When I was a kid by age ( I am still a kid at heart), my father used to be my favourite teacher. After a tiresome day at the manufacturing plant, he would hold my colourful books with his thick fingers and make me read. The picturesque primers had my attention throughout. Every evening it appeared to me as if I was a red helium balloon; a flushed face from being happy on learning my new texts easily in a short span of time and floating in the air of my small world with that feeling. But soon my father penetrated by false delusion of a simple, light life with a thick decision – the dictionary. I still have the first one he gave me (it was his own) and the subsequent pocket-friendly ones I bought later. I remember many memoirs associated with the dictionary-reading-sessions; he would randomly open a page and ask me to read the sixth, seventh or whatever number fascinated him then word and it’s meaning. He certainly knew how to tame my young, impressionable mind. One such fine evening he asked me to read the so-and-so word from so-and-so page number. The word was “football”. It was not the first time I heard the word but the noun term which succeeded its meaning was. Given the tiny, little, uninitiated literature fanatic I was, my father asked me to break the word and pronounce it. I can see how I must have said it in my squeaky voice with a question mark at the end to enquire whether I was pronouncing it the right way or not – “Foot-ball-er(?)”.

It must have been the last time I might have said this word with a little fascination until January’17 because I don’t remember anecdotes related to it given the fact I tend to remember almost everything. So this footballer, I happened to meet him by chance and I must say, by chance many things happened for good. I won’t say he is good at his game, is the star player of his college team or anything of that sort for I am the last person one would trust on player reviews. But the captain badge definitely speaks for him. He is the best! (How can I not give my expert views on any matter for that sake?!)

I see it as a match between two teams,
Which both want to win by any means,
He sees it as a game of life,
And how only the best man should strive.

I see it as just a ball and a player,
The surroundings are the least about which I care,
He believes that each and every person counts,
Even the referee, the coach and the cheering sounds.

He says the field resembles life very closely,
People would praise and criticise you simultaneously,
It’s your wish if you choose to listen to either,
But it is wise to absorb both like ether.

He makes me see things through his perception,
Cementing my belief that it is not just perfection,
Of one player which makes a team win,
But subtle hard work of each and every kin.

When I only see the lush, green lawns,
He reminds me of the pebble and thorns,
On which the players practised in their initial days,
Before bringing victory to clubs; happy and gay!

He keeps me upbeat when my confidence dwindles,
Pampers my wings and gently kindles,
A little butterfly who wish to traverse the zenithal amber,
And spotting him already there stammers “Foot-ball-er(?)”


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