Never Call It A Day..... The Struggle Of Mohammed Mustafa

Thank you everyone for making Abhi and Ajit so famous, and also for reading my blog.After writing about them,I wanted something of that caliber. And after a long persuasion got one. 

Mohammed Mustafa, a boy famous for his game rather than his academics was exceptionally a first bencher making it clear that the bench you sit in the class plays the least role in your subsequent aims. A very decent boy who at no time discussed his game in the class and never allowed his success to reach his mind.  After the class hours he used to call me baji, and of course he did regard me as an elder sister. That makes this boy even dear to me.

Mohammed Mustafa (MM) has 7 State Gold and 3 National Bronze Medals to his credit and now he is waiting to make a mark in the International team. After much invocation he spoke about himself. 

Me: Assalamu Alaikum Mustafa, thank you for finally allowing to write about you.
MM:Walaikum As Salam, actually, I don't think I am still ready for it. But, I can't say no to my baji.
Me: My pleasure. Tell me about your game.
MM:  I am a Roller Hockey player which is played wearing skates. The ground on which we play is called as Roller Hockey Rink. This game is of 10 players. And we play with only 5 players, i.e. 1 goal keeper, 1 defender and 3 front players. This game is played for 25.5.25 mins. And shall I tell you something? This is the World’s fastest game.
Mustafa during his school days
Me: How did you get into his game?
MM: I studied at St. Faiz High School,  Mr. Mohammed Sohail my PT sir in school was my first coach. I owe my success to him a lot because he used to take nearly 12 - 13 of us to L.B. Stadium for practice in his maruti 800. Then I learnt from  Mr. M.A. Raheem who is a National and Mr. M.A. Qadeer is an International Coach. Because I was good at the game, I got full support from the management. Here I would like to mention that I learnt skating only in 3 days. And I used to participate in all the sports meets conducted through my school.
Me: Is someone from your family in this game?
MM: No. None of my family members are in this game. But, my dad is a national kabaddi player.
Me: So, your father would have guided you.
MM: Guided???? He used to beat me whenever I used to go for practice.
Me: Why? You said even he was a player.
MM: Yes, but he was worried for my future as this game is not so popular. And I being the eldest son, he had a lot of hopes on me. My dad is an SI. But being a National Kabaddi player did not help him professionally, so he was against even my game. 
Me: Then how did you come so far?
MM: HaH!!!!! when I realized that my dad is not happy with my game, I used to practice  without his knowledge and after seeing my game, my P.T. sir took me to L.B. Stadium for practice where I improved a lot. During this period daily I used to get up at 4:30 in the morning and used to go to stadium on my cycle.  I used to practice till 8 in the morning then rush to home, get ready for school which used to start at 9. Then again after school I used to start my practice from 5 in the evening till 11 or sometimes 12 in the night. And this was the toughest period for me. I really used to pity myself.
Me: Pity….. is a small word but has an intense meaning.
MM: Yes,I know. I used this word because I was in that condition at that time. I never used to have any money even for eating an apple. Or to repair the punctured tyre of my cycle. I used to walk on foot pushing my cycle, from falaknuma to stadium and vice versa. We stay near taj banjara, falaknuma. Our hockey stick used to cost Rs. 350/- at that time, and I used the same stick for 4 years. I used to cry a lot.
Me: For an apple?
Mustafa  with Siddiq and Asif
MM: No, every other boy who was practicing with me used to come with their parents in the car or on bikes. And they used to drop them happily and watch them practice. But I was the only one who used to go alone on a bicycle. Many a times I pleaded my mummy to come with me but she was afraid of my dad who was against my game. And I knew if I tell my dad to come, I would be beaten up. So, I never told him.
Me: Really heart touching. So did this scenario change? How did you get into the team?
MM: Yes, to a certain extent but not fully. When I was practicing at L.B. Stadium my coaches gave me full training, they only filled and submitted my form after which I was selected for district sub juniors in 2004. Syed Asif Ali and Mohammed Siddiq were two others who joined me in the team. Mohammed Siddiq is now an International player. And we played our first Nationals at Vishakhapatnam in 2004. That was a lucky year not just for me but also for our State. Till then our state had never won a medal. But in 2004 we won the first medal for AP.
The team which won the first gold medal in 2006
Me: Wow !!! You proved lucky  for the state.
MM: Hahaha !!! I don’t know. But it was my debut and we won a medal, kind of sync. And I reached this position very quickly. From a sub junior team to a district player and then a state player.
Me: How did this experience change your life?
MM: Asif and Siddiq are my childhood buddies, and people say we three changed the whole game.Earlier everyone used to make fun of us, saying we are from old city, and old city boys are good for nothing, we can't do anything and all. But, when we started getting medals, the same people started respecting us. And today everyone praises us for our behavior, both on and off the rink. We were never involved in teasing or misbehaving with girls.We used to concentrate on our game plan only.
Me: That’s good…..
MM: You asked me how did this experience change my life. Here, I must say, this was a real life changing experience, my nanaji had come to Vishakhapatnam to see me play and after my match he gifted me my first skates, and also my coach gifted me a new set of skates. And my school had felicitated me and my whole family had attended that function, and from here on my dad’s behavior also changed towards me to a certain extent.

Me: Great!!!! To an extent means?
MM: He did not accept completely, he stopped beating me and then he used to permit me for practice but with a warning that my studies should not be affected. Alhumdulillah, I completed my graduation and post graduation in first division.
Me: Then when did he change completely?
MM: After I got selected for National team, and after seeing me in print media he is a completely changed person.

Mustafa after winning Stale level in 2013
Me: Hmmmm. Did you get any financial support at any time for this game?
Mustafa and his team after winning state level gold in 2013

MM: No. Not at any time. You know when someone from North India Team plays this game they receive cash prizes and also Government Jobs are offered to them, but till date I did not receive any cash except from Mr. V.K. Swamy who was my principal in St. Joseph’s. Whenever I went out for playing, he used to give me Rs. 1000/-. Whenever I went to request for sponsorship, I got only one reply, this game is not in Olympics. I ask even cricket is not played in olympics, but still you sponsor them, why this discrimination? Same thing is happening when I am on a job search. With so many medals and certificates, even in
sports quota, I am unable to get a job. But now I have some hopes from the present government that may be they will support me.
Me: What are your future plans?
MM: Right now my aim is to secure a good job and my dream is to play at International level. We have our matches scheduled in January 2015. I request all the readers to pray for my selection.
Me: In Sha Allah. Ameen. Would like to say something?
MM: I would like to quote a very commonly used Allama Iqbal's line " Khud hi ko kar buland itna ki har taqdeer se pehle, Khuda khud bande se pooche bata teri raza kya hai?" People would say its easily said than done, but I am a live example. From a boy who didn't had money to repair a tyre owns a personal Honda I10. And my dad who used to beat me up because of my game, today he is using all his resources to see me play in Internationals. From a nobody, I became somebody.Today everybody who knows about Roller Hockey recognises me. Alhumdulillah.  Perhaps, I would say time does change, we need to be patient.

In Sha Allah, all your prayers would be answered soon. And All The Best for Your Match. Hope we see you playing in International matches. Ameen.
Hope you enjoyed reading, until my next story, stay protected and safe.