The sun rose in a cloudless, shimmering sky, and only those who had risen at dawn like me had been lucky enough to enjoy the cool breeze that had blown for a brief spell on that otherwise hot summer day.
It was the day of my Class 7 results. I was leading by 1 mark till the pre-finals and was pretty sure that I would come First in my class after a wait of seven years. For seven long years I had sincerely held the second position but the top one surprisingly alluded me.
I had always doubted, perhaps the girl who topped knew black magic and she magically interchanged our marks. Maybe that could explain the mysterious smirk she gave me every time we collected results. Or perhaps there was something to be said for Sun Signs. Mine being Capricorn, I had like the goat, always stayed close to grass, and had lived my life at my own pace only being stirred into furious activity when goaded beyond endurance. Hence there I was, happily watering my plants, and talking to them, telling how proud I would feel receiving the first prize at the prize distribution ceremony- “You all should come too”. Little me, little dreams.
Trrng …Trrng. The landline buzzed in my room . I dashed inside skidding like a surfer on tidal waves. I picked it up excitedly and the other side spoke “ You got second my baccha.” Oh ! not again. Though this wasn’t new but it hurt this time. Maybe I was really in my adolescence as the science teacher had told us , starting to feel things . I ran to my hiding place and sobbed for half an hour in the bath tub.
Mom and I went for our walk at night. I asked her “Are you unhappy?” She smiled at me as she always had “ You didn’t lose, you came second. That’s still winning. How could I be unhappy with a second place. There are a lot of your classmates who would love to be in your place. I know it is frustrating at times, but what’s so great is the lesson you take from this, which is, ‘I’ve got to get better.’
And that was it. I pondered over my weaknesses, endured for the whole year and there I was after one year, proudly receiving the first prize. A little bud of rose bloomed in my garden that day after a long wait.