New Delhi, July 1 -- Sometimes nostalgia hits you when you're in the strangest of places. I'm having such a moment right now in an unlikely place. Surrounded by people, music, I'm at the CNBC AWAAZ Consumer Awards.
And suddenly I'm transported back to school - the auditorium with the slightly uncomfortable chairs and wooden shutters and red velvet drop-down curtains. The winners for an elocution competition are being announced and I'm on the edge of my seat, wondering if my name will be called out. Finally it is - "And First Place in Elocution goes to Genelia D'Souza!" Those were the days when competition did not matter - only winning or losing did.
Just like a race wherein nobody remembers the failed attempts, but everybody glorifies the ones who crossed the finish line in time. There was no grey territory, no in-betweens. Winning and being presented with an award defined you as a person and that was what you looked forward to every single time.
Cut back to June 28, 2010, 8 p.m.
I'm in the presence of luminaries such as our esteemed Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and I hear my name being called out, "The Brand Ambassador of the Year 2010 is Genelia D'Souza!" As I walk up on stage to collect the trophy, I'm reminded of a line. "The Winner takes it All." As adults, we learn slowly to appreciate the journey, but not lose sight of the destination.
As adults, the word 'winner' takes on a whole new meaning. A winner is no more just someone who has NOT lost. A winner is a survivor, someone who's capable of sustaining, who's plodded on, come rain or shine, someone who's every wound has a story to tell. A winner deserves all the awards he can get along the way because they are the only means by which his struggle gets manifested in a form everyone can see.
Some people think that it is narcissistic to be obsessed with awards. I believe that awards are tangible reminders of the fact that we need to outdo ourselves every single time to be worthy of them. After all, isn't it said that "Quitters never Win and Winners never Quit?"