Continuing from last week… so now after meeting different people and taking their suggestions, I’d decided that I’d apply for Mr India. Fortunately, the timing was right too as the applications for all contests open around December-January-February and this was October. So I entered the final phase of preparations, for which I actually didn’t have much to do, except wait for the applications to open. Now these applications open in weird ways, only once or twice will you see their ads in the paper, and you can’t afford to miss them. At that time, even the websites were not properly updated, so I had to check the paper everyday.
Luckily, I had a friend whose company was organising one of the shows that year… a new one. She told me that they would be looking for different kinds of people that year, a bit more athletic and smarter than the usual contestants. Smart, you might say I am, athletic too. But I didn’t have the certificates to back
Anyway, finally after looking through the papers, the applications for the other contests opened and I applied. These applications didn’t bother much and asked for a couple of snaps and a form to be filled, which was only an hour of work.It was the application for the last one, the one my friend’s company had organised, that turned out to be quite a pain in the posterior. As I mentioned above, they asked for sports certificates that year.
I checked out the file where my dad keeps all my school files and certificates and managed to find only three. Two in table tennis (that too, doubles) and one in basketball. As an excuse over here, I’ll say that I never bothered to collect my certificates, but that doesn’t mean that I was not good at sports.
However, as though it were a gift by God, I did notice a lot of certificates in my brother’s name. Now desperate times call for desperate measures, and desperate as I was, I took a desperate step. My mind started working overtime and I decided to forge my brother’s certificates in my name. It wasn’t that difficult, as far as I remember we were supposed to send photocopies. I got the certificates photocopied, but without my brother’s name on them. Then I called a girl in our building who was good at art. We sat down one afternoon and tried to make them look as original as possible, writing my name with a black pen. I think there were some other steps involved in this forging process too, but I can’t recall that clearly now. In short, it felt as though we were forging passports to get out of a country. I didn’t feel guilty doing all this either... after all, I had copied in exams too!
The bunch of papers was now hefty, 25 in total— three mine and the rest my brother’s! I sent the last application, thinking that if this couldn’t get me in, nothing would.
After a few days, the results were out. I was not selected for the first, but made it to the second round in the other and was selected and called to Mumbai for the one which I forged the certificates. The girl who helped me with the certificates would always ask for a gift for her work, until last week, when I finally gave her a Superman T-shirt.
Turned out that the certificates weren’t a big deal anyway, which I realised later on, but that’s a story that I’ll keep for next next week.
Because right now, Mumbai was calling.
Next week: The physical meetings start.
PS: Lokhandwala Lad is on Facebook, add him and tell him what you think!