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WizardGK #49 : A Gamer’s Vision, 5

Chapter Five : The Squad, Part Two : Lee

Also known as Leonard’s sister, Lee was crucial to my plan. She isn’t, however, commonly known as ‘Lee’ because that is her family’s name. Her story? When her mother was pregnant with her, her father ran away from home, or so they say, but Lee’s mother died while giving birth to her therefore when Leonard was taken away from the gang, she had to tag along as well. The age gap is roughly five years. The gang couldn’t bother to give her a name, so it remained ‘Lee’. They both were, and to a great degree still are, very fond of learning. They were orphans, and never got any of the toys (they were broken anyway) to themselves, so they read books. Leonard was able to programme using Java at the very young age of eleven, and Lee was efficient in combat. The gang knew they could exploit these talents to their advantage. Lee, however, went on to consider changing her name to ‘Reah’ at the age of eighteen when she had the option to. But the problem was with the name. ‘Reah Lee’ wasn’t really a name that would go down with her gang-mates well (I’m scraping the barrel for a pun here so bare with me). 

This is how she found out it was a bad idea:
Leonard: Reah, Lee? Really? REALLY?
Reah (Lee) : Quit it.
Leonard: Really? Should I, though?
Reah [*angrily*] : Leonard… *Punches Leonard in the face*
Leonard: OW! I was only pulling your leg so that you realise it was a stupid idea! I need to get an ice pack!
***
So she made it ‘Leah’. I , and to this day nobody knows what is it with the superlative ‘eah’ and ‘ia’s but it was her problem. ‘Leah Lee’ still did not sound convincing, so she changed it yet again to just ‘Reah’. No surname. Just ‘Reah’. Everyone just stuck to it after that. Leonard didn’t mind keeping his name Leo’ Lee, but his sister did, so he is also known as just ‘Leonard’, although legally it still is Leonard Lee.
But the name isn’t the main focus. Her purpose, story and recruitment is. Reah was only eleven when her brother and herself were looking to buy groceries (well, steal) from the market. Nearing the market, they were supposed to cut through a dark alleyway to reach it. In the alleyway, they were stopped in their tracks by three large gangsters. Leonard wasn’t a fighter, he was known to wet his pants in scary situations. And he was sixteen. It was Leonard’s eleven year old sister who saved her that day, and the reason to be recruited into the gang who found the duo (They were understandably nervous to recruit Leonard, a man with wet pants).
Reah was flexible as well, she fitted into narrow spaces, and that would prove great for a stealthy heist or, in this case, revenge.
*** *** 
Reah left the scene a long, long time back when the Gang War broke out. She stayed as a low key citizen, with her husband Mane Floyd who was a boxer. They divorced though, and now she lives independently in her house, maybe preparing for a return to the fighting scene. Maybe. Hopefully.

Leonard was able to find her and track her location down easily. It was a nice little village on the countryside with not a lot of decorations, but the design made up for it.
“Still think she’s alive?” I inquired.

“Hopefully, if she didn’t do something stupid!” Leonard answered.
The house door was opened, and you could here some action inside.

Leonard barged in, and shouted, “Reah?”.

I walked in to find Leonard unconscious on the ground, with broken glass surrounding his body. 

“Oh, Leonard, it’s you! Didn’t think I’d see you around! Long time, my brother, long time. Oh, hey Jon.”

We sat down with a cup of tea, Leonard preferring an Ice Pack. He was ostensibly running temperature.

“Deja Vü, am I right?” Leo asserted.

Reah, ignoring Leo, turned to me. “Why did you come?”

“I, uh, need help. This is serious. Regarding our Gang” I spoke in low tones.

“No” Reah abruptly shut the conversation. “Leave.”

“We are getting back at Jordan, he has joined the enemy gang, under a new contract.”

Reah’s eyes lit up. “Keep talking” she said. She didn’t like Jordan.

“Alright, so you are the second addition to my squad. We are taking him out head on, with more brains and a little lesser brawn. You have both, Reah. I will only need brass as a Plan B. The war tore the gang apart, Jordan and I exceptions. Now he has gone, so I will go, but after disposing Jordan off.”

“Why should I accept?”

I winked at Leo. Same way of persuading. Brother and sister.

“There is a five-hundred thousand dollars in for you. We succeed, the money is yours.”

Reah looked nervous. Leonard was confused. “What’s the total? I get five hundred ‘K’, and she does too, so-”

“Two million dollars. All that remains of Jordi and that pathetic gang leader he works for.” I spoke reluctantly.

“I refuse your offer” Reah ended the conversation.

There was an eerie silence in the room, and Reah broke the ice.

“You might still be working for the gang, and I want a bigger cut!” Reah demanded. By this, I was taken aback.

“I might, but you don’t suspect Leonard! He accepted this alliance. Trust him if not me. Besides, if you want a bigger cut, I reduct it from Leo’s share. I propose you get a hundred thousand dollars added from him.”

Leo spoke up. “And what if I don’t accept?”

We knew what to do. Reah and I loved to harass Leo.

“Love to have you on board, Reah. You too, Leo.” I finalised the deals

“I must say, Reah, you look fat!” Leonard finally got up

“Please Leo, that is you being insecure about your weight, because I have sustained my weight for four years – YOU, look the real potato.” Reah fired back

“Lies, filthy lies!”  Leo tried his best.

I, was filling in the descriptions of my mates

Leonard-

Fat, long curly hair, spectacles, short beard, wears headphones quite a lot, has favourite blue denim shirt, blue eye colour, black hair.

Reah-

Tall, skinny, khakis and worn out jacket, short loose hair, blue eye colour, brown hair.

“Done”.

“Wait, did you hear something?” Leo whispered.

Get out of the house !“spoke a bold voice.

“Let me handle this.” Reah said, and loaded her pistol.

Locked and Loaded, I charged at the doors.

*** *** ***

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Wizardgk #48: A Gamer’s Vision, 4

CHAPTER FOUR: The Squad, Part One: Leonard.

You wouldn’t possibly expect me alive at this stage. It isn’t exactly possible. But this is a videogame, right? Anything is possible. Like maybe when you are plummeting to your doom, a helicopter hovering below you (not quite sure why it was hovering without life over there) and it just seems like you may re-spawn somehow so why bother playing ? Right? Wrong. Remember how we previously discussed that this is a videogame and that anything is possible, right? Well, as the meteorites of rocks were showering onto the land, one happened to just decide to puncture the rotor blades to move the copter out of the way somehow, but just enough to hang onto the landing skids. These moments in videogames greatly resemble those Jacky Chan movies I watched as a little boy (with the hilarious English dub), and maybe that is why I love this videogame so much. 

I got into the helicopter and, sure enough, found the driver dead, but he turned autopilot on before death, so maybe he was still hopeful to live. Isn’t that sad? I pushed the pilot who was covered in blood stains off the seat for me to navigate. The rotor blades were punctured therefore the helicopter and very less time in the air left, it rapidly descended, and so I concluded that I shall navigate it till I am about twenty feet above a speed boat that I spotted racing with me. It was all about the timing. When I was a few feet ahead of the speedboat , I hopped of the doom-bound helicopter. It would end only one way for the helicopter, but not for me. I knocked out the driver of that boat and sort of rudely threw him into the sea, but after all the action and drama, I sped home away from the island (obviously with a larger scale GPS tracker).

***

I got back into my motel and was constantly thinking. I concluded that for tracking Jordan and planning a revenge I would need a squad. A team ready for action. I needed some specialised men and women, not the garbage man down the street. Planning a revenge isn’t easy, obviously. I was lucky to have a few ‘connections’.

A ten minute travel by car to downtown would lead to a large variety of places to visit. But I was only interested in one place : ‘The TechRepair shop.’ What is it? It is a large, a huge company around the globe that repairs all kinds of- well, anything related to technology, hence, the name. It costs a bit, but it is known to have fine materials to repair with. At first, all the companies were against TechRepair, but the war settled down between a span of six months. Some say that the companies were pacified through bribery, others think that they must have reached an agreement to have a share of the profits sold to the other companies. However, the manager of the one in Downtown, is someone I (my character) ‘dearly’ knew. I say dearly, however he was a coward. I was brought up by a group of gangsters and my part of the neighbourhood had a slight tiff with the others, and a big gang war had broken up. In that war, my dear friend Leonard ran away mid-war, shocked. I ran after the man, oblivious to him. He ran into his house, and I followed him there. He sat down in his little den with a few computers. He was a great hacker, amazing with computers. What was he doing though? He had a habit of speaking to himself, when nervous. He was telling himself, “Okay, Leonard. The guns are connected, hack into the main base where all the guns are connected, and shut ’em down. Come on- Wait a moment, what are you doing here?” He pointed at me. I asked him what was going on, and he told me that the guns are technologically connected through a main power source. If he hacked into that and shut it down, we’d win the war, because it automatically self destructs when it gets shut down. He figured that those sets of weapons would act as a grenade if the people would lose the war, therefore, in the event that they retreat, they’d throw the guns into the other gang’s territory, to kill the remaining few. It was a costly method because on that day, we won the war because of Leonard’s intelligence. He requested me to go back and tell the gang that Leonard was nowhere to be found, and that he fled. The reason he wanted this was because he never wanted to be associated with the gang in any way. I understood, and I informed the gang leader that he was nowhere to be found. I call him a coward because he went into hiding as an act of cowardice, and I don’t respect him for that. However, I am determined to bring him back into the scene one last time.

*** ***

NO! Never! Not again! I won’t accept! Never, I tell you! Never!”

This part was easy. I had a simple way of convincing people. While chuckling, I took my pistol out and pointed it at his forehead. He started sweating.

“For your own good” I said.

The man gulped, and proceeded, “Well what choice do I have?”

I chuckled again, and fired the gun, but, it wasn’t loaded.

“I don’t need a gun to get you convinced. There is a five hundred thousand dollars in it for you. If a gun can’t persuade you, money will.”

I got him on the squad immediately, only two more remaining to recruit.

*** *** ***

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Apologies

As you may have noticed, there were remarkable errors in my previous post, chapter six. Lots of typos. Believe me, I had corrected those before posting. I did proof reading thrice. Now here is what happened. The post that wasn’t corrected was drafted on WordPress, and I was correcting the errors on a Word Count app that I used for posts. Now, I only use that app to keep count of the length of the posts, so once I found out that the length of the post was good enough, I closed the app. And when you close the app, it deletes the content in it. Therefore I then concluded that everything was fine in the post before publishing it and boy am I smart. I guess I shouldn’t write posts twelve o clock at night. ;)

-Anshul

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Also, I should add that you needn’t feel afraid of commenting. I’d love some criticism , so feel free to express your thoughts, and if you liked the post, go ahead leave a like :D 

West Virginia prepares to kick off the championship match against Oklahoma State on November 10, 2013.

WizardGK #47 : A Footballer’s World, Chapter 6

Chapter Six: Kick Off
“Don’t sacrifice the success of the school’s football team for your grudge against that individual who plays as an attacking midfielder, right.” Jeet rehearsed before kickoff. That sentence is what saved him that day and what made him a hero. Blue with Black sleeves and Red with Dark Sleeves. The “Home” and “Away” kits. The ground they played on was home turf, therefore the home kits were to be worn. The school team’s name was “Diamond Boys Football Club” and their badge is seen as a diamond with a silhouette of a player kicking a ball. Above it, there was a ribbon labeled “Diamond Boys FC” with the lower ribbon stating “est. 1999”. The conflict, though, was with a rival team named “The Golden Soldiers Football Club”. The rivalry began when in 2009 some school fans started chanting:
“Diamond is more precious than gold,
 Challenging our supremacy is rather bold,
 Alas, though, this bold act,
Won’t ever succeed, and that is a fact!
DBFC!
DBFC! ”
It really wasn’t the best of chants, but G.S.F.C’s fans started spitting insults back at them. The rivalry was quite intense actually, until the seasons of 2022/23 – 2024/25 because of the departure of a holding midfielder and an attacking midfielder. The team was a shambles. Their most recent fixture ended in a 3-0 loss with the GSFC fans chanting:
“We are gold,
We are gold,
And DBFC is mould!
Our squad is a hit!
And yours is full of-“
*Ahem!* Not the best of chants, either. But they know how to tick each other off.
That’s that though, but now it is time for the kick off. I would not delve so deep into this rivalry if they weren’t the opposition in this little fixture. It was the grand, 16 year old rivalry:
Diamond Boys – Golden Soldiers
***
“And we kick off!” The commentator states as the referee’s whistle blows.
It was quite an intense match, and Jeet was defending for his life. He was a highly underrated player. He’d been doing most of the tough work, and one bad pass, and a nasty comment is snarled against him, mostly relating to his stocky appearance.

Jeet spotted a run by Arthur in the wide area, and he went for it. It didn’t look too good in the beginning, but it picked up speed and was received with a brilliant touch by Arthur. A very fast child, Arthur. Jeet would have given him a nine out of ten rating regarding pace. Arthur sped into the box and Jeet raced Greg into the ‘D’ area. Arthur passed the ball to Jeet as the oppositions goalie neared. Jeet received the ball in a tight angle and sought only one crazy option, and that was to chip the ball over the defenders, make the ball deflect off the cross bar, and back at Arthur so that the winger could score. Beautiful plan. The chip worked out lovelier than Jeet could ever imagine. What happened though, wasn’t a part of Jeet’s masterplan. The ball landed to the feet of Greg for him to finish it. Jeet was certainly looking to strangle Greg if he didn’t score. Somehow though, Greg found the bottom corner of the goal. 1-0 to Diamond Boys. Everyone went to celebrate with Greg and obviously nobody noticed the fact that Jeet intended to assist instead of score. Oh well. The Halftime whistle blew and the players trotted into the dressing rooms for the coaches’ respective instructions.
*** ***
The second goal came as a product of the lecturing in the first half. Surprisingly, not even Jeet’s coach discovered that he actually wanted to assist the ball and not score. 

“Keep your head, Jeet. You are the centre of action. You push the play forward and defend at your will. The players listen to you as you are the Captain so pay close attention to me and what I want from this fixture. I want you to pick out the hugest hole in their defence and cut in, but you must make sure the angles are okay for your strong foot. Pick out that hole, then comes the goal.

I want to see that on the pitch by hook or by crook. And I am giving you this opportunity because I am substituting Greg off now. 

Jeet had never heard happier news in his life. On the other hand…
Greg: “WHAT?! IMPOSSIBLE!”

Coach: “Yes Greg, you need rest.”

Greg: “But why keep Jabba the Hutt on the field?!”

Coach: “HIS NAME, IS JEET!”

Greg: Sorry, gaffer. I’ll watch from the sidelines.
Jeet had some perfect skills to make up for his rather slow movement. He perfected a roulette not as well as he wanted but it turned out to work perfectly. As soon as Jeet dribbled through the defence he spotted and even larger space in the bottom right corner. The ball zoomed in from outside the box, the goalkeeper being helpless. This time, even though the seats accommodated approximately only two-hundred people, the fans roared in excitement as if they were enjoying a concert. Jeet never thought he would ever here that sound from the fans. It was as if he was playing in the Premier League. Shreyas gave him a nice little pat on the back stating his right foot was better than the left ( The chip shot previously was from his left foot ). 

2-0
*** ******

The 3-0 was also from Jeet, and surprising how it even went in. The ball was in the air, and he was about five yards away from the goal line. He volleyed it, and bang! Under the crossbar. The referee blew the whistle and put to bed a beautiful game of football.

Walking into the dressing room he was having his name chanted by the rest of the squad, they were elated with Jeet. It was at that very moment, when he received applause in the dressing room from everyone else, that Jeet knew, that it was never only about the competition with Greg, but it was about playing the beautiful game beautifully, and that is what counted. He glanced at his bitterly disappointed ‘friend’, Greg, sitting in a corner and trying to avoid the cheer. Everyone had forgotten his goal, it seemed. Jeet’s best friend Sridhar entered the room on crutches. He smiled broadly at Jeet. He was so happy as if hescored two goals. The squad patted each other on the back after their campaign kicked off to a very successful start.

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Words : 1099

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WizardGK #46 : A Footballer’s World, Chapter 5

Chapter Five: Analysis

“Jeet”
He knew it. Any decent judgement from critics for the school team would know that Jeet is the man to lead the school in the holding midfielder’s formation.
_______
CDM or Centre Defensive Midfielder was ostensibly the best role for Jeet. It is a position where he can thrive. A review from a decent critic proposed that though Jeet may not be fit to make runs and speed away from opposition to create the most perfect chances, he is magical with his feet and he can be physical during the game, and ideally the best player for his position, contrary to the belief of another critic who proposes that he should be placed in a Centre Forward position because of his knack for scoring goals.
“Goals don’t necessarily come from a forwards spot, because if the communication between a holding midfielder and his players is good then the club is a strong club and he should have the right chemistry with his team mates, otherwise it can cause slip ups and we can’t afford slip ups – we don’t do slip ups, our school’s reputation depends on an anchor like this young talent named Jeet. He certainly can lead our team to those glory days when the trophies were in our grasp, those days when we’d smell victory in the Final and achieve it with the right motivation and talent from these youngsters as we carefully watch them”
“Mind you, Mr. Mason, this boy is just ten years old, how will he be the captain of the under 12s? I don’t know if he has the right experience”
“But he can take on responsibilities, and that is a fabulous trait, because he is ready to take on any burden that his team require him to take, and he can lead, I can gauge that much from what I’ve seen of him. Selections are up to you, I’m just the critic.”
“And he’s got that effervescence about him, and you know, I think even 3-0 down, the team can remain lively and will remain lively with this lad in. He can play with a smile” Critic number two, Mr. Ram added.
“He is definitely the first choice in my opinion, Mr. Ryan, I think Mason can give his opinion for the others, and I shall add my insight too.”
“Alright then, Jeet Joshi, Captain. Check”
___
“Greg fills the forwards position, sir”
“Which one?” Mr. Ryan inquired.
“Centre Attacking Midfielder, sir. Though he has capability, I think potential-wise Sridhar makes a better player for the future of the school”
“And which position might he play in?”
“He’s a holding midfielder, just like Jeet. You can see the chemistry between these two lads, they understand each other and can work wonders for the team, but they are more defensive minded, so playing both of the boys together in a four-four-two holding formation with two C-D-Ms will result in good defensive results.”
“I think we need only one C-D-M in our formation and possibly one C-A-M, like Greg, but we need wingers too, so I’m thinking of a wide formation” Ryan added.
“Are you thinking of playing a four-one-two-one-two wide formation? That’ll do. But I think even Ram would agree, that even though a CDM’s connection is with the wide players and the two centre backs, a CDM holds the whole team in place, and if you look closely at Jeet and Greg, they don’t talk much, they give each other dirty faces and in fact, I observed the two lads spitting insults at each other, this won’t be very good for our team.”
“Right you are.” Ryan admitted. “I guess we can teach them to gel, and selecting Sridhar as a substitute won’t do harm. I think we shall check both of them”
Jeet almost pounced on Greg on the field, with Sridhar holding him back.
“Jeet won’t go with Greg. I’m cutting his name out and using Sridhar’s instead. We will re-invent one of their positions in which they play.”
“Right. Sridhar, check.”
_____________
If Jeet hated one person it was Greg. He hated him so badly, that he would gain an extra boost of pace and skill but then he would mess up so nobody would call Greg a motivator for Jeet. People think that Greg uses it as a tactic so that his plan gets messed up and he just goes berserk, but then again, Greg isn’t even that smart.
Jeet had first met Greg in the park where he goes to play football. Most of his team mates in the park go to the same school as he does, so he knows all of them very well.
_____________
“Alright, half the session is over, and we have just two names on the list. Dear critics, help us out.”
“Yes, Mason and I have analysed that Shaun can fill in the goalkeeper’s position, he is gifted and would make a great sweeper-keeper. Although I think his physical attribute and pace could make him a great attack-minded player with his ability to defend. He can be a full back or a goalkeeper. Depending on whether there are less full backs or less goalkeepers we can decide on Shaun’s role.”
“I guess he can be a better goalie because he needs accuracy in his passes which he doesn’t currently have.”
“Shaun. Goalkeeper, check.”
“And Shreyas fills the wide positions well, but he goes down the left wing more, and he can cut in to the box and dribble. He’s got a great skill. Left Mid position, Shreyas.”
“Check”
“What about Arthur? He goes down the right flank more often and passes well, he can take a corner, too. Put a chalk near his name, Mr. Ryan.”
“Will do.”
“And the two strikers can be Robert and Raj, though Raj’s finishing needs practice, otherwise these two are simply clinical.”
“Okay, but what about our defenders?”
“John and Asher fill the Centre back positions, with the two full backs that still need to be decided upon.”
“Well decide fast then!” Ryan instructed.
______________
Results
———
“First name on the sheet is- Jeet “
He knew it. Any decent judgement from the school critics and they’d know Jeet  is the man to lead the school in the holding midfielder’s formation. 
“Sridhar is the second name. Sridhar, step forward please.”
“Sir, I saw him limping towards the clinic. I think he’s injured.” Greg called out.
“Well, if that is the case then we have no option but to select you, Greg. We shall see if he’s badly injured, and if he is, we will play you in our game next month.” Mr. Ryan answered.
Jeet gave Greg a death-stare, and proceeded to walk to the clinic.
At the clinic, Jeet saw Sridhar in the waiting room, clutching his leg and crying. However, Jeet didn’t notice the tears because Sridhar was smiling. Why would he possibly smile? He had hole prints stabbed in his leg, and the wound was quite deep. And there he was, smiling broader than ever.
“You’re wondering why I am smiling right now, Jeet? I’m just really happy that I played so well today that someone actually had to injure me to get into the team!”
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dubai

WizardGK #45 : A Footballer’s World, Chapter 4

Chapter Four: Dubai

“JEET, PASS!” Shaun screeched.

Oh, but Jeet refuses to pass the ball, he’s dribbling!” Mahan commentated.

Jeet fell over a bad tackle from the opponent.

Oh, that is a horrible tackle, I must say, and the referee is taking issue! Oh, that is a bad one for the reputation of Team B; the ref shows a straight yellow card. Jeet is the man to take the free kick!”

No! Why is Jeet only taking all the kicks! The last time he kicked it hit the post!”

“Oh shut your mouth, will you? The last time you kicked the ball, it ended up in Pakistan! Leave it to Jeet”

“It is SO rich coming from you, at least I shot it, and you slipped on the ball when you tried!”

Jeet broke the ice between the two.

“Shhh” he said.

Jeet took ten steps behind the ball, after placing the ball on a bobble on the ground. He had the mouth of the ball facing him, for power. He pictured the outcome of every technique he could try. He wanted elevation off the ball and a slight curve into the net.

He inched towards the ball and then started to increase his pace. On his last leap, he took his weak foot and placed it in the direction of the goal, and bent himself backwards for elevation. It swept off the ground and high into the air. The goal keeper was just on the verge of laughter, he knew it was going wide. He knew wrong. What happened was something even Jeet didn’t expect. It curled straight into the top corner and went in through a deflection.

“It is a GOAL! Jeet scores directly from the kick spot. The score line is 2-1!

“No! I told you it is unfair! Put him in goal! He should be a goalie!”

“Shut your mouth, unless you want a red card.”

“It is okay” Jeet said. “If it is unfair then I’ll go in goal.”

“Alright, then. Off you go, Jeet.”

Jeet chooses to go in goal! He is the goalkeeper now. He has swapped positions with Jack!”

Jeet asked for goalie gloves, but everyone refused. “Make do without it, fatso” they would say.

A lively kid, about one year younger to Jeet, jogged up to him and handed him mittens.

“Here! These work just fine”

“Hey, thanks Sridhar!”

He wasn’t trying to be rude, that boy. He wanted to help.

“I never asked my parents for fancy items, because these are as cool! Don’t believe me? You can try saving a shot without them and then with them! You’ll see!”

“Nah, I believe you. Thanks!”

Jeet loved Sridhar’s ways of embracing life and living it with a smile. If someone would try to insult him, he’d just laugh it off. Jeet found it inspirational. The two were the best of friends.

The mittens worked greatly and he pulled off at least seven saves with it. The game drew to a close and the match result was 2-1. Mahan walked up to Jeet and asked him if he likes playing football with his friends in the park.

“Maybe they always put me in goal, but it is still fun. I love playing at the park.”

“But I won’t be doing commentary on the next matches; neither will my mates be refereeing on the game. We’re sick and tired, and we got games of our own to play. Sorry. Please tell this to your team mates as soon as possible.”

From then on, games became dreadful and haphazard. Rules started breaking, and nobody followed orders and tactics. They tried making themselves referees, but obviously nobody would listen to them. People stopped coming and therefore because of lack of players and lack of rules and discipline, score lines exceeded bars of 20+. Games became 20-25 or 30-3, teams were unfair, and nobody played a full ninety minute game, so if you leave in the middle, it is counted as a forfeit. That was an idea of football with no rules.

There were ten games remaining till Jeet lifted his “imaginary” trophy. The friends at the park created the “Dubai Park League”, but it lost its aura when people left and others started playing three – on threes (3 players vs. 3 players). Anyway, Jeet’s team had won the league and the idea was that the losers had to buy the winners a bag of chips or ice cream, but the losers did not.

“SHUT UP, Jeet” They had said, “You’d get fatter if we gave you chips, plus why should we spend our valuable pocket money on fat slobs like you and – and Sridhar!”

“Firstly, you shut it about Sridhar, he weighs lesser than your diabetic dog and secondly, I haven’t eaten a bag of chips in two years!” Jeet hit back.

“HEY! Don’t you insult my little dog you slimy, fat, bulgy piece of -!”

That is how it went most of the days, and Jeet never had fun anymore, instead, he’d come home exhausted and angry. And, well, we already know what happens when he gets angry. Sridhar pulled him away from the battle, insisting that he had enough pocket money to buy ice cream from the local stand. They bought two vanilla ice creams with a chocolate outer covering and a delectable waffle cone.

“Jeet, I have good and bad news. Do inform me which choice you would prefer; which choice would you want to hear first.

“I would fancy positivity before negativity, dear Sridhar.”

“That is a wise choice. Here is the good news: I am going to get admitted to the same school as yours, Jeet!”

“That is just wonderful!”

“But I am shifting to a new house so I’ll never step foot into this park ever again, at least to come and play football.”

“Oh.”

Jeet understood that the school was close to Sridhar’s house, so he’d just walk home.

“Football selections for the school team are on Monday. Don’t miss it, I trust that you would be joining school by then. It’ll be fun!” Jeet ordered as he hopped off his seat and wiped his face with napkins.

“Fun, sure”

Sridhar hopped off his seat and, in the process, dropped his ice cream on the floor.

“Aw, really? That was my favorite part of the ice cream!” A disgruntled Sridhar spoke.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pick it up” The ice cream man assured him.

Sridhar smiled and gave thumbs up to the ice-cream man.

“Wait up, Jeet!” he called as he trotted towards his friend.

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Author: Anshul

Blog: wizardgk,wordpress.com

Story: A Footballer’s World, Chapter 1

Words: 1099

Lymington Town FC

Wizard-GK #44 : A Footballer’s World, Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3: Watching the Game

“Jeet, are you out of your mind?!”  Mother screeched.

She was never this mad at anybody in the family, but this time, she went nuts.

“Do you know what could’ve happened to you? You could have gotten injured! You could have- You would have – !” Mother lost her mind.

“It is okay, mamma; Jeet is still a little child!” Mahan spoke up in defense of Jeet.

“And you, Mahan!” Mother’s voice became deep.

“You are in deep, deep trouble!”

“But ma-”

“You couldn’t have stopped him? You couldn’t have taken him to his teacher, who obviously wasn’t supervising him? You couldn’t have told him of the troubles and the risks he was taking? You couldn’t have done any of that? You are an elder brother, set an example!” Mother shouted.

“Mother, I persuaded Brother Mahan. I was ignorant. I was the one who is at fault. Please do not shout at him. Shout at me!” Jeet spoke up.

“You BOTH are in big trouble! You and Mahan are grounded for a week! And that P.E. teacher of yours! I will have a word with her! Off to your room!” Mother thundered.

Jeet trudged on to his room, on the verge of tears.

***

Jeet shared his room with Mahan. They were both in bed. Mahan tried to cheer him up by giving him some exciting news. The conversation was as follows.

“You like football right, Jeet?”

“Yes”

“And you support Lymington Football Club, right?”

“Yes!”

“Well, guess what?”

“What?”

“They are playing against Newcastle United right now, five minutes into the game. Let’s watch.”

“Yes! Yes!”

“But Jeet”

“What now?”

“Lymington Town is a horrible team”

“Hey! Keep it shut! They came all the way from the Wessex Premier League to League Two, League One, FL Championship, and now, Barclays Premier League in just ten years!”

“Where did you learn that from? Anyways, I meant to say don’t be demeaned if they lose”

“Yes, okay. But they won’t!”

“As you say”

“This bores me” Mahan said.

Jeet didn’t find it very boring, however. The first ten to fifteen minutes consisted of Lymington just dominating possession. They were passing the ball around in their own half. Jeet thought that if Lymington go into the other half of the field, they’d lose the ball. Jeet thought it was smart.

“Why can’t every team just do this?” Jeet inquired.

“Because they can get easily intercepted or tackled and if they keep doing this without a lead, then they won’t get a victory. It is a very risky thing to do.”

Lymington failed to pass to a team-mate and Newcastle United had the ball. Jeet got distracted; he wasn’t focusing on the match. Newcastle sailed past Lymington’s defense. Papiss Demba Cisse, the Newcastle United Striker easily beat the rather shoddy defenders. It took one strike of the ball to put Newcastle into the lead. The twenty-first minute, and the score line was 1 – 0, with Newcastle United leading. Jeet’s attention focused back onto the game, and he perked up.

“Goal!” Jeet punched his fist into the air.

“Um, Jeet? Newcastle scored, not Lymington. Your team is losing.”

“Oh. Okay” Jeet kept quiet then on.

Half time drew nearer and nearer. It was down to the forty-fourth minute when Lymington were gifted ball possession. Their main striker dominated the Newcastle defender.  When the goal-keeper rushed up to collect the ball, the second striker ran to the striker that had ball possession. The first striker passed it to the second striker, and the second striker walked the ball into the back of the net, the goalkeeper being a long way away from home, that is, the goal. Lymington Town equalized, and the score was one all. This time, Jeet bounced happily.

“YES!” He was bouncing on his bed full of joy.

“Stop shouting Jeet!” Mother bolted from outside the room. Jeet stopped cheering. The first half of the match ended, and Jeet’s father entered the room.

“Watching football, children?” Father asked.

“Yes papa” Mahan said.

“You know, a lot has changed in football in the ten years of your life, Mahan. Of course, football keeps changing, that is how it is. But there were iconic changes. Ten years ago, Jose Mourinho left Chelsea to expand his opportunities and challenges as a manager. Louis van Gaal resigned from his post as a Manchester United manager in twenty-eighteen. Wayne Rooney retired from his football career in twenty twenty-two. Steven Gerrard retired two years before Rooney, twenty-twenty. Many great managers and coaches have retired. But there are newer changes and better footballers. When I got the news that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are retiring at the end of this season, it entrapped me with a wave of sadness. We are losing two precious gems in the world of football, and it is something to be sad about.”

Jeet knew no one from the list of retirements that father was rambling on about. Mahan seemed to know a few people.

“It is okay, father! I will become such a good footballer, the world will know me and I will be better than that – that, Ronald fellow or the- the messy guy!”

Mahan and father shared a laugh.

“I’m sure you will, Jeet.”

Half Time ended, and the game kicked off. Father had to report back to work. Mahan and Jeet were watching the match. Newcastle United was being threatened by Lymington Town, as their main striker got into the box to shoot. Before he shot the ball, he got tackled by forty one year old Jonas Gutierrez, was going to retire last season, but he signed a new contract for one more year.  The tackle wasn’t a clean one and the referee gave the penalty.

Lymington’s number ten got ready, and he shot a very, very disappointing one. It flew miles over the cross-bar.

Lymington had another shot at goal in the sixty seventh minute, which was a goal, but it was disallowed due to the player being caught offside. Jeet groaned, and he cursed the offside rule, after asking Mahan what it really meant.

The seventy ninth minute drew nearer, and Newcastle United had a great chance. The striker through-balled the ball into the box, and as the goalkeeper of Lymington Town came up to collect the ball, Thirty nine year old Papiss Cisse slid the ball into the goal. Newcastle United was leading 2-1.

Then came the ninetieth minute, and Newcastle United had a last minute corner. They called the goalie from the other half of the field, just in case. The ball flew into the box, and right into the back of the net. The goal was scored by Newcastle United’s goalie. It was indeed a good idea to call the goalie to take a shot. Newcastle led 3-1 as the referee blew the whistle for the last time. It was full time, and the Newcastle United Football Club won. Jeet was a bit demeaned, but he didn’t really care in the end, because he loved football.

*** ***

The evening drew nearer, and Mahan got shocking news. What happened was that the same person who Jeet threw his shoe at and started kicking repeatedly had been severely injured and he ended up in hospital with a dislocated shoulder. Jeet was shocked beyond measure to hear this, and requested Mahan to e-mail father to take them to the hospital so that he could apologize to meet the boy and apologize. Father immediately came home to take Jeet and Mahan to the hospital, much to the disapproval of Jeet’s mother.

Jeet chose to stay in the waiting room, because he didn’t want to see the boy. It would be too much for him to take. He heard the conversation from outside.

“Hi Mahan”

“Hi. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay. I’m on pain killers. You shouldn’t have brought him to the match, he took things too seriously.”

“I’m pretty sure you allowed him to play, you were more willing than anybody”

The two started laughing.

“Anyway, I told mom that I got injured on the field, I didn’t blame it on Jeet, because you are a good friend, Mahan – I don’t want you to get into legal trouble.”

“Get well soon, buddy”

Mahan left the hospital with Jeet. All this time Jeet thought that Mahan was enemies with the other boy, but it turned out that they were friends. Jeet would never want anyone to remind him of that day.

*** Four Years Later. ***

Jeet turned ten a week ago, but his birthday in Dubai didn’t go very well. Fourteen year old Mahan gave him news that the boy in hospital four years ago died in a car crash on Jeet’s birthday, which was also the boy’s birthday. Mahan told Jeet a week after his birthday so that his birthday won’t be ruined. The two shared a devastating following week, and Jeet would never forgive himself after that day.

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*** *** ***

Jeet grew up pretty fast, didn’t he? Stay tuned for Chapter Four. Bye!

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