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A Bengali Story by Ibrahim Ahmed
There was once a boy called Jagan whose dream was to become a famous cricket player. The boy would pray every day for his dream to come true; but Jagan was not a lazy boy so he would also practice at the club, he would run, exercise and eat well, and he would always finish his homework so that there was time to play cricket with his friends at the end of each day.
One day, Jagan was told by his father that they were leaving their home and travelling to a faraway country called Britain. The boy was very nervous but he knew that his father was doing what was best for the family. So Jagan helped his father pack their belongings and prepare for the long journey. He also helped his mother tidy the house and he looked after his sister whenever he was asked.
When the family finally arrived in London, young Jagan felt out of place and alone. But he was determined to make the most of his new life and so he found a club where he could play cricket and he continued to follow his dream.
He always practiced and he always exercised, and when he was enrolled at the local school he made sure that he completed his homework on time so that he was able to play cricket at the end of each day. Jagan was as determined as ever, and he was convinced that one day his dream would come true.
The new school was fun. The young boy soon made lots of new friends and the time passed quickly. But Jagan’s friends did not understand why he was so interested in cricket.
‘It is a waste of your time,’ said one.
‘Why do you spend all that energy on a silly dream that will never come true?’ asked another.
At first, Jagan was able to answer these questions easily. He knew what he wanted and he knew what he had to do to get it. But as time passed, the questions became harder and harder to answer. Jagan’s friends always seemed to be going out and having fun and talking to girls when all he did was work.
One day, a friend said, ‘Why don’t you forget your silly dream and come to the cinema with us.’
Jagan did want to see the film, and he was tired of always working when everybody else seemed to be having more fun than him. And so he missed his cricket training at the club, and missed it again the next night, and again the next. And soon Jagan forgot all about his dream of becoming a cricket player.
The boy would often lie to his parents about going to the cricket club when really he was hanging around with his friends getting into trouble.
Jagan grew older and got into more and more trouble with his friends. He even stole things from the local shop and became very lazy and was never enthusiastic about his life like he was before. Not only did he stop practicing his cricket skills, but he also lost interest in school and never completed his homework. All he did was hang around with his friends.
School soon came to an end, and it was then that Jagan realised what a mistake he had made. He had done poorly in his examines and was not able to go to college like many of the others. And when he tried to get a job nobody would give him work because he had no qualifications.
Jagan became a bad boy who did many things that he later regretted. He wasted his time and his energy and he had no dream to keep him going.
One day, Jagan’s father spoke to him. ‘I remember when you had a dream,’ he told his son. ‘You were so determined and so driven, and you prayed and worked hard and were a good son.’
The boy’s father looked very sad as he lowered his head into his hands. ‘What has become of you now, my son? You are in trouble, you do not work, and you lie to your mother and me about where you spend all of your time.’
Jagan’s father talked for a long time and Jagan was so moved by his father’s words that he made a promise to himself that he would change his life and make his parent’s proud once more.
The next day, jagan ate his breakfast early and walked to his old cricket club. He asked the coach if he could train once more and the friendly man agreed to let the boy return as long as he worked hard and was dedicated to his sport.
And so Jagan began his training just as he had done before: he ran and exercised, he ate well, he went to bed early and woke up early, and he prayed that his hard work would one day be rewarded.
But Jagan also realised that the hard work was its own reward. He turned his back on the friends that did him no good, and he turned his back on his life of bad deeds and trouble. Instead, Jagan embraced his dream of becoming a cricket player once more.
Many years later, Jagan did indeed become a famous cricket player. And when a young boy ran up to him after a match and asked how he did it, jagan said that it all started with a dream. ‘You must always have a dream,’ he said once more with a smile.