After having the cup of coffee, the coach says, “Let’s now call it a day, we will continue the story some other day”. The friend replies, “Your story is a story of a man’s passion and struggle. Make me lucky by letting me listen to it in totality”. The Coach smiles over the subtle appreciation given by his friend. The coach starts, “Things had changed by now. I was now a Boxing coach and also a member of the selection committee. My career as a player got spoilt due to the prejudices of selection committee and thus, I had decided to not let the same repeat to anyone else. Since, I was the coach for those players, I knew their complete game and their preparation levels for the upcoming championship. The National Championship ,which was going to be conducted in near future, was now in focus. The Selection committee was constituted for selecting five players who were to participate in the national games.

Selection committee consisted of three members-Sports Secretary, The chief Coach and me, the boxing coach. Sports Secretary was an administrator and fairly new to the sports system. On the other hand, Chief Coach was a shrewd person who was more interested in making money and using his authority to favor influential persons. As a result, whenever the selection committee met there was a clash between me and the Chief Coach. To every name I proposed, he opposed. The administrator was himself getting a lot of requests to select certain players. One of the players being discussed was a politician’s son and administrator found himself very restrained in the case of this player. Chief coach had already received money from some players and request from politician for his son had made the things more easy for him.

I was now getting a feeling that something was going greatly wrong. I went to the administrator and explained him how unfair it would be to leave out truly deserving players from participating in the championship. The administrator was quite open to me. He told me that he is having a lot of pressure and I must also try to adjust. I told him that Sir! For a sports person playing nationals is a rare chance, how can I say to them that you are not being given a chance because someone has influence which they unfortunately don’t have. Administrator assured me that four slots would be filled only through merit but one slot you should let go for the minister’s son. It was very difficult for me to accept this offer but somehow I nodded on his proposal knowing that things can be even worse if I didn’t compromise.

The Chief Coach knew that a deal had been done between me and the administrator. He was now planning to play his own game. And in such a game, the easiest target is the one who is facing injustice. I was feeling sad and guilty that I could not be fair to the fifth player but my biggest mistake was not taking that player into confidence and assuring him chance in the next game. The Chief Coach had his plan very cleverly laid down. He called the fifth player who was likely to be excluded. He told him that your coach has done a deal where he wants to do a favor to the politician’s son by giving him chance in place of you. He further ignited the fire by advising him that he still has a chance if he writes a written complaint that I was demanding money from him and if he doesn’t give me money he will not be selected.

My player was brainwashed and the plan to demolish me  was under execution.A written complaint was filed against me that I have been demanding money from the player.I went to the administrator and said that this complaint was wrong and it was the chief coach who was instigating the player.The administrator told me in simple words that he can’t do anything and that I will have to face the investigation.I was totally left red-faced.The administrator’s words signalled that  I was in a trap.I was totally broken.My eyes were full of tears and I went to my home directly and rolled myself in the arms of my wife.

While I was crying, she was tense but suddenly she started mildly laughing. I asked her that why was she smiling. She counter questioned me why was I crying. I told her the complete story and her expressions changed. I felt it was after long time that she had looked towards me with so much passion. She said that if it was so easy for the right to win and wrong to lose, why would there be a war.The righteousness had to stand for itself , had to fight the wrong and fight till it wins. Eventually righteousness will prevail but only if you continue your fight.I asked her that how can I fight when everything was going wrong.She replied that the corrupt and influential may be mightier but history has always seen the honest and dedicated as a victor.She further said that it may be the time for me to plan how to let the system know that it was wrong and I was right.

I asked her that how can I fight the system and she said that get out of the system and prove your credentials.Till I will be in the system I will have to live with its constraints but once I was outside, I will be totally a free bird.She said that I  should  start my own coaching academy.I asked her that how will we survive and she said that we had enough savings and she was also thinking of making her hobby of teaching as a vocation.But, the big question was that how will I mobilize resources for having my own coaching academy.Further, in my long career in boxing  I had realized that games also have a class consciousness.The rural belt of this country is hotbed for boxers and most of them come from humble background.The beauty of boxing is that one only needs strength and fitness to fight in the ring.It is an inexpensive game and is a great of show of strength. But it is sometimes confused as a violent game and therefore, many urban elite are not interested in putting their children in boxing.”

The friend says,”But you wanted to fight the system so how did it matter that you teach urban elite or rural pupils,you just needed players”.The Coach replies, “My friend I just hope it would have been the way you are saying.But truth is that any game needs resources for it to survive and I had no funds or any help from any other source to continuously pump money into boxing for years altogether. Though my family was supportive but I had to play my role as a father and a husband too.So the only alternative was to learn lawn tennis and coach urban elite class. This could give me enough resources, influence and added advantage of producing good quality tennis players”.The friend is now amused and says,”So, this is your story from boxing national champion to a lawn tennis coach.Amazing it is but can we expect something big in future”.The coach now passionately says,”Wait till next Sunday and the dots should get connected hopefully”.Both smile at the beauty of the time and leave the coffee shop for their home.

The culmination of the story will take place in ‘The Boxing Ring : The Final Bout!’