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Deepan’s Sports Day
by Debashish Majumdar
Deepan was nervous. Yes, very nervous. He was to participate in many events on his school annual sports day. He tossed about in his bed like a little boat caught in a storm the whole of the previous night. He just did not fall asleep.

At the break of dawn, he decided to brush his teeth. He squeezed a tube but when he put the paste in his mouth it tasted different. It was his dad’s shaving foam!

Deepan’s parents hurried him on to the sports field. The first event was high jump. His legs were shaking like an earthquake. He took a few steps and leapt into the air. He landed on the pit with a thud. He turned around. The spectators laughed. He had sailed below the bar line instead of crossing over the thin tape. Deepan had two more chances to win a medal.

On his second attempt, Deepan’s shoes slipped and he slid below the tape along the ground like a roller skater. There were patches of mud on his behind. He got up and decided to attempt the final try. He took off sideways and landed on the lap of the judge! The fat man tumbled off his chair taking Deepan along with him.

The spectators roared. Deepan shot out of the high jump event without a prize!

Deepan was not worried at all. He was going to participate in many events. Next was the obstacle race. There was a trench full of water, followed by a net the participants had to scramble under and finally step into sacks and hop to the finishing line. As soon as the whistle blew, Deepan tried to cross the water trench, lost his balance and splashed into the water. He was wet from head to toe. The other competitors jumped over the water hurdle and were tackling the net very well. Deepan dived under the net and was soon entangled like a big fish!

He threw about his arms and legs in despair. A teacher rushed up to him and rescued him. Deepan was losing his temper now. He hopped into a sack. By mistake, the organizers had not emptied the sack completely. There were many potatoes inside. Deepan picked up the potatoes and tossed them around in the field. The crowd laughed out their bellies. Deepan hopped and fell flat on his face with the sack! The crowd was now behind Deepan.

In his haste, he had missed out on breakfast. He was really feeling hungry now.

His tummy rumbled. It was time for the egg and spoon race. The competitors had to balance a boiled egg on a spoon stuck to their mouth and dash and reach the finishing line. As soon as the start was announced, Deepan surged forward, spoon in his mouth, egg balancing on the spoon. Near the finishing line, Deepan’s egg fell off the spoon and onto the wet grass. There was a sigh from the spectators. Deepan smartly picked up the egg, peeled off the shell, fished out salt and pepper from a small plastic packet tucked away in his trousers and gobbled up the egg! The crowd stared at him in disbelief.

Feeling much better, Deepan warmed himself up for the 100 meter relay race. He was to finish the race for his Red House team. The gun cracked. The athletes were off. Deepan waited patiently. They were leading the race. Deepan turned around trying to snatch the baton from the third teammate’s hand. The baton stuck Deepan on his belly and he cried out: “Ouch!” in pain. By the time Deepan recovered, the race was over and Deepan’s team had lost just for him.

Deepan was feeling a little sad. The crowds were cheering for him. He had provided so much entertainment for them.

All’s well that ends well. Deepan was sure that he would end on a winning note.

He was to participate in the pole vault event. He was the last participant. He held the pole between his hands, dug the pole in the ground and leapt up into the sky. The pole had stuck in the mud. Poor Deepan! He was dangling at the top of the pole. He was almost in tears. Now how will he come down? The onlookers laughed at the spectacle. Deepan had once again entertained them. One of the volunteers held the pole firmly while the other staff asked Deepan to slide down the pole like a monkey. Slowly, shivering out of fright, Deepan landed safely on the ground. Everyone clapped their hands loudly for the unfortunate boy.

Though Deepan did not win any prize, the Chief Guest had a special word for him for making the school sports day such a memorable one. The spectators gave Deepan a standing ovation. Deepan went home a happy boy.

Image (c)
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