. The minute I enter a football field I become an entirely different person. All my worries and problems would go off. Then all that matters is the beautiful game.
After the National Football Championship in late October, 2017 I have not played any official matches mainly because my parents wanted me to score well in my twelfth boards. During the vacations too I was not able to play mainly because of the NEET exam preparations. After that the Bangalore life made me so tired that I could not play the game on a daily bases. But still I found some time every week and played with the brothers at the seminary where I stay. But the lack of practice meant that my game went down. I wanted to get back to my best as soon as I could.
Then the Inter-Department Football Championship was announced at the college. I was excited. I was curious too because the tournament could not be conducted in our college as the construction of the new Commerce block and sports block were going on. But nothing stopped us from preparing a team list of the people who played football in our class. The list had 14 members and I thought it was enough. But then came the first blow to our plans. The tournament was a 4’s tournament that meant only four players could play at a time.
We had to cut down the fourteen-member list to a seven-member squad and had to decide who among us would play and who would not. The best four players of our team sat down and cut short the list. We knew some of the people whom we remove from the team would feel sad but there was no other way out of this. Out of the four members who would start the match, two were also the members of the College Fashion team.
We decided to take the tournament seriously. For one thing it was football and for another we wanted to make our class proud in front of others. We planned a practice session that evening and the two following evenings before the match.
One of the team members represented his state in the national football championship. I used to hear his stories whenever the topic of football was spoken about. That evening when we practiced I realized something. Either he had lost his touch because he had not been playing for quite a while now or he had been simply boasting of knowing to play football. Anyway, we practiced well and bound well as a team. The passes were coming correctly, and goals were being scored and that was all that mattered. After the practice we sat down and talked for some time and then went home.
The next day we practiced and the day after too. We were match ready and keen to play. On the previous day of the match, I went down and saw the other matches happening. The key was to keep on passing the ball and take shots at goal while you have the chance. I did not know how we were going to fare in the match. And finally, the day of the match arrived. That day I woke up early because I was anxious to play the game of football after a long time. I reached the college and checked the notice board for the schedule of the match. It was at 1:30 pm.
At 11 o clock that day morning we got the first unwelcome news. Salim and Himansh could not play because they had to go for a fashion team performance. Furthermore, our Sports Representative Imti was not present for the morning classes and I grew suspicious and doubtful whether he would come to play the match.
At 1:10, Imti had not come. I told the others that it was okay even if we lose but we would definitely play the match. We got ready and went to the Sports Complex here the match was held. At 1:30 some other match was being played and our class was not called. I went, and asked Sir and he gave us the shocking news. Our match had been re-scheduled to the previous day and it was put up in the WhatsApp group of the sports representatives and since we were not present, the opponent team was given a walk over.
All our dreams were shattered. We cursed Imti for not letting us know that the match was re-scheduled. But later he told us that the WhatsApp group was a new one and he was not a member of the group and that is the reason that he did not come to know about it. We cursed our fate and prayed to God to give us a chance to play at least the next year.