Saturday, June 27, 2009


Winning is all that matters, thundered our table tennis coach. For the next few days we were trying to win every single thing we did. Being the first to get into the school bus, quarreling to sit on a particular sit in the school bus, crowding at the classroom door to be the first to go out of class, fighting to be the first to drink the tap water after playing and competing for every little thing that happened throughout the day. Everything had become a race that we wanted to win 'at any cost' and 'in any way possible'.

It was afternoon. We had practiced hard that day and it was time to go home. It took about three minutes to walk from the sports club to the bus stop. I was walking leisurely towards the bus stop when I heard footsteps behind me. I should be the first at the bus stop I thought. Nobody should overtake me. Winning is all that matters. I started walking faster. I could still hear the footsteps. No that cannot be. I increased my pace again but I could still hear them. More faster I thought and then I had won.

I turned around to look at the face of my opponent. He looked tired, extremely tired. He was much more taller than I was. How nice, I had beaten someone older. But why was he so much tired? And then my eyes fell on his legs. He had a false leg. Why had I not turned around before? The race had meant everything to him and nothing to me :(.

That day I realised that winning is not all that matters. Not all races are meant to be won. The manner in which you win a race also matters.

It was really a coincidence. I was in the process of writing the above incident when I had a chat with a friend on a similar incident that happened to him recently. He might share it with everyone in the comments section.

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