― Alison Goodman
“Piu just like you took your start step on the last lap of the rink race repeat the same as I taught you after the turn” irfan sir explained Piu clarifying Shruti’s doubts about the weird step that Piu took during the rink race that took her to the victory in team race.
Shruti couldn’t help but yelp in distress as the skates were missing, Piu wouldn’t be able to race, keep the secret strategy in check.
David sir volunteered to come along Shruti to look for the skates and govind agreed to it shocking shruti that he agreed about it inspite of the pic that had created havoc in their lives.
Shruti felt relaxed at the moment that whatever they’d been through but Govind trusted her.
Govind was supposed to company Piu who was also panicking inside that she’d lost her skates just before the race.
Sabu sir couldn’t leave the venue as he was answerable and responsible for other skaters. Irfan sir had to leave at the far stretching turn almost one and half kilometer away.
I’ll check in sir’s room. You check yours” David sir suggested and Shruti followed.
After checking almost all the rooms when the bag was no-where to be found, Shruti tend to go to the receptionist.
“Sir please help me. My daughter has a match.” She rambled with her words.
“Relax ma’am” Max from the reception counter said as he gestured the staff to get a glass of water for her.
Avoiding the gratitude part Shruti focused on the problem in hand “Sir it’s a pink and blue bag with a Barbie picture on it and it went missing since morning.”
The receptionist thought for a while probably calculating something in his head but finally gave in as he bent to lift something from down “Are you looking for this?”
Shruti wouldn’t have ever felt better and relieved that she was feeling now as she hugged the bag as if it were her pet Lebanese that she loved from her mother’s house.
“David sir was a bit rational as he enquired “How did you get it?” he’d sensed a rat.
“Well one of the blue eyed coach in white tracksuit told me to keep it with us and return only if he asked me to and to nobody else.“Max answered sincerely.
“Amit sir.” Shruti mumbled but kept quiet happy that she finally had the bag.
“Shruti where are you. They have already called for the race for under 6.” Govind spoke from the other end of his phone.
“Govind I am on my way but still it will take 10 minutes.” Shruti answered in a worried tone.
“So you got the bag?” Govind enquired relaxed.
“Yes” shruti answered.
“where was it?” Govind couldn’t help but ask. Though he’d arrange for another pair of skates from a peer player but everybody knew it goes difficult to skate in a new pair of skates, speeding takes a long way.
“Long story” Shruti sighed “I’ll explain later’
Sabu sir and Amit sir already had an argument in the morning, Shruti did not want to aggravate the situation so thought to suppress the matter till the race was done.
“Was it Amit sir?” Govind couldn’t help but ask.
“It’s okay Govind” Shruti tried to cool him “I have the bag now.”
“Just answer in a yes or no. was it Amit sir?” govind barked,his anger getting better off him.
The race was called off when Shruti reached the venue of the race.
A huge meeting of all the coaches and association heads were called in the nearby restaurant which was empty due to early hours of the morning and they sat accusing Amit sir for his deed.
There were few more complaints against him including assault on skaters for better results and even manipulation of funds.
The whole association of skaters, coaches and parents unanimously discussed and Amit sir was banned from the field on coaching for a lifetime.
Not having a say and being the minority all Amit sir could do was accept the punishment quietly.
Once the meeting was dismissed with few other notes that included regular such meetings and other prospects of encouraging the game and increasing the number of tournaments, the meeting was dismissed and the matches were resumed.
While everyone left leaving a loser and devastated Amitr sir in the restaurant, Govind was in no hurry to leave the restaurant while Shruti was getting hyper to reach Piu and prepare her for her event.
Govind held Shruti as he walked towards Amit sir.
Amir sir dared to look straight in his eye and was about to speak something as he stood face to face with Govind but right thren Govind pulled his hand and gave a tight buzzing slap on his face.
Hugging Shruti he said “This was or the misleading pic that yopu sent of Shruti on my mobile.”
That slap was hard and enough for Amit sir who managed to choke the tears in his eyes.
Shruti looked at Govind proudly who managed to use his influences and found out the person involved in trying to ruin their relationship and family.
Piu bumped into Shruti as she sped through the white ribbom tied on the finishing line of the road.
Soon she was snatched away by all the parents who were astouned to watch Piu skate like a swift , run like a cheetah and finish with a lead of almost 400 meters.
Shruti smiled as she brushed the tears that had the audacity to blur her vision when her little darling stood on the top position of the podium red ribbon crossing Piu’s head resting the gold coin on her chest.
She was wearing three of them and not to forget the championship trophy that she held in her right hand.
What a proud moment for the parents, coaches, family and the whole team.
Shruti sat back on the passenger seat of her car with all the medals and trophy on her laps while Govind was driving back home.
Inspite of his insisting Shruti did not agree to keep the in the bags and travelled that six hour journey with the biggest asset on her laps.
’Papa how did I win these three medals and such a big trophy?”
Piu asked her father innocently.
While Shruti laughed heartily at her daughter’s innocence, Govind took a serious father’s mode and answered “With your hardwork darling, with your hardwork.”
Shruti closed her eyes reminicising the happy moments and recalling her memories how Piu would wake up at 4:30 in theearly mornings when other kids would dream back fairytales at home. indeed Piu won because of her hardwork
They successfully crossed the Road To Success…
But this was only a beginning.
Shruti still feels the weight of Piu’s three gold medals and the trophy on her lap.
It was supposedly the best day of her life
After that tournament Piu had a winning streak and she won national championship for three consecutive years.
And never again did Piu win against Simi in the Rink race but still bagged a championship winning a gold medal in road race and time trial each.
Simi came back to the academy thus Sabu sir Is the BEST
p.s.: The journey was even more difficult for Shruti as she had a younger daughter of mere two to take care of while taking care of Piu’s skating.
So you guys know what to do…..
Piu is now pursuing a different sport that her father thinks that she was born for.. Lawn tennis.
She is putting a lot of effort and hard work. Please pray for her.
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