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Medals and trophies

It feels good to be recognized and I am thankful for many who contributed to the recognition. At the same time, my thoughts went back to my school days, between class 7 and 11.

I was in Madurai studying in a private school- which did not encourage sports- till class 10. But my focus at that time was sports, playing shuttle badminton. And I faithfully practiced every possible day and played tournaments with full energy. Many times I have cried when I lost the matches! And I still remember losing to some relatively unknown player all because I was cocky and did not give that much importance. That player lost badly in the next round to someone whom I have never lost a game.

During those years I would have collected around 40-50 medals and trophies, and these were my treasured possession in my school days. I guess for my parents too. The medals were proudly displayed in the first room. Thereafter, when we shifted to Chennai in 1994, I took a decision to focus on academics and not on sports.

The medals were still displayed in my flat, but its importance in my mind declined gradually. After more than a decade, I finally saw these medals and trophies in the most unlikely of places. It was in a plastic bucket in one of the balconies, all rusted, at my parents flat in Chennai. Was not even able to read what was written in those medals!

Yes, those were the medals for which I worked so hard for four years of my life. But it lost its relevance in my life and I had little motivation to restore or ask my parents to do something.

Two lessons I took from this is that things that I feel important at this point of time is not really going to matter over a period of time. When I look back at some of my big failures, they don't really matter much now. Second, its not the medals, but the life lessons that I learnt while playing sports that prepared me for life ahead. To face defeat and success at such an early age, and learn the importance of working hard.

Not sure how much I have implemented those lessons in my life, but certainly I would be poorer that much without playing sports.

I guess that's what really matters at all times, what can we learn from what we are doing currently. Not what we earn (medals) or show as success to others.

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