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It's been close to 60 days since I wrote about Quizzes, Answers and the Destiny.
This post is not exactly a Quiz, but it did have answers and it did change my destiny, once and forever.
The whole sequence of events happened in 1999. Except for the last bit, which happened in early 2000. Around July 1999, Hepsiba ma'm came into the class to announce, that there is an essay writing competition on the Coconut, and that it was scheduled to be held sometime next week. The announcement was for the entire class. But I was still excited. Since this announcement was made for the whole 9th standard, all sections were aware of it, and I knew that quite a few people were interested in this competition.
I started collecting material on the coconut. And I do not know, what to call it, but I guess it was destiny. Everywhere I turned, I found material for coconut, Including one special, jumbo summer special edition of Gokulam. I was literally hunting for that issue, because, I somehow could not find it. I had to turn the house upside down, to get my issue, and in the end I found the issue.
Before I go further, I need to mention something here. I have a special thing for diaries. Somehow, I find, Diaries to be very attractive and intriguing. I had gotten an old german diary as a gift from my Aunt, and I was trying hard, not to use it frivolously, but to use it for a valid and genuine purpose. So, I decided to use that diary for writing my Coconut Essay. I decided to write the draft of the essay on that diary.
After I wrote the draft, after 'researching' from various resources. I was sure, that, even if the writer of the original article were to read the article, he/she would swear by God, that this piece of mine was very original !! :P
Such was my hold !!!
I guess, not many people had actually submitted the essay. I went ahead and submitted the essay to Helen Ma'm, our English teacher, as per the instructions. I guess she apparently forgot all about it. We all got final reminders from Revathi Ma'm to submit the essays. So I submitted it once again to Helen Ma'm. One month later, it happened so, that Revathi Ma'm had not yet finalised the person, who would be representing the school, in this All India Level Essay Writing Competition. And this was the turning point of the whole episode.
Apparently, Revathi Ma'm had pre-decided to cast me into the Essay competition, but had also asked V to submit the document to her. V sat and wrote pages and pages for the essay competition. He came to me to ask if the whole essay was properly written. I was totally unaware, at that point of time, that my essay was whetted and thoroughly ok'ed for the essay competition. So here I was, giving 'gyan' to V on how to write the essay. At that time, we were probably the best friends.ever. If only I had known, how things would turn out... Hmmm... Life is a great leveler ...
V went down, met Revathi Ma'm, and gave her the document. She returned it back and told him, that Hari was being selected for the competition. V was totally shattered. I could empathize with him. Totally. I am not saying it for the sake of saying it. I could really feel it for him. His disappointment and anguish. He came up to me, and said, that Ma'm had decided to use my essay and then threw his document on the ground and left. I picked up his document, and read it. This was the first time, I was reading it in one complete piece. I studied it completely. There were more than 15 interesting paragraphs that I could use. I decided to use them. I guess, V knew this from the beginning, because, I remember that even he, took some points from my outline. So I guess, it was fair enough.
Then I had to go the place of the essay competition. The staff who accompanied me for the competition was a PT staff, and a very good man at that. It happened to be his birthday, though I realized it very late, after some crazily funny incidents. The venue was Sharada Vidyashram, T.Nagar. There was not much crowd actually, considering the fact that this was an All India Level Competition. I was waiting for the topic to be announced. The idea of the competition was that one should gather as much information as possible, and then a topic relevant to Coconut would be given and an essay of about 5000 words had to be written.
The topic was 'Coconut Tree is a KalpaVriksha. Elucidate.' I had prepared my root essay on those lines only, So I was actually quite happy that this was the topic. I started writing. Somehow, I fell into a trance, and when I awoke from the trance, I realised that I had completed my essay. Others were still writing. But I could not write more. I gave my essay to the examiner and asked him, when they would declare the results and left the place.
Two months passed silently. 30th December 1999, I was feeling totally down in the dumps, when we received a phone call to our landline at about 4:30 in the evening. My sister picked it up. And then she was conveyed the news. I had won the National Level Essay Writing competition and was expected to collect it at Kochi from the hands of the then Railway Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan. The travel charges would be re-imbursed. (The minister never turned up. That is different :P )
I was like, on cloud9. Something that I had never imagined, came true. I became a celebrity in school overnight. It was like as if, even the 4th and 5th standards recognized me, and so did the 11th's and 12th's.
This competition put me in a league, away and higher from the others. Though it was initially exhilarating, it did cause me hell-a-lot of trouble. !!!!
P.S:- Starting point of the crack in the relationship between V and me, had its roots in this incident.
P.P.S:- Starting point of the jealousy that S(the same S, who knew M) began to bear towards me.
Of Quizzes, Answers and Destiny ... Part 5
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