" Congratulations Sujata, you are the winner of Jeffrey Archer contest. You will be meeting Sir Jeffrey Archer in person at Trident, Mumbai and you will receive an autographed copy of 'Only Time Will Tell' as a prize from EBay."
This is just a tip of an iceberg or a chip off the old block - mother's version about my winnings. Since time immortal my mother kept on reciting to me stories of Mahabharata, Ramayana as well as Dadayana. Dadayana means my father-Dada's glorious achievements as a student / social activist / inspector / publisher / editor / founder and philanthropist. My mother, my first Expert in motivation, inspired me to be a Winner.
"Like Father, Like Daughter" , mother used to remind me whenever I was depressed from a setback. She used to bring me back on the right track, if and when I suffered a failure. Her reasoning to move on and forget the fall is : this is a trifle, you must aim higher as per your standard.
I was in 5th standard and already addicted to tea. All uncles and aunts in our huge joint family kept on guzzling cups of tea throughout the day. I loved to have my share of caffeine with all of them. My mother tried to get me off tea but in vain.
One day, I returned home with an exciting news from school. Our teacher Ms. Joshi had given us a glimpse of a glossy, superbly illustrated, fluorescent-covered, 'The Kingdom of Fantasy' story book and promised it as a prize to the First-ranker. I was totally charmed by that magnificent story-book. I wanted to read and share it with my sisters and friends.
At the night, when I snuggled up to mother and wished to have that treasure of a book. My mother said, "Sure, you will have it cause you want it with all your heart. You are a very intelligent girl so to achieve the 1st rank is easy. You have to eat lots of fruits, fish and drink milk instead of tea. Your body and brain both will be strong and super-active with protein-rich diet. Just imagine, within a month you will be reading 'The Kingdom of Fantasy' and admiring the marvelous pictures from that prize-book."
Wishing for a story book is fine, OK but replacing that nectar of a caffeine-rich, sweet, cardamom-flavored Tea with insipid, white milk was a whole new ballgame. Next morning, my mother made me drink milk by adding BournVita. I gulped that awful drink with tightly shut eyes and pinched nose.
Since then, I ate apples, drank Bournvita-milk, studied a lot and played little less for winning my 'Kingdom of Fantasy'. My uncles and aunt chipped in by teaching me maths, which was the hardest hurdle in getting the 1st rank. I hated maths so I did not like to study it and got less marks resulting I hated it even more. This vicious circle separated me from the 1st rank.
Guess what ? Did I get the 1st rank ? I am extremely sorry to disappoint you, my dear readers. I did not get the 1st rank. The good news is, I still received 'The Kingdom of Fantasy'. How ? My mother's promise is sacred it could not be broken so my father fulfilled it on her behalf. My father had observed me eating healthy, studying hard and struggling with Maths. Father gifted me 'The Kingdom of Fantasy' with a promise from me to gain the 1st Rank in 6th standard. My mother's, my motivator's prophecy did come true, 'When you really desire something with all your heart, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it'