One fine Sunday morning, I was out to get my bicycle serviced, the shopkeeper was an elderly gentleman and started conversing with me about taking up cycling as a sport. He was of the opinion that Sports and Extra-Curricular do not matter much, what matters ultimately in life is your grades. I was about to respond to this statement of his, but my memory jogger back in time seeking a reply.
It was mid November, a busy month for me, I was the President of an Event Organizing Committee in my College, so I was busy with the Athletics meet and had to take out ample time to practice for my cycle race and as usual there were as usual high school academics to tackle. There were times when I voiced my opinion against the wrongs that were happening around me and more often than not my friends didn't step in, being alone I did whatever was possible. It was at a time like this than Mr. Hitesh Keswani came as a godsend and helped me through the phase I was going through.
Mr. Hitesh Keswani : What Happened Havi looking tensed these days?
Me : Yes Sir, quite busy these days and more over I am not being able to concentrate much on anything, people are against me, sometimes even my friends don’t support me. I have my race less than a week away.
Mr. Hitesh Keswani: Okay, chill, lets have ice-cream.
Me: Okay sir
*while on way to the vendor*
Mr. Hitesh Keswani: *handing over the ice-cream* Now as I speak you must only hear that and concentrate on your ice cream.
Me :Okay sir
Mr. Hitesh Keswani : Havi, the world is what you think it to be, all that matters in the world is only and only your thinking,if you are confident enough in what you are doing and you know that is right then don’t back off, just put in your best for that. You may face more tense situations in your life ahead. For concentration just do what you are doing, the world must not exist for you at that time.
November 29th it was, sports day. Guests seated, boys geared up. I gave a final look at my racer, checked it thoroughly ,popped in a chewing gum and off I was on the track, people looking up to me, wishing me luck , I frightened whether I would be able to make it or not. The gun fired! I started pedaling, its inexplicable to describe that moment. I was able to see my father say “buck up”. Hike’s words came to my mind and I don’t know what happened all I did was pedal as fast as I could and I used anger which is my primary weakness as a weapon. I remember Mr.Nafees say ”One, round to go!”. I used my full power to complete the last round. I realized that I had come first! O yes I did it! I came first! Despite being exhausted I gave water to my competitor who had Asthma , I discovered that I even had inner strength.
Getting back to the chat with the owner of the cycle shop,I said “Sir, its not about the medal, the certificate or the fame you get from sports that matters, all the accolades are superficial on a philosophical level, it's the experiences ,they last forever .One learns discipline ,decision making ,building self esteem,leadership,children learn how to understand others ,they learn how to work as a team, there’s an exchange of ideas, knowledge isn’t limited to textbooks ! Extra-Curricular prepares u for something beyond getting into IIT or Stephens, it prepares you for LIFE.”