Two decades back,achievements were like addictive drugs.Conquering rank positions in school,sweeping prizes in sports and cultural,gleaming with pride during family get together,enjoying the green-eyed looks of fellow classmates were few important facets of my life until I turned 18.
Last weekend,I was exploring my school trunk.My Mom has preserved my notebooks and answer sheets.She still has the diary in which I had written the alphabets for the first time in my life.When I opened the bag containing my certificates,I was happy for no reason.But my smile faded the moment I started analyzing each certificate.There was a story behind every prize I had won.
My certificates are the only proof to make the world believe that once upon a time,I was a good athlete.Once during the Sports Day,one of my classmates was suffering from her periods.Like everybody,she wanted to win the events at any cost.She had brought a tablet to the school stop her periods but she lacked the guts to consume it.An hour before the meet,she pulled me to the corner and asked me for the opinion.With my 8th std wisdom,I warned her not to have the tablet.Like expected,she couldn’t sprint well and lost the event.When I clean swept the athlete events,I was too happy that I didn’t notice her.Next day,in school she told me that she would have won those events if she had had the tablet.She blamed me for stopping her from taking the medicine.But I was blind in the joy of success and felt that she was jealous of me.Lately,when I found her in Facebook,I realized that she has still not gotten over the incident.What bothers me is that why did she ask for my advice?I was not close to her,I was not in her squad,I was not her classmate and I was her opponent.Why did she ask me?I am still not sure whether what I did then was correct.Who knows,may be those bunch of certificates would have been in her trunk and those winning moments would have been hers if I had encouraged her to take the pill.
Once during the cultural festival,for group dance I had to make a choice between two of my juniors.A group dance is a dance performed by seven members and I was in the process of hunting for the last slot.One girl was my friend’s sister-cum-family friend and the other one was just another junior.My friend’s sister was too tall for the position in the formation of the dance,so I picked the other one.The dance went on to become a cult of the season and became a huge success eventually performing on several stages.One day,the father of the junior,who was my family friend,came to me and asked for the reason to reject his daughter for the dance.I explained him the reason.He was unhappy about my logic and stormed out saying his daughter was a good dancer.His daughter was indeed a good dancer but if I had taken her in then,my team would need a drastic rejig.Couple of years after this incident during a family function,my junior confessed to me that how much she craved to do that dance.Today I see solutions for it,I could have made some other girl rested for one performance and would have given a chance to my junior.But what to do,my 14-year-old brain didn’t work well then.
I realized the bitter taste of failure when it came as a flock in my life.At times,I was destined to touch the soul of failure during the college days.In college,when I got my first arrear,I realized what failure is.I realized how people feel when they fail in exams.When the world’s software giant threw me out of the internship program because of my unattractive marks ,I understood what dejection and rejection are.Four years in college taught me how it is to be on the uglier side of the coin.
Slowly,I realized that life is full of surprises,both pleasant and unplesant.When I look back each milestone which I passed is of no much importance to me today.But those milestones were indeed wonderful moments of life.The joyous cheer after winning the championship,the gang hug after breaking the ribbon at the finishing point,the proud smiles while posing for the pictures with trophies,the thunderous applause while walking on to the stage,the encouraging pats after the exam results,the salty tears during the failures,the heavy heart and the headache to deal with,the tremendous pressure we cry out on other’s shoulders,the consoling kisses and hugs,the happy faces and smiles which stays for seconds or minutes and many more…
It took two decades for me to understand that Life is NOT a matter of MILESTONES but of MOMENTS.
At times,we need those grey shades too…