Clearly there was tension on my face.
It looked as if I was the sore loser of the race.
It was my X Urdu Board Examination.
I was high on cornflakes and determination.
I had to anyhow top score this day.
Saying this was my immediate aim would be fair.
The top-scorer was promised a Gold Medal and applause.
In front of thousands of students assembled for just this cause.
I dreamt about this prize day and night.
And on the D-Day, was ready to take the fight.
But alas, here I was wandering in the exam compound.
My seat was missing and nowhere to be found.
All my classmates were already scribbling answers in to their sheets.
They were comfy in their seats and were visually upbeat.
They looked at me with a miserable frown.
“Humph! This guy has still not sat down”.
By now, five teachers had joined me in my search.
They were racing up and down to help me find my perch.
After 30 long minutes, I located my seat.
Immediately started writing the exam with high speed.
I felt like a complete idiot having wasted this much time.
And with everyone’s stares, I felt if this was a scene of crime.
I could sense them mocking me.
“Gold Medal? Oh he he he!”
I was lagging behind by half an hour in the mix-up.
Still, I decided to not give up.
For I remembered my dream and the sleepless prep nights.
And the trust my Urdu teacher levied against my might.
A day before the exam, he whispered in my ear,
“Asrar, I have confidence that you’ll win the Gold Medal here ”
And here I was, half an hour late in to the exam.
With a sweaty forehead and thoughts of ‘Oh damn!’
I gave my best and walked out of the exam hall.
Spoke to nobody, either short or tall.
Six months later when I attended the results session,
There were tears in my eyes having learnt a very important lesson.
The lesson I learnt was to NEVER GIVE UP!
And in times of the unexpected, to always keep your chin up.
For once, Mark Twain had rightly said:
‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, It’s the size of the fight in the dog!’
(P.S: For those of you wondering, I did top-score that day.
And yes, won the Gold Medal and proudly walked away!)