This is about an event that happened on the 21st. There was an inter house debate in school. The topic was "Commonwealth Games not for the common man". Each house had two speakers, for and against, and one interjector. I was the interjector, which meant I could ask any of the speakers a question after they had finished. This also meant that I had to know both sides of the argument since my job was only to ask a good question, not to take sides. I'd known about this debate for a while but I hadn't prepared anything (reason again in a forthcoming post). So on the morning, I reached the auditorium thinking that I would just have to think up something on the spot.
It was there that I realised that the person who was supposed to one of the speakers from our house wasn't there. Some frantic running around over, I realised that he really was absent and now my house, Tagore, was a speaker short.
I sat with the other interjectors, ridiculously hoping that someone from Tagore would volunteer when the compere would announce that Tagore was short. When the speaker's name was announced, I explained that he was absent. To my horror, the compere asked the interjector to come up instead. The alternative was Tagore would be disqualified. So I went up in a state of confusion, scolding myself for not preparing and telling my self that I had absolutely no chance in front of the other debaters who had actually prepared something. By God's grace, I had to speak for the side I actually believed in (let's not start a debate, but it was for the motion). I don't recall what I said verbatim, but I started by saying that I'd been caught off guard just like the people of India (and because I realised that the mike wasn't working when I first began speaking). I said that this was like preparing for a final exam in one day, what should've been done in ten years was being done in 6 months, public money was being wasted, even the work already accomplished was very unstable and would not last long or give any long term benefits. I think I paused, questioned, repeated things, gesticulated, talked to ceiling and who knows what else. All this time, the memory of my first debate (also inter house) kept looming in my mind. I'd gotten stage fright by staring at the judge, forgotten everything and somehow managed to cover it up by speaking whatever I remembered extempore. I'd been very upset afterwards. This time, I have no idea how I muddled through and as I couldn't see any reaction while speaking, good or bad, I was a bit worried. But I somehow managed to finish well and left the stage to applause. To my great surprise afterwards, I was actually placed second! Even more surprising (to me) was the amount of appreciation I got. I've never been commended, praised, congratulated and appreciated this much in my life.Students from classes 9 through 12 were congratulating me on all sides. Students I hadn't talked to in ages and even those whom I didn't know were praising me as if I'd broken a world record. I was even congratulated warmly by friends and teachers who hadn't been there! And to believe that they were all congratulating me for something I hadn't even prepared for! The best part about this was that it was a private victory. I received a public victory in something which I actually felt I had done well. Satisfying indeed and certainly making me feel very very happy. And this happy state and the congratulations lasted for three more days :)
Luck, talent or whatever it was, clicked :) ...
P.S. For anyone who's wondering, my speakers still aren't fixed :(