Our head coach, Mr. Dinanath Maurya, trains people irrespective of their physical ability, social standing, creed or gender.
I have seen it, since the first day I set foot on the track and touched his feet to seek blessings for a lifetime.
Our beloved coach, Mr. Jay Maurya, trains the same people and transports them back to their childhood, so we never for one minute forget the awry, wobbly midgets we once were before we crawled into athleticism and wore it like we do unto today. We smile, laugh and never seem to forget to have fun whilst we die, out of breath, dry to the bone, in parched bodies. And then, we’ll smile and carry on because that’s the only way we’ll be better.
I was prompted to write this because a potentially plain, otherwise forgettable incident is, in fact, not so and shouldn’t slip away from our collective memories or worse still, go unwitnessed, unrecorded, unacknowledged.
Tinku, who waits tables by day and is a delivery boy by night, received his first pair of spikes today, after months and months of laborious, rigorous, toilsome training.
Tinku, who we all hope and pray and believe will one day do great things with his heart of gold and limbs of steel.
He sat by the 100m start line, putting his shoes on…or so he thought. Our coaches stood by, watching patiently, as he struggled to string and tie his laces – this particular pair and make of shoes a complete flight of fancy, otherworldly product to him.
When Tinku, who had just about gotten comfortable in a simple pair of running shoes, was seen flummoxed by the most recent alien on his toes, our coaches sat down and affixed that sparkly, blue pair on his feet, mock-warning him to never forget how to put them on again.
When I noticed and yelped excitedly at his newest possession, he humbly shrugged and said, “I don’t know where they came from, Sir just gave them to me.”
“They’re yours Tinku, they’re your well deserved, well earned, ticket to victory!”, I tried to let him know.
A ticket. How many get one? How many are deprived of one? How many coaches manage one for their kids, full of potential but often without opportunity?
In the next second, he was up, feeling his feet, in a new home. Both coaches, teaching him how to bend and be at the ready for the start of every sprint.
A minute later, he was tall, supported, sprinting into a future that will be fast, for sure.
He’s a product, of our coaches, like we all are. Finally with a product on his feet, that he will make his own, like our coaches do us.
They break us, make us, keep us and better us.
Destiny is a leveller and the greatest teacher.
Some of our destinies led us to our greatest teachers.
And they both teach us every day, that whoever we are, whoever we become, may we always choose to simply be good and do good for good.
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