He was bleeding very badly. The towel that was used to wipe his face has turned red from his blood. He was hyperventilating and they were giving him water as he was dehydrating very badly. His Manager, coach and his son looked worriedly at him. He could sparsely hear them amidst the boos and cheers of the house full crowd.
"There is just one more round. Are you sure you can make it?" asked the coach.
"I guess I can." He looked worried.
"I don't want you to guess. We are going to do it. Who is going to win today?" the coach yelled.
"Who is the champion?"
"Who is going to be the winner?"
"Give me a hi five"
As the coach said this the mood lightened and they returned to normal state. He looked dotingly at his son who had come to watch the championship bout. He could feel the fear and confusion in his sons eyes. Heck...even he was scared, but was just masking it with anger and grunt. His opponent was the current world champion and was trying hard to maintain the crown. The championship belt would mean a few sponsorship contracts, few ceremonial speeches and unlimited interviews (both paid). They both were champions in their own right and they were not leaving any blows left in this decider. If one round had belonged to him, the other belonged to his opponent and so it remained a balanced contest till the penultimate round.
As the bell gonged, he got up and pumped his fist showing aggression. They circled round and round and he punched his opponent right on his face. Good shot. Then it rained blows and his opponent retaliated suitably. His opponent then jabbed him on his left and that was indeed a thunderous shot. He experienced a headache which could have split his head into two and the whole world seemed blur. It shook the daylights out of him and he collapsed on the floor. He tried to open his eyes and saw a blur image of his son looking at him giving up all hopes of a revival. That was when he was reminded about what transpired between them a day ago.
"Why did you get so low marks in Maths?"
"Dad. We have a very bad teacher for maths."
"Look son. Lets get this straight. So it means that it has nothing to do with your inability to deal with it?"
His son looked at him puzzled and wondered what to answer him.
"Son. Let me ask you something. How do you want to remembered after your time?"
The referee started his countdown and yelled "One."
"I don't understand what you are talking about dad"
"Son. We all die. Its a hard truth. But its only the death of the body. Your name stays....if you do something worthwhile."
"If you cannot change your life, how are you going to change somebody else's? The world remembers only people who have brought a change to at least someone's life"
"I am not asking you change everybody else. Start with yourself."
"Don't look at maths as something intimidating. Remember that you have to fear nothing but fear itself."
"If the problem persists with the teacher, you can learn it from someone else. You have to find a solution instead of just grieving over the problem. But...you gotta get it straight. Because you are a winner."
"No matter what the outcome could be....what matters is if you have tried or not. Don't let anything go without a fight."
"Its doesn't matter how strong you are hit. What matters is how strong you get back on your feet and retaliate."
As he remembered his own words to his son, he felt a new rush of blood in himself. He felt as if he had spoken those words for himself. He was not going to go down without a fight. He sprung on his feet to the surprise of everyone. His emotional strength had energized him physically and he fought for the remaining time like a tiger on prowl. As the bell gonged again the referee separated them from each other. He looked into his opponents eyes. It was not a look of discontent, but of respect.
He went down past his manager, coach and swarming photographers to his son and hugged him. His son cried and said "I am proud of you dad."
That was enough. The referee looked at the score sheet and said "And the winner is.."
He was gone. He carried his son on his shoulder and walked out of the stadium. It was just a belt. He could win it at any point of time in his life. Today he had won something precious and priceless - his sons respect and love.