Subhash, a 22 year old, is reading a book on Applied Mechanics in his small dingy room. When he takes a break, he opens a magazine and admires a picture of Shoaib Akhtar. Radio plays commentary updates
him on India's score. We see around his room are a few trophies from school, but at the center piece is an old ball that is placed in a glass case. A plate below reads "Under 19 Man of the Match"
Flashback -- in junior college: Under 19 state level match :
Situation : last over only 3 runs to win. Subhash is given the ball.
All that Subhash can see during bowling -- is only the stumps, and nothing else. Subhash bowls a sensational maiden in the final over to win the match. His team mates pick him up and Subhash is holding the ball in his hand, celebrating.
Voice over of an elderly man as we see a shot of Subhash celebrating :
"see I've also been in his place. People say he has talent, he has this and that. But think about his future. It's tough to get a job. "
Scene is now focused on Subhash's parents getting a lecture from an uncle (he was the person who was initially talking)
"I used to play myself. I made it to the Ranji team. But what did I get in return? I still have to pay my house rent, pay for my daughters education, and run my house on a small pension the cricket board
provides. And now I curse myself for 'chasing my dreams'."
He sounds intense and more angry now..
"You are really lucky that Subhash still has his head on his shoulders. He's 17 - there is still time. Before he gets more influenced, please make sure he secures his future by putting him into engineering"
Next scene is in the future: Out of engineering college.. Campus Job interview:
Subhash looking nervous, in a clean ironed shirt, in front of an interview panel.One panel member looks into his CV and comments "oh so you have cricket as ur hobby and have played for Karnataka's under 19 team!"
Subhash: "yes sir"
"why didn't you try for under 21?"
Subhash has a gulp in his throat..
Another Flashback (after under 19 match) Subhash gets home and is listenning to that conversation between his parents and that uncle who asked for Subhash to go for Engineering.
His parents are back talking to that uncle. Subhash is listening from behind - and he hears his dad tell that man "If you were given a chance by your parents to play for Ranji, I don't see why I should not give
my own son a chance."
Mom: "but Rahul.. We talked about this. Subhash needs to have degree in hand also"
Subhash's Dad (Rahul) stops her from talking:" Subhash should do whatever he wants. If he wants to play, he will play. That's enough"
Subhash has tears in his eyes as he listens from behind the room door.
A week later, after cricket practice, Subhash checks on the board to see he is listed in the under 21 probables for Ranji team. He is MAD with excitement. He runs home to tell his father, his mother is the only one home -- father still seems to be at work. He decides to wait until he gets back so he can tell both of them. Mom tells Subhash "I hope you are
preparing well for the exams"
Subhash: "haaan maa. Just tell me when dad comes back, I'm going out to meet a friend to return his practical books" (subhash lied)
Instead - Subhash takes that old ball from the glass case that brought him a lot of success in college, and heads out on the ground just behind his house.
He finds a tree that he marks as a wicket.. and starts his run up towards it.
On his first delivery, he hits the Bullseye.
He looks up into the sky and thanks God for everything.
We see continuous shots of him bowling to the same tree, we see a true talent. sweating it out and he's loving it.
In one instant- a delivery goes wayward. He loses the ball in the shrubs. He can't seem to find it. Just when he starts to panic with the fear of losing the ball, he hears a scream and people collecting near his house. He runs back home to find his father on the floor, mom next to him screaming asking for doctor on the phone. His dad looks at Subhash before he passes away.
Flashback to interview :
Subhash acts like he is lost - and suddenly regains control of the interview.
They ask him again "why did u not play for under 21"
"Sir, I was aware of the interview- and it's minimum cutoff requirement. I was prepared to make a few sacrifices to make it to this interview" (audience doesn't know if Subhash means what he says or is he
just trying to impress)
Rest of Interview goes well, they offer Subhash a good package and shake hands, congratulate him
Last scene is of the old ball lying somewhere in the bushes.. A dog sniffs it and leaves it.