Monday, November 15, 2010

Looks Can be deceptive

P.S - 1 : A new post after a very longgggggggg time at my blog , in a new genre .. This was basically written for Office forum. posting it here :)

It was the final of the prestigious Inter school Football tournament between Adarsh Vidhyalaya and Geetha Matriculation school and the match was in its penultimate moments. The game was closely fought and there was little to seperate between the two teams . Adarsh Vidhyalaya the defending champions were desperate to lay their hands on the coveted trophy once again and prove they are the unbeatable team while the hosts Geetha Matriculation school were keen to prove a point that they are second to none in front of their home crowd and hence the match was going down to the wire adding tension and excitement among everyone present in the crowd. The score line 0 – 0 at the end of the extra time just served a vindication of the vigor with which the game was played by both the teams. After a neck to neck, agility-meets-ability, 90 minutes of power play the game moved to the inevitable penalty shoot out for deciding the winner of the trophy. Both teams went into their dugout for a short break before the impending thrilling climax

The coach of Geetha Matriculation school, PT Master Nallakannu, called the team for a huddle to help decimate the tension of the atmosphere. The hosts were written off by everyone even before the tournament started, as a weak team and many people including the staffs believed the team was participating for academic interest only, after all the annual tournament is being held in their school thanks to the rotation policy. Hence, for such a team to come so far, the "fragile" team being agile on the field and knocking off victories after another on its march to the final, caught the attention of everyone. It was made possible by one student, Dileep, the attacking mid-fielder who turned out to be the unlikely star of that tournament. His energy, enthusiasm, spirited powerplay caught up with his team and together they played like a dream in the run to the finals. Largely helped by the label of underdogs the team was able to put up powerful performance thus far, the burden of expectations was weighing on them at that instance. Verve gave way to nerves as the feel of a so near yet so far path to glory of success passed through everyone's minds and the minutes were ticking away for the penalty shoot out. Nallakannu tried his best to give a pep talk to motivate the team but everyone's fears meant the motivational talk was just going to deaf ears. The mood at the Adharsh Vidyalaya camp was somewhat similar but they seemed to handle the tension better as they had been in familiar situations many times before. Yet the feeling of getting defeated by a "weak" team made them extra determined not to lose at any cost.

Referee blew the whistle to signal the start of the penalty shoot out and the sizeable crowd was cheering the home team at every moment thereby increasing the tempo for the game. Adarsh Vidyalaya opened the penalty shoot out first and both teams scored the first three goals comfortably. Adarsh school also shot the fourth goal comfortably while the guy Muthu who next came for Geetha school was caught in two minds over where to shoot the ball whether to the left or right side and ended up kicking it straight to the goal keeper and the score line now showed 4-3. There were ooh's and aah's in the crowd and the supporters of the hosts started to lose their new found faith in their home team. And talks such "I already told this.." and "I already knew this... " started floating in the air.

The mood got upbeat in the Adarsh Vidyalaya team and they already started to celebrate for their consecutive victory . Brimming with confidence their best player came out for the next shoot out. He went for a casual shot to show off his talent but the overconfident shot made the ball flew over the goal post. The scorelines remained at 4-3 with a life line offered to the Geetha Matriculation school team. The next player for Geetha School came out with his legs trembling as he approached the ball, barely managing to kick the ball towards a point in the goal post. It was easy enough for the goal keeper to collect it but somehow a dust fell into his eyes and he was unable to concentrate on the direction where the ball was travelling letting the home team level the scores at 4-4. The match came alive once again with the crowd coming on the edge of the seats. The player coming in next for Adarsh Vidyalaya shockingly stumbled on an easy chance and failed to get the ball past the goal keeper who flew in the right side well before the ball was shot. Still the ball went straight into the keeper's hands leaving the game and the trophy up for grabs for the home team.

A sense of excitement gripped the home team, they could not quiet come to terms with the feeling that they are one shot away from the coveted trophy that could help raise the stature of not just Football but also Sports in their school. No doubt everyone in the team were quiet thrilled and PT Master Nallakannu could not hide his emotions. He called up Dileep who has been the hero for the team so far to deliver the knock out punch for winning the trophy. "Dileep, you are the right person for this nerve racking moment. You had been a star so far, now is your chance to become a super star. Now go and shoot the goal". Dileep came forward to take the privilege. His team members came up to wish him all the best and also stressed how important it is for the team to win the trophy and how bad it will be for everyone's morale if they fail to win having come within striking distance of the winning line.

Having been free of expectations and with a license to enjoy the game without worrying about the outcome, Dileep has performed exceptionally well and won laurels for his talents but the expectation tag along with the "What if I did not" question pulled down his morale and he developed a cold feet while proceeding to the ground. Questions , expectations flooded his mind - the thought of being looked as a hero among his class and school mates especially the special glances from the beautiful girls of the school, these thoughts comforted his mind and also fired him up. But Newton's third law wreaked havoc on him as reverse thoughts also swarmed his mind. "What if I fail to hit the goal"....... A negative thought multiply much rapidly giving rise to multiple negative thoughts and so it did to Dileep. As he marked his position in front of the goal post , he realized he was the cynosure of all eyes and his team was waiting with bated breath. The thoughts and the negative thoughts, the expectations of the home crowd not to mention of his team's and coach's came before Dileep's mind, he was so perturbed by the thoughts and felt he could not take any more. One part of his mind wanted to just kick away the ball , come what may be and run away from this place to put an end to the mental trauma but another section bogged down by the fear of failure made the 500g football appeared to be a 500 pounds iron ball in front of him. Either way he wanted to escape from the present. At the moment a sudden thought striked him and he looked at the gallery, his eyes desperately searching for his loving Father Sundaram. Ah there he is at the second row, his bright eyes constantly following his son. The serenity in his dad's face made him look like a Zen master capable of converting a Tsunami into a beautiful fountain. Noticing his son is looking at him, Sundaram smiled at him that carried the trust and confidence the dad had in his on. That one smile was enough for Dileep, he felt recharged and emptied the tea cup in his mind. Suddenly the crowd, the noises they made, the goal keeper went away from Dileep's vision and only the goal post was visible to him. He moved towards to the right of the goal keeper, thereby luring him to the right while kicking the ball to the left which comfortably landed in the goal post to a sweeter win amidst loud cheers for Geetha Matriculation school. The win was truly remarkable in the context of the contest.

Sundaram cant stop clapping along with the other people in the crowd as Parthiban, his childhood friend and father of another member, Ajay belonging to the football squad looked on. He waited for Sundaram to stop clapping and asked him "Sundaram.... Wow da..great to see you like this today maintaining your cool and composure. For the last 15 minutes I just stopped forgetting the game and was looking you in awe. Amazing transformation from the days when you imagine various things and fear about it. I was initially thinking that this simple school tournament game meant trivial to you and hence you sat here not bothering about the outcome of it, but looking at the way you celebrate I wonder how you changed like this, Did you visit any psychological doctor and recieved therapy? or is it just that some one applied a magical wand over you and made you a cool guy?"

Sundaram laughed at Parthiban and replied

"Ha ha Parthi, beware dude..appearances can be deceptive, you only saw my face but could not feel the amount of pressure I was carrying with me. My heart was literally in my mouth when I saw my son coming out for the final strike, but then I know my son will be looking out for me before the penalty shoot out. My son turns to me for support than any one in this world and so i need to stand up to his belief. If he sees a worrying, tensed face just like what I encountered in my younger days at any important occasion, then my son would have lost the battle even before waging it. I as a good Father would never want to allow that and hence masked my face to show what could be good for my son and for his life rather than showing what I think. You are true, I had been a pressure cooker in my younger age and more often than not, defeated my own self without the need for any other competitor to do that. My parents and teachers only reminded me of the repercussions of failure rather than motivating me to go for the success.I dont want to inherit that to my son, i always encourage him and show him that I have immense faith him and his abilities. Even when he fails he knows that I will be happy that he had put up his best and enjoyed doing a thing irrespective of the result he had got. You know Parthi, Face is the index of Mind... But my son's mind is susceptible towards picking up negative emotions from my face and hence I send out positive signals for the benefit of him, afterall the onus is on the parents to nurture their children to have a determined and strong heart good enough to succeed in their life."

"Cool da, I have got to learn a lot from you to be a good parent. ... Hopefully before your son finds your real emotions and gets to know that Looks can be deceptive, he learns to look, scan be receptive only to good thoughts from people around him and filters out the negative thoughts..Good luck Daddy dude!!!" as Parthiban was replying his friend, frenzy celebrations sets off to mark a landmark victory.


P.S - 3: Theme inspired and borrowed from this interview with Gary Kirsten, the spark for this story for this title came when he says looks can be decieving, ( taking the knot from that particular answer of Kirsten I wove the story with the plot inspired from Vettiya Madichu Kattu a Bhagyaraj film...... So basically whatz my contribution? hehe nothing, just the lines are my own and others are woven over the borrowed things Do let know your comments and critics as this is a completely new genre for me........

1 comment:

-GG- said...

Even after reading the post twice am left wondering who wrote it! Not only have you adopted a new genre, I see a new writing style blossoming as well :)

Thoroughly enjoyed the tense and exciting football match. One small comment (not criticism), Sundaram's dialogue could be more persuasive. What do you say?

And in the future I hope you put up some Tanglish posts too, replete with Subras' kalakkal kirukkals :)