“Happy Birthday…..” My dad who gave me the best gifts, gave me this. Do you know what this is? You know what stone is this? It’s called a pumice stone. And my dad who always gave me the most expensive gifts, did not even care to take off the price tag. “7 bucks”
Good evening contest chair, judges and all those of you who have wished for more ostentatious birthday gifts but got something like this.
When I was young, I wished being as beautiful as Snowwhite or Cinderella, but I was a fat girl, not the fancy kind of fat the girls these days crib about but to put to shape if people resembled a cylinder I resembled a sphere. I was always the last one to be picked for a football team and the only reason they ever picked me up was if they actually wanted a football.
Since sports did not work out for me, I decided to go the nerd way. One night while I was busy gazing out of the window searching for my shooting star, Voila! There it was. I quickly closed my eyes and wished to top my Maths exam to be held the next day. Now came the judgment day and the teacher called out my roll number “Roll No. 23“. I jumped out of my seat, marched towards my teacher expecting my star to have done its magic. But she said, “Failed!”
Moving a few years ahead, the fear of numbers still pulsating in my mind, I met the super man of the subject and he started helping me out. He gave me a lot of attention so I started wishing and dreaming again. A heart shaped balloon starting bubbling in my head. After a good 10 months of inflating this balloon together, I found him drifting away. I called him a woman replied “the number you are calling is busy, please call again later” *toon toon toon*. I dropped a message *hand gesture 10*. Until I found he was inflating the balloon of someone else. Yet another failure.
Rejected by sports, dejected in studies and humiliated by love, I had just hit rock bottom. The only place I wanted to be was, wrapped by my father’s arms. I ran towards him and hugged him so tight never wanting to leave that safe haven.
Knowing all that I had faced, he said in his calm tone “ This is not forever” “No dad” I retaliated, “The universe hates me. God doesn’t answer my wishes.” With a gentle smile he answered, “Lado, wishes don’t work independently, they work with failures.” and handed me the pumice stone that I had once rejected because it was too trivial. “This stone is no less than a magic lamp. When you rub this stone on your skin, it will hurt you but in no time, it will shed off all your dead skin and leave you glowing. And when failures rub on you, don’t be scared of the pain but face it with courage. Your weakness will be scraped in no time. When a failure touches you, don’t run away, let it hurt you, break you, make you cry and take you down but it is this friction that will sharpen you, make you more capable. And the next step to failure is always success”
This pumice stone, my friends, taught me the essence of failure.
Collecting shattered pieces of my heart, I started working on one wish at a time. Scored better in Mathematics than the superman of mathematics. Started running a mile a day and recently won a Marathon. Also became the opening batsman of the Infosys Cricket Team.
Only when you accumulate some dead cells, the mighty stone does its job. Failure comes to scrape your shortcomings.
A century ago, a man created 5999 failed filaments over a period of two years, but the 6000th one was a success. Yes, Thomas Edison learnt from those 5999 failed attempts. For two years, Micheal Jordan was cut out from his high school basketball team and that motivated him to be the greatest basketball player of our generation.
In life it is inevitable to live without failing unless you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default. So I wish you failure and I ask you to wish me the same because the failures can turn our weakness into strength, can make a wish come true, the only condition being, never ever quit. Now I am ready to fail. Are you?