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Short story 2: Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan

Last minute into the World Hockey Championship PAK leading IND 1 to 0. Kabir Khan was marching his team forward gets hit by the opponent player and topples over. Referee whistles & IND get penalty stroke. He held the hopes of entire country, his hockey stick & scooped the ball aiming over the goalie, but the misses he goalpost by a foot and IND lose the game 0 to 1. Kabir can’t believe that he missed such an easy shot, the shot which he had mastered over the years. As a fact of sportsmanship Kabir shakes hand with a PAK players and was captured by camera & is printed on the main page of the next day’s news paper. The issue blows out of proportion and Kabir is treated as a Traitor.

Vijay the last batsman walks with 3 runs needed of 3 balls for his team to qualify for the finals. His eyes lit up seeing the full delivery outside off stump; muscles it over the covers ball lands just behind the fielders & scampers for 2. Scores were level, out came the cry from the dugout, run for everything, non-striker take a start; he walked upto the non-striker and punched his fist against his and took a fresh guard. Instead of focusing on the bowler the memories of AUS-SAF WC 99 semi-final lingered in his mind. He swung blindly and missed the ball completely so did the keeper, the scene where Kabir Khan kneeling with head down and hockey stick in this hand was witnessed when Vijay rather than scampering for a single was found on his knees with head bowed down. He neither heard the cry from the non-striker nor abuses and swears from the angered dug-out as he was in a state of mental block ; He actually recreated AUS-SAF WC 99 semi-final.

7 years later Kabir Khan took the challenge of coaching the Women’s Hockey Team for the World Championship in-order to restore his lost pride. Scene shifts to the penalty shoot-out where INDIA lead AUS by 5-4. Australian striker attempts to lob the ball over the goalie but Vidya Sharma (Goalie) stood still between the ball & the post. There is sudden silence in the stadium, entire Aussie team was in tears but the victorious INDIA girls were jumping in joy. Emotional Kabir Khan is seen in tears, it was more than match to him; the scene where he watches the INDIAN flag shining high & “Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan” playing in the background told the whole story. The tag of traitor was off his back.

Vijay is seen practicing his trademark straight-drive in the dug-out and was sunk in the memories of scoring a straight boundary over the bowler in the last over of the finals that he played a month ago in a different city & for a different team. Tension prevails in the dug-out; yelling and swearing continues, entire team was aware of Vijay’s heroics of scoring boundary in the last over and they were hoping for a Déjà vu. Last man Vijay walks in with the intention to take the monkey off his back; which was tagged onto him for a year now. The term “he did a Vijay” had become infamous. Two things were in his favor; bowler was bowling full and there was no long-off fielder. He just stood outside his crease and didn’t take guard this time and shut his mind off and focused on the bowler.

Bowler speared in a full length delivery and as a natural instinct his foot went to the pitch of the delivery and with high elbow swung through the line of the delivery. The meaty part of the bat struck the ball and he watched the ball pass the boundary with a couple of bounces. Out came the entire team in joy with captain literally lifting Vijay off the ground. He was their hero of the day.

Vijay was happy that the monkey of finals was off his back and felt exactly like what Kabir had felt when Vidya saved the goal for INDIA, he had tears in his eyes. And the background music “Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan” kept playing in his mind.

Note: The character Vijay is purely fictional, and has no relevance to living or dead.

Short Story 1: Spring Break


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