Bestest, the journey continues #5 

Sid now has the wise man’s words are ringing in his head – MASTER the RAREST OF SKILL, VICTORY over the MIND, CONQUERED the art of SUSTAINING FOCUS. What should I do, he wonders. Wish the old man had given a hint. He, has read the page a few times now but he is not able to figure it out. Just then he hears his mom call out to him. Sid! Have been calling you for dinner since an HOUR, have you fallen asleep? Wake up !

Just then, the word HOUR rings a bell. Like a bolt of lightning, it occurs to him that this may just be the hint that he needed. He reads the wise man’s words again – An HOUR when you POSSESS IT is equivalent to DAYS and NIGHTS WITHOUT. Just a DAY WITH it is worth WEEKS when NOT ! An hour that is worth days and nights ? That would be better than a PILL! Its like a key to a TIME CAPSULE ! Imagine being able to apply it and do what could be done in a Day in just an Hour. Do preparation worth Weeks in a Day. Sid’s excitement knew no bounds ! Now victory over mind and conquering art of sustaining focus made sense to him. If he could put his enire focus and mind into his preparation, then could be that he could warping time or atleast have a similar effect on the preparation he needs to do to excel in class.

Without further ado, Sid gets going. He hits his study table and tries putting his entire focus and mind to his study. An hour goes by. Sid has tried reading few pages of his textbook. But he has also ended up hearing the hustle bustle and noises outside, checked his messages, replied to his friends, liked a interesting post and thought about the weekend. Damn, its not as easy as I thought, Sid says to himself. But I got to do this, I need to keep trying …

Hours and days go by. With each hour, Sid tried to minimise the distractions, keep his attention at his preparation and master his mind and focus. The progress seemed slow but Sid was determined. He had begun to get the taste of success and wasn’t going to stop now. The more he worked on it, the more he could read, understand and gather. A week or so of trying and Sid could sustain his focus for an hour. He kept at it. A couple of weeks of trying, and Sid was able to put in 2 hours of dedicated focus. He kept at it.

Sustaining focus for more hours was more difficult than he could imagine. It took a lot of effort and energy, he felt drained at times, felt like eating or drinking more at times, and slept more than he did earlier. At times he wondered if his brain could take it anymore but continued never-the-less. His mind played games with him, emotions surged at times, and he also faltered and dropped what he was trying on some days. But after a brief break, he resumed what he was doing each time as he felt there was more scope to improve.

Weeks go by, Sid isn’t sure if he has reached the level of focus and mind control that the wise man was speaking of. But covering the content being discussed in class, going through the various subjects and gaining ground on the syllabus had started getting easier for Sid. He had started liking the steady progress he was making. He didn’t bother much about what his friends were doing and gossiping anymore, he didn’t worry anymore about what antics Jac was trying against him. He kept calm and focused at school, and at home continued with what he was doing.

The day of reckoning got closer. The exams were round the corner. Sid felt that he had done enough preparation and could relax now. But he remembered the lesson he had learned earlier, he couldn’t afford to be overconfident or casual. Not after all the effort that he had put in to get there. He somehow sustained his preparation and continued to study with the same rigor before and during the exams. He felt he was faring well in the papers. Jac was cocky as usual and went about boasting about how he had cracked his papers. Sid was worried if he was any match for Jac’s pill. But never-the-less Sid decided to keep his cool, following the wise man’s advice had gotten him so far, and he was satisfied with his progress irrespective of the outcome. Without knowing it, Sid had not just begun to learn the art of sustaining focus but also was learning to control his thoughts and his mind.

Sid manages to continue his good work till the last paper is done. Sid finds himself jittery at school on the days after the exam. It was as if Jac had already declared his victory and started celebrating. His friends had also started believing Jac had made it, and joined him in the celebrations. Vic also told Sid that Jac had cracked some difficult questions that even the ‘Best Test’ group hadn’t attempted. Sid was dejected, but had no regrets on how well he had tried.

Finally the result day arrives. Sid wanted to reach early but had overslept and ended up late, and everyone was already checking their results at school. He saw many of his friends kept staring at him as he tried to find out his grades. To his surprise Sid finds he has done better than he could have imagined. Vic tells him he had better grades than Jac on almost all subjects. Sid is overwhelmed and can’t believe it. He looks around and finds ‘Best Test’ group sitting. They looked glad with their own results. He spots Jac at a distance looking dejected. He deserves it for the way he had behaved felt Sid. The lessons that he had learnt from the wise man once again had proved to be invaluable. It wasn’t the victory in the results that mattered to him, his real victory was the one that he got in trying to master his mind and focus.