What's your unlucky number?

"13", say some people

"Nooo, 4", say the others.

My unlucky number's 1. Yup. The closest whole number to zero really sucks for me. Cricket: Lost by 1 run. Badminton: 20-21 (no deuces). It's pretty much everywhere. More so from a competitive exam viewpoint: NSO, IMO, IAIS, they've all gone up in smoke because of 1 mark. But that really doesn't compare to my worst defeat.

Infosys CTY.

I was pretty happy with myself till I got to know of the top six. I couldn't believe it, so I stormed into the co-coordinator's room.

"How much did I get", I asked.

After fumbling a bit, she said I got 18/20. I didn't know how that could disqualify me because everyone else got 18/20 as well.

"I could've chosen you instead of anyone of the other six. But your mistake, well, I can't pardon that."

I had messed up on the easiest question in that paper: "What's 25% of 25%?". I decided not to argue. It really hurt that I screwed up on that. Every morning for a few months I woke up with the same question, "What good am I in anything else, if I can't even make it to the top six in my school?".

Scars don't fade easily, and this one didn't heal till a month ago.

There you have it: 'The 1 = Everything' equation.