Sujeet dribbled past a defender, passed the ball through the legs of another, collected it from the other side and swung his right leg at the ball with ferocious speed. The ball took off after making contact with Sujeet’s leg and flew like a rocket at launch time.

For Sujeet, time stood still as the ball flew towards the goal. He instantly knew that he had the accuracy right as it was headed for the top corner of the goal, the hardest spot for the goalkeeper to protect! The goalkeeper flung himself to his left and stretched his body to its maximum and made contact with the ball.

The speed of the ball, however, won the day. The power on Sujeet’s kick was so much that the goalkeeper was unable to stop the ball from hitting the net behind him. “Goal!” shouted the referee as Sujeet wheeled away to celebrate with his team.

After the match Sujeet was asked by the reporters, “How important was it that India won this match?” Sujeet explained, “This victory ensures that India qualifies for the World Cup in 2018 and so I am immensely proud of the team’s achievement.” He went on to explain, “I would like to donate my earnings from this match to the provision of education for underprivileged children”. This was not something new for Sujeet. He was not only the captain of the Indian Football Team but also a person who always did things for the underprivileged.

In the past Sujeet has spent time teaching underprivileged children in Delhi and even donated time, effort and money in helping clean up streets in Delhi. He was the model citizen and had his priorities right.

A few days after the match, Sujeet was expected to travel to Mumbai for the shoot of a new advertisement. In order for him to travel without being mobbed, he donned a disguise. He wore a fake moustache and a wig and even wore fake spectacles. These three elements changed his appearance completely.

On the way to the Delhi airport, Sujeet stopped outside a park in Sector 8 Dwarka. He noticed a bunch of young boys, some in vests and some bare-chested, kicking a football around. He just could not control himself, such was his passion for the game. He decided to play for ten minutes before proceeding to the airport.

Sitting in the car, Sujeet removed his wig, moustache and spectacles. He quickly wore his football shoes and stepped into the park. One boy noticing Sujeet, stopped the play and yelled at all the other boys, “Look who it is!”

“It is Sujeet!” they all yelled in unision.

Sujeet walked over to them and said, “I was on my way to the airport and saw you playing. I hope you won’t mind me joining you for ten minutes.”

Raju, the youngest of the group said, “We would be honoured if you would play with us. But before you leave, can you give me your shoes? I get calluses while playing barefoot.”

Sujeet noticed that all the boys played barefoot. He nodded his approval and the game began.

Sujeet and the gang had so much fun. They ended up playing for 2 hours without taking a break! After two hours, Sonu, Raju’s brother said to Sujeet, “Sorry sir, but we have made you miss your flight.”

Sujeet told Sonu, “Not at all. It was not your fault. If I had to go back in time and choose whether to play football with you or fly to Mumbai to do an advertisement, I would choose to play with you.”

“I may get advertisements when I am older, but these are the years of my life when I can play football, the game I love so much”, Sujeet continued.

As the sun was about to set, Sujeet decided to go back home. Once home, he called up the advertising company in Mumbai and apologised profusely for not making it to Mumbai. He explained the reason and struck a deal with the advertising company. He would now fly to Mumbai on his own cost and not charge a single rupee for doing the advertisement, if only the advertising company would do one thing for him. As the advertising company was desperate to have Sujeet do their advertisement, they agreed.

The next day, when Raju, Sonu and their group got together in the park to play football, they were visited by a man in a black suit. He spoke to the boys, “I have something for you, compliments of Sujeet.” He pointed to a van parked just outside the park and told the boys to go there.

The container of the van was filled with shoes! In exchange for doing the advertisement for free, Sujeet had asked the advertising company to buy football shoes for all the children. He never wanted his new friends to play bare-foot again.

Word meanings:

  • Dribbled: moved the ball with one after another quick kicks
  • Ferocious: extreme or intense
  • Provision: providing or supplying something
Life goals
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