There were times in my life when I felt like a complete loser. I used to think that I was good for nothing. I used to get decent ranks, say within 5, in the class but I was never the first. I used to win oratorical and elocution competitions whenever I had gone but I was not sent to many such competitions during my 12th class due to board exams. I felt like a complete loser at that time. All I knew was to talk well and win speaking contests, which I wasn’t sent for. I felt handicapped. I was addicted to taking part in competitions. I didn’t even need to win any, but I truly loved the process involved in it; understanding the contest, judging what others’ would do and try to do something different.
At this point in my life, my dad understood me way better than I understood myself. He understood that I always want to be in one or the other competition immaterial of winning or losing. The waiting with hope for the result kept me going and if I don’t win I always wanted to go on with the next.
One day when I came back from school, I saw a newspaper pinned to my table board. I picked it up to see some invite for entry related to a topic; It was deccan chronicle. I ignored. I had no idea if I could even write two words together. Again, the next day, I saw another newspaper that invites for entries from readers. I ignored again. This continued for a week.
Though I ignored it every single day, dad did not stop pinning newspaper clippings that invited entries. One day, out of pity, I picked up the Indian Express clipping pinned that day and decided to write. IT was a photo caption contest for summer. They had mentioned that the photo contest will go on for 75 days and every day there will be a winning entry. My caption did not appear as a winner the next day. I felt disappointed. But my dad said every single article in the newspaper was written by so much experienced journalists but even their articles will not be carried in newspaper every time.
Daily dad started pinning it and I started writing, religiously after school, in the afternoon. On the 60th day, I won. The photo was of a guy drinking water from a mud pot in the road side. My caption to it was “You maybe harry potter or a poor potter, mud pots are the best refrigerator.” That was the first time I saw my name in print. From then, I wrote to many different newspapers, whenever an entry is asked for. I was a regular contributor of Nxg, The Hindu. That fascination of seeing my words being read by many has made me learn to write better and better.
I always thought my handwriting was bad, I was poor with spelling and that I can't write 10 lines properly. But my dad kept telling me that writing is not just about language and that language can be learnt at any age. He also said that learning a language is a continuous process and it can be learnt as we write.
He also taught me how I shouldn't be disappointed when I don't win. Even experts don't win all the time, he would say.
He has made me a more optimistic person. Thanks dad.
But I know who dad learnt it from; My mom. Most optimistic person I have ever seen.
Written for https://housing.com/ #together and #lookup campaign