THE RIVAL – A TRUE STORY

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“No ma not today” I skip breakfast. Poor mom she had to bear the wrath of my anger. I switch off the radio as well. No customary Illayaraja track as well. What’s gotten into me? Suddenly my world had turned topsy turvy. It was the big day and I had to win. There was pride at stake and points for the house which I represented

As a 7th grade kid it was make or break day for me. Either I prove myself or fade into oblivion. What will my buddies think if I lose? It was my first try at something this competitive so the result did matter. If I win it might to lead to many such attempts and If I lose it’s the end. Why was i so worried? All I had to do was conjure up an English essay for a topic given on the spot. My English credentials were impeccable. What about my competitors? Most of them wouldn’t even come close. There was just one person who could steal the win from me. “Oh God please make her sick so that she doesn’t turn up”. I pray with all earnestness and there she was with her trademark radiant smile. I am finished.

She was a star and I mean literally. A naturally gifted person who could make the whole school root for her, including the judges. I was the underdog an average student. My only plus – My English. I didn’t stand a chance. My steps become heavy. My English professor suddenly seemed like some evil incarnate. I turn the pages of my text looking for some inspiration hoping that it would soothe my already muddled mind.

No worries boss you are gonna to win don’t work yourself up too much” Did I hear someone say something. I look up and I could barely believe my eyes. It was her – my sole competitor. She was supposed to be preparing for the competition instead she’s right in front of me giving me the assurance that I badly needed. My spirits soared and needless to say I aced the competition.

Many such accolades followed but this win was special not for the prize or the points but for the lasting lesson that it gave me. “It is always a blessing to have someone to compete against. A healthy competition more often than not brings out the best in you

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