The PT master Janaa blew a long whistle to signal Aditya.
Friends shouted “Aditya, Aditya. Janaa Sir is calling you.”. Aditya turned back to see the PT master.
Janaa showed his palm to Aditya, signalling him to wait and then started walking towards him.
“Aditya, you are very tired. You should go and take rest now.” he said to Aditya who seemed totally exhausted by now, having his hands on his waist and panting heavily.
“No Sir. I will try few more times Sir.” said Aditya, still panting and struggling to catch his breath.
“Aditya, come on. It’s ok. You have strained yourself enough. You have been practicing for nearly 2 hours now.”
“Sir, please please. Today, I want to touch that yellow line Sir. I have been failing for so many days.”
The students needed to touch the yellow line to get selected. In the game of long jump, height is an advantage. Since Aditya was shorter, he kept on practicing for several days without touching the line even once. But he still persisted. Even Janaa encouraged him because of his persistence.
“Hey, this is long jump da. You need to be at your peak when you jump. You can’t do it properly if you are tired. Listen to me.”
“Please Sir. Few more times.”
“Ok. Only 2 more times and you are jumping only tomorrow after that.” said Janaa.
“Ok Sir.” said Aditya with a smile on his face.
He fell short on the first attempt and was getting ready for the second. Janaa was watching carefully. He was impressed with his persistence. He thought he would somehow make it, maybe if not today but pretty soon.
Aditya took a deep breath, took his starting stance yet another time, the last of this day and he started his run.
Janaa was carefully watching all this. He desperately wanted Aditya to touch the yellow line. He could see Aditya taking big leaps in his run and was using the right techniques. He thought Aditya would touch the line this time. In fact, deep down he desperately wanted him to touch the line.
“Come on, come on” he was rooting for Aditya.
Aditya’s hands and legs swung to the fullest and he jumped with all his energy. Janaa was eager to know if he touched the line.
“Come on, come on, come on… Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh”
Aditya landed but missed the line just by a few centimetres. Aditya, didn’t get up from his position. He was in agony. His face drooped. He closed his eyes and took several breaths. He almost felt like crying. He desperately wanted not to drag this to another day, but despite his several brave attempts, he couldn’t succeed that day.
Janaa noticed all these, he was equally sad but said “Aditya, that was so close. Good job, keep trying. You will definitely touch it tomorrow. Now pack your bags.”.
Aditya opened his eyes and nodded to Janaa master. The encouraging words gave him just a glimmer of hope, but still he was dejected.“Ok Sir.” his voice was so low, that it heard like whispering. He packed off his bag and left for the day.
After sometime, he reached home. His mom observed that, he really seemed tired.
She already had some snacks ready for him, as she knew he would be hungry after the PT period.
He freshened up and sat at the table to have his snacks.
“So Aditya, what happened? Did you touch the line today?”
“No, mom.” said a tired and dejected Aditya.
“Today is the 5th day right since you began practice?”
“Yes mom.” he nodded munching his snacks.
“I think you are not trying hard. By the looks of it, I am feeling you are not interested enough. Are you trying hard enough?” she said.
His already battered confidence was beaten up further. He was shaken up by the complete lack of empathy, that too from his own mother. He wanted to explain his side but he was too tired.
He thought for a few seconds and said “Yeah mom, I didn’t try hard enough.” He didn’t utter a word, finished his snack and left.
That was the last day Aditya played long jump.
People easily form opinions. People judge quickly without understanding. People are interested only in the end result, but not in the efforts that bring the end results.
People celebrate the end goal but ignore the path and journey towards the end goal.
People don’t understand how much impact words from their loved ones can have. Sometimes it’s the dear ones and the closest ones that don’t understand us. They don’t bother listening to us. They are quick to form opinions, assume things and judge. They hurt us the most sometimes. They are our water, our sunshine, our natural fertilizer. But when we actually need them to be with us the most, sometimes they fail us.
Life is also like Long jump. You have to push yourself hard to beat your own limits. Your closed ones will be pushing themselves too. When your closed ones are stretching their limits, are you encouraging them or are you saying “You didn’t try hard enough.”?
If you like this story, why don’t you have a look at my other short stories below?