Once upon a time in my final year at school we had an arts competition. I only remember the girls participating in this competition and so I think it was organised after we were split into a boys and girls school. This happened around the final term of our 10th standard at MGD High school.
I don’t remember feeling upset about leaving the boys behind during our class split. As a result of the split we became such a small class of just ten girls that they banished us to a small classroom in the top floor somewhere in the corner of the girl’s high school. The school final exams were almost upon us and we got stuck into our lessons.
For the arts competition, I distinctly remember arriving at the competition with this confident air thinking that I had it in the bag. I could draw, but I wasn’t a genius or anything, but somehow I had this notion that I was the best and that no one could beat me.
So the competition went like this. The art teacher gave us a subject and we had to draw the object and colour it. Of all the themes to choose from her art project was for us to draw a ‘thamara’ or in English terms a picture of a ‘Lotus flower’. I didn’t have the foggiest about how I was going to draw it. I was thinking of it in real life terms and ended up drawing a picture of some pathetic flower which didn’t conform to anything that existed.
The only person in my class who knew how to draw the picture in a way the teacher imagined it, was my friend Laly. I still remember seeing her picture and feeling envious. Laly drew a picture perfect version of the Lotus flower, the one which stares out of Indian paintings that we see everywhere and obviously won the coveted prize
My classmates both at school and college made me realise that if I wanted something badly, I needed to fight for it. Nothing comes easily in life. It was this sense of competition that made me strive to achieve what I wanted in my school and college years and made me the person I am now and I have to thank them for this.
Every morning I see messages from my friends – motivating messages, funny ones, meaningful messages. Once someone posted a video which showed us that the company we keep is what makes or breaks us. I’m grateful that I had such an aspiring, loving and competitive group of friends who have been there during my impressionable and formative years to help me along in my life path and who helped me be the person I am today.