The year was 2009 ; the aam-junta was still busy scrapping on Orkut. I too had an Orkut account but I was more committed to my Blogger Account, ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ http://tawde-sujata.blogspot.com/ . After receiving a prize for a blog post, ‘Tapori Mumbai’, I posted the photograph of my prized Chopper-ride on Facebook.
Facebook was a novelty then. Most FB_DPs boasted of fancy cars while my DP showed-off a ritzy Helicopter Raven in its full glory, ready to take off at Juhu Aerodrome. I was bombarded with Friends-requests and queries regarding the Chopper-ride. Suddenly I was having more than 1000 FB-friends, who were active in various extra-curricular activities.
The most fascinating and challenging extra-curricular activity, I loved on FB was the Contest. These online contests conducted by various prestigious organizations challenged the creativity, general knowledge, technical knowledge and artistic skills of the participants. The 1st ever FB-contest, I won was Valentine day contest (poetry writing). Next month I won 10 FB-contests, and then I promised myself, that I will win a contest every day. It was a hard task, as I had to keep track of the contest happening on various FB pages. I maintained a special diary for the companies / organizations holding contests, the company’s contacts, recording my prize-winnings from FB-pages, the prizes I won but have not received etc. Then I discovered that Twitter had also started the trend of contests. I joined the Twitter-contest-wagon within a jiffy and soon became famous on both Facebook’s as well as Twitter’s contest-circles.
I was so completely committed to winning contests that I powered on my laptop early in the morning and remained online for 11 to 12 hours daily. Within a year I was a Contest-champ .I joined the secret group of Contest-winners. I received the golden opportunity to meet the legendary author Sir Jeffrey Archer and got an autographed copy of “Only Time Will Tell “. An organization interviewed me about my exemplary talent in winning online contests.
After a visit to my cousin DR. Sandhya Kadam (M.D. Ayurveda), I realized that I have started neglecting my diet and social commitments, while being 24*7 busy with online contests. Now I have decreased my online time from 11 hours to 1 hour daily. It was hard initially to cope up with the withdrawal syndrome. My sister and mother encouraged me to remain off-line.
The most important lesson, I have learned from this episode is, it’s exhilarating to keep winning and still the health is more important than prizes and accolades.