On Being A Sore Loser

A few years ago, at my workplace we had a colouring contest – like they have in kindergarten. It was around this time, that is, around Holi. But we weren’t allowed to use the actual names of the festivals when these competitions were held. Even in December, when we all decorated the place with Christmas trees and whatnot, we weren’t allowed to say we were celebrating Christmas. Season’s Festivities, I believe, was the accepted phrase.

So, back to the colouring contest. We were divided into teams, project-wise, and each team was given a set of items to work with. Our team got a white chart paper and a box of crayons. The theme was “Saving the environment” Because that’s what Holi is about – saving the planet, and its resources. Especially water.

Flashback: Back in school, I was reasonably good at art. I wasn’t great, and I was lazy when it came to attention to detail, but reasonably good nevertheless. But after the eighth grade, I had more or less given up on pretending I was ever going to be great at it. I had never picked up my brushes after that.

As of that moment, when the coordinator handed me the crayons, I had not tried my hand at anything artistic for nearly a decade. Upon hearing the theme though, I had a fairly decent idea to work on. But here’s the catch, this was supposed to be a group activity. But let’s say my then team members were, well, I don’t wanna use expletives, so let’s just say they were a bunch of parachutes.

But I really shouldn’t complain. I work best when I work alone. So I did. But later on I realized you could get disqualified if the team didn’t participate. So I forcefully handed everyone a crayon and asked them to at least pretend to participate. Some of them did add a few touches. It looked quite nice. Overall, the picture wasn’t half bad as I had initially imagined it to be.

Aside: Now hold on. Before you make any assumptions about me, let me clarify a few things. I don’t have any great illusions about my mastery of any craft. I have always been in my place with how good or bad something is. If I’ve ever won anything in a contest or something, it’s almost always been rather unexpected (cos I’m a pessimist who believes in being pleasantly surprised) and I have always been humbled by those wins (shocked, I believe, would be a more correct term). Every time I enter a writing contest, I go with the firm belief that I will lose, and most often than not, I do. I’m also my own worst critic. That said though, there are certain things you create that you become exceptionally proud of. Admit it, you have a few of those too.

This particular picture was one of those things. I was proud to enter it into the contest. I walked with my head held as high as it possibly could be held. But here’s what happened.

On the stage, we were asked to explain our submissions. Thanks to crippling stage fright, I could not, and I threw (yes, threw) the responsibility towards a colleague like it was a dead cat. The colleague was (of course) caught unaware, and really, it was unfair of me to ask her to explain what was my idea and my work. She fumbled.

We lost.

I did not take that well. I mean, to all appearances I did; I wasn’t three years old. But on the inside, I was seething. That was a good piece of art! What sort of parachutes don’t give a prize to what was a good piece of art!

(What’s worse was, later that year, there was another contest during Diwali. Oh, I mean, October’s seasonal festivities. Which I won, by the way. So on stage, they were discussing the Holi contest for some reason. They were discussing the teams who had participated back then, and you know what? For our team, they gave all the credit to my colleague!
Oh well.)

So, as I said, I was seething. I walked back to my desk, held up the box of crayons and announced, “Main yeh leke ja rahi hoon.” (I’m taking this home). There was no “May I?” or a “I was wondering if…” I straight up announced, this belongs to me, I am taking this. No one objected. They sensed my mood. Wise of them.

Now I know you want to tell me I was being immature back then. But I am just gonna tell you, I care about things I love. I may be a pessimist most of the times, but sometimes, I’m just not. Some things matter more than they should. Some things wear the suit of expectations you force on them. Ergo, I can be a sore loser if I want to. In fact, I think I even have the nerve to say we should all be sore losers. Be passionate about things. And take a box of crayons home.

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16 thoughts on “On Being A Sore Loser

  1. fabulus1710 March 26, 2016 / 3:48 PM

    I can truly understand the ‘reasonably good at art’ part. We had this Drawing lecture in school, which was like complete torture. I kept messing up all my paintings, and my uniform ultimately looked more artistic at the end of every lecture than the sheet I was supposed to paint on.

    Then as a House Captain, I could make juniors paint posters and do all kinds of artwork for props, etc. I loved that part: commanding other people to do all the work. I used to be seen sitting on a chair, telling the others what to do. This was because I could understand how the end result was supposed to look, but was never sure of the path to get there.

    And yes, if I were you, I too would have taken the crayons back home. 😀

    I really enjoyed reading this post, Sreesha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 29, 2016 / 9:03 PM

      Hahaha, “uniform more artistic than the sheet!” rofl!
      Ahhh, I never got to boss over people like that, dayum!!

      Oh yeah, I deserved something for my efforts, right? Hmpf.

      Glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sid Balachandran March 27, 2016 / 12:50 PM

    I am reasonably crap at art.
    So while I can’t quite relate to the sentiments, I totally can relate to the ‘being a sore loser’ aspect. And I’m definitely taking those crayons home. To draw another analogy – it’s similar to when we used to play cricket with friends. The person who owned the bat (or ball – or both) would invariably be the person everyone wanted to please. Because they’d take the bat or ball home, if they were out 😛
    Ok, maybe not the same – but some similarities 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 29, 2016 / 9:06 PM

      Oh, but in this case, the crayons weren’t mine to begin with. They were given by the coordinators 😛 I took them cos I didn’t get the prize and got pissed 😛 😛

      Like

    • Sid Balachandran March 29, 2016 / 9:07 PM

      Yes, yes..I got that…you rebel you. That’s why I added the part saying ‘ok, maybe not similar, but it reminded me of this scenario’ 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tulika singh March 28, 2016 / 7:23 AM

    ‘Bunch of parachutes’ Lol! On a serious note – I know what you mean – all of it. Of being your worst critic yet ‘knowing’ that you did a good job, of handing over the reins to someone else, on losing and KNOWING you shouldn’t have lost. Oh and also of watching someone else walk away with the credit when you did win. Been there. Only, I wish I’d taken away the crayons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 29, 2016 / 9:08 PM

      It was instinctive, you know, like “Oh, you won’t give me the prize, fine I won’t return these crayons” 😛
      It’s the taking credit part that’s the worst. You win some, you lose some, but someone else getting credit just sucks!

      Like

  4. kalaravi16 March 28, 2016 / 10:06 PM

    I can understand the working alone best bit! Also the part about being a pessimist and a self-critic. But somewhere hidden in those lines is the hidden ego, wanting to be appreciated and acknowledged! It is a tough deal to be a team-player especially with a bunch of parachutes! Yeah many of us have to make do with the box of crayons….life is like this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lata Sunil March 29, 2016 / 11:04 AM

    Oh those terrible team building activities which needs everyone to participate for brownie points. I hate them, especially if its from the management. But we had many themes within the project which was pure fun too. Its a good distraction from work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 29, 2016 / 9:11 PM

      For me, it depends on the team. I enjoy some, but like in this case, when no one participates, and then you lose just for that reason, it gets your blood boiling!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Soumya Prasad March 31, 2016 / 12:51 PM

    Parachutes?? Buhahahhaa 😀

    Now that I think of it, I’ve been always good at art. And unfortunately for me I was always good at winning too. I was a good student who scored well, was good at arts and in sports as well. This did not prepare me well for losing. So when I lost anything, I took it really hard. Very badly infact. It took me quite some time to realize that other people can win too. And most importantly I realized that some judges have poor taste 😛

    I work best alone too. But when I have a team and they work the way I want them to, then I know we have a winner at hand. I’m a dominant creature, but as long as we’re winning why complain! 🙂

    Yeah when no one participates and I lose because of that, it makes me want to murder people!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 31, 2016 / 9:28 PM

      Same here, except sports; I sucked at sports, lazy bum that I am!
      Some judges totally have bad taste, don’t they!
      Ugh, this was one loss I took to heart. And I get murderous from time to time too! (sad people we work with :P)

      Like

  7. CookieCrumbs Inc. March 31, 2016 / 4:37 PM

    Sheeshaaaa 😀 I love your writing style. Parachutes, it seems 😛

    yeah, take that crayon box home, judges won’t know art if it came up and bit them on the backside. I’ve always been a sore loser, not proud of it. But I think its okay as long as I don’t insult the person who won. At least not openly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva March 31, 2016 / 9:30 PM

      Sweetpea, where have you been!!! My blog’s been missing you!!!
      I wouldn’t insult the person who won, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to congratulate them either – I’m not that gracious, no matter how hard I try.

      Like

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