DEEP WITHIN – VIII

Things started rolling at the RPC academy. Practice sessions got intense so did the overconfidence of Punit. He firmly believed that he is the face of the team, his team needs him, his team loves him and everyone wants him to be around. But this belief at least let him improve his game.

But soon he got the reality check that once again raked his vulnerable, volatile self.

Punit overheard the dressing room conversation, in fact witnessed the plot that was being planned against him by the teammates as they were unaware of his presence in the vicinity.

Player 1: Tomorrow is the day when we have to show our solidarity as players of a team.

Player 2: What’s the plan?

Course of their conversation took a sharp turn when the players revealed their intent.

Player 1: We have to make sure that that haughty rich captain of ours is shown the doorway. We might have to under perform, we might have to lose matches but he should not the get accolades of being the captain of a successful team. We have seen enough of his tantrums and dominance and no more we shall dance to his tunes who places himself above the team. Who all agree with me, raise your hands.

Amidst all the murmurs of affirmations and doubts a hand was raised.  It was Aman. He was there watching all the drama unfolding.

Punit’s hate for him was more or less getting cemented with this gesture of Aman.  He was raring to go and smash Aman but pulled himself back and kept himself at bay to listen to Aman’s plan.

Aman:  So basically you want to get yourself out, bowl haphazardly to aid the opposition, fumble in the field only to trample Punit, isn’t it? Or did I miss anything?

Player 1: you got it.

Aman: But why? We can talk to Mr.Sharma about our viewpoint of Punit. We can solve this off field too.

Meanwhile Punit smirked in his heart “Huh, come on Mr.Goody Good, show off your true face.

And the discussion continued in the  dressing room.

Player 1: Oh come on Aman! Are you this naive or acting so? Don’t you feel hurt to what has happened to you? You were overlooked straightaway just to get the prince conferred with the captaincy crown. On innumerable occasions he jeered at you, looked down upon you. This is the right time to set things straight. And do you really feel that Mr. Sharma has any power over the board headed by Mr. Shah to heed attention to our feelings and demands? Had it been so you would have been in Punit’s shoes at this moment.

Aman: Sorry brother, I never appointed you as my mouth piece. And don’t worry about shoes, be glad that you have feet. And for all those who think that his plan (pointing at player 1) should be our course of action, I just have one question, “Is he trustworthy? Can you guarantee his loyalty to anyone of you when you are in Punit’s place? I agree Punit have behavioural issues but he isn’t a bad person and most importantly not a cheat conspiring against own team. I know many among you who seek monetary help and otherwise from him and he was the best person around then but his position now is hurting you all. Why?”

This brought an absolute silence in the dressing room while one person’s thoughts raced and made fluttering noise in his head and wanted Aman to continue so that he could arrive at a conclusion, that’s Punit who was still oblivious to the teammates.

And Aman did continue: put your team first, if it wins those laurels won’t go in vain for you too. And if you can’t be loyal to your team now, I can see a possible traitor in making standing against the country for his personal gains.

Aman’s strong statement was interrupted by the player 1.

Player 1: you got me wrong, it’s for the team only I was talking about. We have to stick together.

Aman: Yes, now you are talking! We are a team and Punit is in our team. And don’t forget I am the Vice Captain and can take disciplinary action against you, remember the rules? Cut this crap and concentrate on your game.

Aman was stern this time, very unusual of him and left the room without noticing Punit…

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