It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
So said my mother. ‘Participate, Work hard and Win’ has been my her mantra always. She ensured I participated in all events that happened in school and outside of school. Right from the time I was merely a 2 year old, she has taken pride in seeing me on the stage. I don’t even remember my first stage performance. My neighbours tell me it was when I was 22-23 months old. My mom designed a beautiful satin bikini and a pink stole with “Miss.Beautiful” embroidered on it. People say I looked like a princess wearing the thermocol crown. At that age all I could do was walk and give a cute smile, that automatically made me beautiful 🙂 There it started, the journey of me participating, winning and losing!
In those days there were no internet so my mother would do all the research in the library and newspapers and come up with beautiful speeches. I would blindly mug up, perform and win. She would sit with me every morning making me understand what each and every line meant and the significance of the whole thing. Those were nail-biting competitions for my mother more than for me.
This particular picture is the result of one such competition I participated. It was the first time a rolling shield was introduced as the grand prize in one of the competitions. One had to win in three categories :- Singing, Speech and Poetry to receive this trophy apart from the individual prizes. It was only due to my mum’s hard-work that I got this trophy the year. This one even has my name inscribed on it since I was the first person to receive it. I remember how my dad borrowed a camera from our neighbour to click this picture of me on that day. I remember dressing up wearing the best dress that I had back then..This might look like a small thing now since all it takes is exactly 5 minutes to click a photo and upload it on a social media sight for people to see and comment but the joy of being clicked and seeing the photo hundred times, showing it to all your friends and relatives were worth millions during those days.
Our school had an annual social gathering everywhere where prizes were given to children who came first, second and third in their respective classes. Fortunately, I was regular in the event and my mother used to attend the function every year. The joy and pride in her eyes watching her daughter getting the prize only grew with each passing year. It was a considered a fairly big event in our school. The school students would collectively elect one student who would be the Student Secretary for that event and who would preside over the whole function. It was my mother’s dream to see me as a the student secretary. I remember her telling me when was in class 3 or 4 that she would buy a new saree for me if I became one. From the time she told me her wish, the only thing that mattered to me was to become the Secretary of the school. I worked really hard for that during class 8 and 9. Started taking part in many events which made me popular. I worked so hard in getting the presentation and manifesto ready and performed brilliantly well on the voting day.
I distinctly remember my parents getting emotional when they saw my name in the school invitation. It was a pure delight to watch my mother eagerly listening to our school report which I had to read out to public as part of my job as the Secretary. I am sure none of it made sense to her but the joy in watching her daughter fulfill her wish was unmatched.
When I saw this contest I immediately searched my old pink photo album. The album has so many pictures of me singing, dancing, performing in various fancy dress competitions. The album is sum total of my mother’s hardwork and determination. It was her dream to watch me perform and see me excel. I carefully selected these two photos and scanned. Both these pic transport me back to my childhood days. And suddenly I realise they are so close to my heart and no piece of writing can do justice in bringing out the emotions associated with it.
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