It was a big day for Aditya. He had finally made it to the playing XI of Oxford FC, a local football club in the city. Excited to share the news, he called his father, an avid follower of the sport.
“Dad, I made it to the first team,” he said. “When the season starts, you have to come and watch the game.”
Aditya’s father Vijay was overjoyed by the news. For him, it was no less than a dream to watch his son play on the field.
In his youth, Vijay himself was a talented player with a bright future ahead. But his promising career was cruelly cut short after an unfortunate accident, which had forced him to quit playing.
When he learned about his son’s interest in the game, he did all he could to provide Aditya with all that he needed. Apart from driving a cab, he took to selling newspapers and milk for additional income. He would personally drop Aditya to the football academy every morning. Vijay truly left no stone unturned in supporting his son’s endeavours.
On the match day, Vijay sat among the crowd and cheered his son. At the same time, Aditya was eager to make his mark and impress his father. Despite all efforts, unfortunately, his team lost the game.
Aditya was reduced to tears. Heartbroken, he rushed towards his father who was waiting for him on the stands, and hugged him.
“It is okay. You played well,” said Vijay. “Win or lose, it is all a part of the game.”
“But I really wanted to make you proud,” replied Aditya.
“What do you think went wrong?” asked Vijay.
“I don’t know. Perhaps, it was not my day,” answered Aditya, looking puzzled and distraught.
“Well, you have the talent, but you were selfish on the pitch. Your focus was somewhere else,” explained Vijay. “When 11 players play as one, the team has a better chance of winning. The opponents did just that, and they won.”
Keeping his father’s advice in mind, Aditya played the next match differently. This time, he played to win, not to impress his father or the fans. He completed more passes than the others and led his team to register their first win. When the final whistle was blown, Aditya received a standing ovation from the fans. His proud father stood in the crowd clapping, cheering, and crying—it was the day his son had fulfilled their shared dream.