When You Win And You Know You Don’t Deserve It


My name was announced and I walked to the center of the floor with a hundred eyes staring at me. The mini-project my teammate and I did, won the best project award at a Project Expo held by our college to inspire the juniors. Quite an undeserving win if you ask me.

I was never satisfied with what I had done regarding the project. I simply learned how the circuit works, I hardly put in any effort in making it work. It was my teammate who did all the work. I was never proud of my contribution, which is almost zero, but nevertheless I do not feel as much guilt for not contributing because I have no proper practical knowledge of electronics even though I studied subjects falling under the same domain for 3 years.

I was guilty for another reason though. Guilty of winning when I did not deserve to. But I just walked to the center of the floor, accepted the certificate and appreciation from the lecturers.

Even with my teammate doing all the main work, we both did not do one thing – the coding part of our project. We got the stuff from the internet and made our project work. We skipped learning a major part of our project. Making us both a bit undeserving of the win. Especially me. (This is my P.O.V. My teammate on the hand does deserve a lot of credit)

I felt sick inside, but there was a wide smile on my face. I kept smiling all through this walking and receiving the appreciation and photographs, while what actually my mind was doing was it tormenting itself thinking about that someone who does deserve all the appreciation, who indeed had all knowledge and idea about the project he/she did, unlike me. How I robbed them off a little joy, a little reward for their hard work. How I, after robbing a worthy one of an opportunity to be happy, don’t even justify the concept of ‘winning’ – that is to enjoy it and find happiness in it. I manage to screw up everything. I rob them and I don’t find a reason to be happy about the loot. Its like I exist only to rob other’s of their little joys, little opportunities at being happy, little rewards that compliment their tiring hard work.

There is nothing that makes me as sick as winning something when I don’t deserve it. And I cannot even properly express it, because I must bear the guilt that is forced onto me. I never even hoped to win that, nor did I want it. And yet, I get it. Along with a big load of guilt and self pity, the add-ons not necessarily part of the package for all the undeserving winners(who don’t dig deep into their conscience).

Anyway, they gave us both a monetary reward. I had no second thoughts about how we shared that money, at least that would give me an opportunity to breathe a little free under the burden of guilt however cheap it may seem. Yeah, cheap. Really, what other word would I use when I am trying to compensate the guilty of robbing a person off their opportunity to win something with mere money! Kind of sounds desperate, doesn’t it.

Well… I am.

P.S: If you notice, there is a pattern for ‘how people who deserve don’t win. how people who don’t deserve to win, do”. It happens more  than you recognize. What scares me about it is not the stat, its the minds.

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