Road To Success

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Winning : It Always Follows Losing

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ------Michael Jordan

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Run Simi Run” Shruti cheered glad that someone from the group made it to the list of medalist.

Rita shouted “Piu look Piu. Go run Piu.”

It was only then Shruti realised that Piu was very close to six position and she was so excited that she shouted again “RUN PIU RUN” Shruti now started clapping excitedly as Piu was now on fifth position “run Piu run, Rrrrrrrruuuuuuuunnnnnn” Shruti shouted making her throat dry and her voice hoarse.

But her shouts and cheers had done the job. And when Piu crossed Shruti, Piu overtook the girl in fourth position locking fourth place for herself and she finished the fourth place with a huge lead.

Anu, Simi’s mom was so thrilled with Piu’s performance that she lifted her in the air, hugged her and twirled her in circles.

All the group members of the team forgot actually that it was Simi who had earned a medal for the team and cheered Piu whose performance was beyond par. Unexpectedly she skated amazingly well. Had she been a little early to the academy for training, Simi being six months senior to her, she might have had a better position.

They congratulated Shruti too.

Euphoria of the excitement and happiness among the group Shruti bent down to face Piu with glassy eyes.

She was so happy that she’d turned speechless.

“Mom I will get a prize no. I skated so well.” Piu asked her mom retrieving back from the breathless hug that Shruti gave her.

Before Shruti could respond Piu added “a medal that I can wear to school and show to all my teachers.”

Shruti’s heart melted at Piu’s innocence. She fakely pouted and said hugging her baby “no baby. You came fourth and there are only three medals but mama will buy a gift for you and that will be a prize.”

“But mama I wanted a medal and get my photograph clicked” Piu pouted and added “why can’t they give four medals.”

Seeing Piu on the verge of crying Shruti felt like changing the entire system. She even felt that it was too young for Piu to play the tournament. This victory and losses are too much for a child to handle.

But Shruti was no longer the nerd Shruti. She had to think rationally.

“It is mandatory for everyone to play,” declared Mr. Steve, Shruti’s physical training teacher.

So Shruti too stood in the queue to play the most played game ‘dog and the bone.’

We will assign numbers.

1 Dia

2 Raven

3 Wella

4 Shruti

5 Priya

And the number for opposite teams

“No I don’t want number 4. It’s Shruti’s,” said one of the girls of her class.

“Why.” Asked another girl “it’s good no she is such a loser you’ll always win.”

“Yuck. What if she touches me or I have to touch her uuugghhh! What if I get a nerd diseases?” Said the short girl dressed in extreme short shorts.

“It’s okay I volunteer to take number 4.” agreed the other girl. “It’s so easy to beat Shruti.”

Shruti got three turns and she lost in each and every one of them becoming the queen of sarcasm and being humiliated by crude remarks of her friends. She then ought to do what she did at her karate class. After losing in first round of two tournaments she always missed the class faking a stomachache.

No longer interested in losing or too naive to try to win she approached the coach and with her puppydog face pleaded her coach “sir can I sit. I have a severe stomach ache.”

Coach was sensitive about girl’ problems so agreed immediately.

Shruti sat on a corner observing all other classmates of hers enjoy and play the game. Scared of losing she stood aloof from the fun.

She has to teach Piu another big lesson of life ’if winning is important, it is even more important to learn to loose. Losing is not failing. It is only a milestone to your winning.

“Piu and what if they keep a fourth place and you came fifth?” Shruti asked Piu.

Piu bulged her lower lip thought for a while and said, “no mom I will come fourth only.”

“Baby than the other girl who always comes fifth because Piu always takes the fourth position would also want a medal.” Shruti explained patiently.

“Then they should give medals to everybody.” Piu gave an abrupt answer.

“Then would you practice harder to get a medal and skate faster?” Shruti asked

“Why should I. Anyways I’ll get a medal.” Piu replied, shrugging her shoulders.

“That’s the point Piu god wants you to practice hard and reach top three and even if you do not get top three then it’s okay. I will still love you.” Shruti kissed her baby.

“But mom I want to win. I hate to lose.” Piu said angrily.

Shruti took a deep breath. She sat besides Piu on the way to be an audience to the final rink race and started explaining “remember last Sunday when we were playing snakes and ladders with daddy.”

“Yes. I loved it and daddy lost everytime and then he won in the end.” Piu answered excitedly.

What if he’d won all the games throughout and we both lost all the time?” Shruti asked.

“That would be boring. I might have stopped playing.” Piu answered.

“So winning is exciting but losing is more important because you want to play and try harder till you win. Right.” Shruti stated.

“Yes.” Piu said elated.

“For what.” Shruti asked confused.

“Now I understand if winning is fun, losing is excitement to carry on.” Piu stated as if stating the truth of life.

“My smartest daughter.” Shruti patted on her shoulders.

After witnessing the rink race finals and learning a lot from it, tired and exhausted also elated as all the kids from the group had won medals except Piu but for Shruti Piu’s performance on the road race was a bigger medal.

After an hours drive when Shruti and Piu might have caught a sound nap or so the bus halted and the entire crew got down for snacks and to freshen up.

Piu got busy with her friends making Shruti estranged about the fact that Piu is so comfortable with kids of all the age group. She mixes with them easily and is friendly to her peers as well as her seniors, unlike her when she was young

She feels proud of her.

Shruti too mingles with the parents and coaches Irfan sir and Amit sir who are discussing the teeny meeny details of the tournament, the positives strong points of home team skaters, their weakness and the course of action to be followed.

Amit sir was quite precise and determined about his follow up actions.

Sabu sir was right when he said that he is a pro and skilled for the job. She noticed that he is a bit strict too.

Irfan sir on the other hand believed that skating for a skater should be passion and the person wearing the wheels should enjoy doing it. He should fly freely like a bird.

Amit sir believed in no nonsense. For him results and performance in skating were more important. He might have had a point being a senior coach and had served in the field for almost ten years.

Shruti couldn’t hold herself. With high hopes regarding Piu’s winning since she was only a position behind the bronze medal Shruti was eager to ask and therefore to addressed to Amit sir “what do you think is Piu’s future in skating?”

Having heard from Shruti for the first time, a listener that she was, Amit now gave his full attention to Shruti and asserted in a dry professional tone.

He lifted his sunshades and his green eyes piercing into Shruti’s darks making her uncomfortable all of a sudden he said, “I’d like to be honest with you ma’am but your daughter has no future in skating. Another two years to come, I doubt if she can even earn a medal.”

Taken aback with such a negative remark, the now positive Shruti was adamant about her daughter’s future. She did not want to accept what she was hearing.

Sir I guess you don’t know Piu or you misunderstood. She directed towards the group of kids where Piu was busy playing and said “you see the girl in pink. She is tall as per age.”

“You are talking about Piu. I know in rollers, first year under six categories of girls who wears black and red skin suit. She came fourth in road race” Amit sir said impressing Shruti with his immense presence of mind.

Though Piu’s performance was below average in the tournament he still remembers her showing he’d been observant.

“Yes.” Shruti answered excitedly expecting a change in his viewpoint.

“Naay” he nodded in disagreement “she lacks speed. I don’t think she is meant for the sport. Atleast another two years of hers is a waste in skating. Her victory in skating is Impossible”

The remark upset Shruti a lot. She was taken aback with the word of negativity by a coach, a pro.

She almost believed in him

Was Piu a loser like her?

She lacks speed in speed skating?

Are we wasting her time?

Were the roller skates not worth?

No future!

No speed!

No medals!

Failure!

Loser!

All these thoughts were ringing in her head.

“I am fine. Just a mild headache. Yeah I have taken medicine and I’ll be fine by the time I am home.” Shruti managed to hide her true feelings from Govind faking a headache which was probably on the cards, stressed that she was she was sure to have a headache soon.

“Well be fine. Your husband was missing you and mind it you are not sleeping tonight.” said Govind playfully.

He knew Shruti was upset for a reason and tried to cheer her up. He also made a mental note to give Shruti a peaceful sleep in the night, tired that she was of traveling but an early morning session would always be great, he smiled as he thought to himself.

“Pervert.” Shruti commented earning a chuckle from Govind.

“Can’t help it, my wife is too sexy.” Govind answered back.

“Okay time to go. Will call once I am back home.” Shruti disconnected the call. Though talking to Govind is a treat but still words from the coach were giving a stinging pain in her heart.

She avoided any interactions or communications with her friends. She refused to talk to anyone. She even dismissed her new bestie Rita politely excusing that she had a sleepless last night and wanted to doze of before resuming her duties as a housewife once she returns home.

The worst part being sleep had become an antagonist to her brain which was dysfunctional completely upset with the pain those words by the coach had caused to her.

She even tried to console herself that skating isn’t everything.

Piu can focus on studies! Then there is dance, swimming, badminton, basket ball and on and on, plenty of options available.

If she is not able to make it in skating, she’ll make it somewhere else!!!

But what about Govind?

He’d be so upset.

He wanted to take Piu to internationals.

If the headache was fake when she lied Govind now her head was throbbing unable to accept the fact that Piu cannot win:(


Shruti jumped into Govind’s arms who was equally stunned to see his wife’s display of love in public

Shruti had been shy and private person.

He hugged her back muttering a “I missed you.”

These three words were like confession of love by Govind to Shruti as it is not common that Govind would express his feelings.

All the stress, negativity and the ill feelings all disappeared at an instant with that touch of hug.

Once again Shruti thanked The Lords for blessing her with love in her life.

“You okay?” Govind asked rubbing his knuckles on Shruti’s face.

’was she that obvious?’ Shruti sighed.

Piu’s lovely “Daddy” demanded Govind’s attention and he quickly lifted Piu on his arms.

“My princess” Govind acknowledge Piu “this is for you”.

He removed a chocolate bar and handed it over to her as he added, “I am very proud of you. You skated so well.”

“Who told you daddy?” Piu asked excited as she munched a bite of milk chocolate.

“Sabu sir called and told me that Piu was great on the road and she skated well on rinks too.” Govind patted on piu’s shoulder.

Shruti knew that it was fake but concentrated on two people whom she valued the most!

“Daddy momma explained me. From now on I’ll work harder, skate faster and soon I will wear medals and come back from a tournament.” Piu stated confidently.

Govind laughed heartily at the big words from his small cherub “You will Piu. You will and then one day we will fly to go for a tournament.”

“You mean aeroplane. We will not go in bus.” Piu asked excitedly.

“Yes it would be international and skaters all over the world will participate.” Govind encouraged.

“Wow I will make friends, new friends from all over the world.” Piu exclaimed.

“Momma” Piu shouted as he ran back to her room and brought her skating bag “mom tie my laces. I have to skate, work hard and go in aeroplane and I will bring a medal from in..inter...I “ she stopped pouting and raising her eyebrows not able to pronounce the right word.

“Internationally” Shruti added with a huge grin on her face.

Amit sir’s words were so small compared to the huge dreams that two people whom she dearly loved and trusted were dreaming with open eyes.

“You seemed to be upset?” Govind asked Shruti though he was glad that pink blush was back on Shruti’s face.

“Missed you” Shruti mouthed as she rested her head on Govind’s shoulder, his other shoulder nestled Piu.

Govind knew it wasn’t true but let the matter go.

If it disturbs Shruti, it better be under cover and not be dicussed.

Shruti on the other hand feels blessed to have a loving Govind and cheerful Piu in her life.

“Who can stop Piu to win?”

Piu will win:)

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