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Friends Forever Chapter 26

February 28, 2020 | By

There was silence at the other end. Aamir waited with bated breath. He knew he had taken a gamble. If it worked, there was a possibility that Sagar would be in the team or else it was the end of Sagar’s career as a cricketer.

Will Sagar get a second chance? Ramendra Kumar’s story is now at the base of its climax. Don’t miss these last few chapters. With illustrations by Avijit Sarkar.

26 friends forever chapter 26

“He is not a drug addict, and stop calling him one,” thundered Vijayant Rao, his moustache bristling and his eyes narrowing to two sharp points.

Aamir sat beside his friend deep in thought for some time and then suddenly got up.

“Sagar you wait here. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Aamir walked out of the stadium to a deserted spot to the left of the entrance. He removed his mobile phone from his pocket. The rather inexpensive cell phone had been gifted by his father for emergencies. He searched for the person he wanted to reach out to and rang up. After a few rings there was a response.

“Good evening Sir, Aamir here.”

“Good evening?”

“Sir, did you recognise me? I am a student of TPS. Sagar and I….”

“Yes, yes, of course. How are you, Aamir, and how is our friend, Sagar?”

“Sir, Hyderabad Schools have made it to the Finals of the Under-16 Tournament for the Amarnath Trophy and Sagar is a member of the team.”

“That’s great news. Wish him all the luck from my side.”

“He needs more than luck, Sir. He needs your intervention.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Sir let me explain. All along, Sagar was in the reserves. Yesterday, he was told that he will play the finals. Today, the decision was reversed.”

“Why?”

“Apparently someone informed the Selection Committee about Sagar’s past – that he was on drugs.”

There was silence at the other end. Aamir waited with bated breath. He knew he had taken a gamble. If it worked, there was a possibility that Sagar would be in the team or else it was the end of Sagar’s career as a cricketer.

After what seemed an eternity, Vijayant Rao said, “You want me to speak to the Selection Committee is it?”

“Y…yes Sir. That is the only chance Sagar has of making it to the team.”

“Okay. Who are the members?”

Aamir gave him the details.

“Sir, the Final is the day after tomorrow. You’ll have to hurry.”

“Enough, young man! You don’t have to tell me what to do,” Vijayant Rao said in mock anger.

***

Friends Forever by Ramendra Kumar

Friends Forever is a serialized novel by Ramendra Kumar, exclusively on LnC

Next day, at 11:00 am, another emergency meeting of the think tank was called. This time the spotlight was on the special invitee, Vijayant Rao.

“I would like to know why you have dropped Sagar from the team.”

“We have come to know that he was a drug addict. How can we take a boy who has been taking drugs on our team? If the media comes to know, our reputation will be in a mess,” said Veerendra Yadav.

“And moreover how do we know he is not into drugs even now? Suppose he is taking drugs and makes a couple of mistakes on the field, then we are doomed. Hyderabad has entered the Finals of this prestigious Tournament for the first time in 23 years! If we win, we all stand to gain a lot. Our Association will be able to dictate terms to the other Associations. We might even be in a position to put up a candidate in the next elections for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. We cannot jeopardise all this for the sake of a boy, and that too, a drug addict,” added Ramesh Naidu.

“He is not a drug addict, and stop calling him one,” thundered Vijayant Rao, his moustache bristling and his eyes narrowing to two sharp points. “Yes, Sagar was into drugs. But he left the vicious habit in one single stroke. I don’t know how many of us will have the will and the determination to do so. Besides, he was gutsy enough to give the details of the drug peddlers to us even though he knew he was risking his life. Using that info, we busted the entire racket! Also, after being released from the Rehab Centre he has not indulged in any kind of substance abuse.”

“How can you so sure, Mr Rao,” Naidu asked.

“Because I have kept a watch on him through his Principal. My job is not only to fight the criminals who peddle drugs; it is also to ensure that this malaise is rooted out of the system. And for your kind information, he has been made a Prefect in his school. If the Principal did not have confidence in the young man, would he have made Sagar a prefect?”

“Suppose the media…” Yadav started saying.

“So, what if the media comes to know? A young man committed a sin and he has atoned for it. The question is, should he be damned for life or should he be given a second chance?”

He looked at others for a moment and continued, “Just think if he is not allowed to play what is going to happen to him? He will be shattered. He will lose faith in himself and in us. There is every possibility he might go back to drugs.”

Again, only silence greeted Vijayant Rao’s words.

He looked at Raghav and Irfan. “You are the coach and captain. Now tell me, purely considering his cricketing abilities should he be given a chance or not?”

“I think he certainly deserves to be in the team for the Finals,” Raghav said, avoiding looking at Yadav and Naidu.

“As a Captain, I feel Sagar can be an asset to our side, especially considering the strengths and weaknesses of our rivals – the Mumbai Reds,” added Irfan.

Vijay Rao looked at Veerendra and Suresh Naidu.

Yadav shrugged and Naidu said, “It is a gamble but let’s take it.”

(Friends Forever is a children’s novel by Ramendra Kumar with illustrations by Avijit Sarkar, serialized exclusively on LnC every Wednesday and Friday)

Click here to read all episodes of Friends Forever

Read on to Chapter 27

Friends Forever Chapter 27

Ramendra Kumar (Ramen) is a children’s writer with 38 books to his name. He has won 34 awards in the competition for writers of children’s literature organised by Children’s Book Trust (CBT), over the years. He also dabbles in satire, poetry, fiction and travelogues. His writings have been translated into 15 Indian and 14 foreign languages and have also found a place in text books, as well as national and international anthologies. A much sought after inspirational speaker and story teller, Ramen has been invited to participate in several conferences and festivals. These include the IBBY Congress of Children’s Writers in Denmark (2008) & Greece (2018) and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (2019), apart from many literary events across the country. In the Congress held in Greece he was the only writer from India to be invited to chair two sessions. An Engineer and an MBA, Ramen is former General Manager & Chief of Communications, SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant. He is the father of two children who are bonsai celebrities in their own right. While Ankita is a youth icon and a travel blogger with an Instagram following of 76K, Aniket creates cool Apps and designs covers for his Dad's books. His website is www.ramendra.in
All Posts of Ramendra Kumar

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