The 1 = Everything equation

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.