Sunday, September 6, 2015

Anjali - And the Art of Competing

Every Saturday Anjali goes to a skating class. Her friend Yeswanth comes to the skating class which is her motivation to go I guess. She tries hard in a group of boys, some of them really good. Yeshwant is one of the stronger and faster skaters so he leaves her far behind and sometimes overtakes her in the following laps too.

I wondered how she takes this. Not being as good as the others in the group can be demotivating. Ok, she is the only girl most times but still. She does not take too kindly to losing either.

But week after week she prods me to go to the skating sessions. It's the same each time. We go there. She goes to the sir says hello, gets ready and asks Yeshwanth to race her in a run (warm up). Yeshwanth beats her easily. But she puts in all her effort.

Then comes the skating. Same here. She is somewhere at the end of the line. But she comes away happy - I beat that new girl, or I came second. The look on her face is one of intense concentration as she goes about the laps. Sometimes the effort is worth it, other times its not. But she bears it and most times comes away focusing on her small improvements or something to laugh at.

Yesterday she challenged Yeshwanth again at the end of the session. Race? Yes, he says. Off they went, these two and another boy. The two boys took off like hares with Anjali in hot pursuit. And then her shoe came off midway.

For a while she tried to run with her one shoe, then realised it won't work. Then she tried to quickly put on her shoe in an attempt to catch them. But by then they were back. All credit to her however for not giving up and trying and trying to compete.

I wondered how she's react to this.

She shrugged it off - shoe in hand - and told the other two that her shoe had come off. Then she came back and I tied her laces again. Up she was.

'Race?' she asked again.

Yeshwanth was game again. The young boy shot off, striding powerfully ahead. Anjali followed all intent and effort as she tried to catch up.

'Someday,' she says in the car, on our way back. 'I will beat him.'
I nod.

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