Jersey No: 7

“Take this number 7 jersey, son” Insisted the shopkeeper. However, Pablo wanted a number 10 for Sunday tournament. Most of his favourite footballers wear number 10. Pablo’s father was getting impatient and irritated. The jerseys were already quite expensive, shelling out rupees two hundred at the end of the month was not easy, the number 7 one was still cheaper, yet Pablo was not buying it. He was getting late for his evening part time job so he nudged Pablo to take whatever was available. However Pablo was adamant for a number 10.

“What is the fuss all about?” Pablo’s Dad said angrily and picked up the number 7 jersey. He then gave an angry look to Pablo, paid money to the shopkeeper and started walking.

Pablo has been playing football for his neighbourhood team since a very long time. He also plays for his municipal school team. Pablo dreams of playing for the big Kolkata football clubs, however he knows that is an impossible dream. Coming from a lower middle class family he doesn’t have the resources to even think of those teams.

Partho, told him that a representative from one of the big clubs was going to be the chief guest during Sunday tournament. Pablo felt excited. It would be a good opportunity to show his skills in front of the club representative. He thus wanted to play properly.

All his team members were also equally excited. Usually most of his friends played without jersey or footwear but for Sunday many of them were buying new stuff. Pablo presumed most of them were buying number 10 jerseys as it is considered lucky. He felt angry with his Dad for buying the number 7.

Sunday the match began exactly at 10am however Pablo was sitting on the reserve bench. The coach Tublu Da, didn’t want Pablo to play. Tears rolled down his cheeks as his dream was getting shattered. He felt like leaving the field and going home. But being in the reserve bench he couldn’t do that also. Pablo cursed the number 7 jersey for his bad luck.

The second half started. The opponent team was playing very aggressively. There were a lot of yellow cards. Finally the opponent was shown a red card by the referee but before that they had knocked down Animesh, the best striker in the team. Pablo went to substitute Animesh and in the first ten minutes scored a goal. Within next 10 minutes Pablo scored two more goals. His hat trick helped his team win the trophy.  Pablo became the “Man of the Match’. The club representative noticed his game and came forward with an offer to play for the junior team of his club.

Tears of happiness rolled down his cheeks. He took off his red ‘lucky’ jersey and turned it around. He tried to spell with difficulty B-E-C-K-H-A-M. Number 7 was not unlucky and Pablo became the new David Beckham of the neighborhood.

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