This work is a work of fiction based on a exaggerated point of view from a real life occurrence. Names have been changed to secure the privacy of the ones involved. Again, this work is completely fictional and any connection to the real world is purely coincidental.
And with the last and final spot in the guts round, number 10, Shankar Mahashiv!
You have got to be kidding.
All that math, for nothing.
All that studying, for nothing.
Hari Mehotra should be up there, not some stupid Shankar Mahashiv.
Oh well, life goes on, right?
I did not realize how desperately wrong I was.
I contemplated the chances that a dice would turn up to be a prime number. Easy Question. 1/2.
Participant number 5, Kreshmov Sargobad was up 2 points to the next closest in line, Shankar Mahashiv, in the guts round of the 15th annual MathAdds competition, where the fastest correct answer gets a point.
That was when Mrs. Marmols, our Math Team coach, came up to me.
“Hari, can you check on Krish? He went to the bathroom a couple of minutes ago and hasn’t come back since. He was a bit upset about not making it to the guts round.”
I stood up and walked out the door to the bathroom, ready to cheer up one of my best friends.
Oh, Krish. If anyone deserved to make it to the guts round, it was him. He put in countless hours everyday, trying to be the best at MathAdds. What was I thinking? If Krish didn’t make it, I definitely didn’t deserve to. At least 5 hours a day Krish put in to math. Want to go to a movie? No, got to do math. Bowling? No, math.
I walked into the bathroom. I checked under the stalls, everywhere. He definitely wasn’t there.
I went back to tell Mrs. Marmols.
“He’s not there? I’ll check with his parents.” She walked off towards the direction of Krish’s parents.
I tuned back to the guts round. “How many times does a fan going at 6 rotations per second turn in one minute?”
Easy Question. But it was more than that. I didn’t know it then, but it was a foreshadowing of things to come.
Mrs. Marmols and Krish’s parents walked towards me. I hope everything’s alright, I thought in my head.
Mrs. Marmols spoke first. “Krish is nowhere to be seen. Do you want to go and help find him?”
I stood up and followed the others out the door. We reached a fork in the path and the 4 of us took a separate hallway in the school that was O’Henry Community College.
Walking down the hallway, I remembered a problem that Krish told me he thought he got wrong. it was a Counting and Probability question, and the answer was 120. 2 to the 6th minus 2 to the 3rd power. He was fuming, considering he put down 124. All that practice, memorizing the powers of two up till 2 to the power of 20 just to get a silly mistake.
I remember something else Krish taught me.
That silly mistakes are what drives everything. What makes the difference between good and not so good in everything.
Math, Sports, Debate, even Life itself.
Without silly mistakes, we might not have any serious problems. Hunger, Poverty, Disease. All can be traced backed to one decision, problem, choice.
Walking down that hallway, I realized something else Krish told me. Being a good friend is much better then any MathAdds problem you can solve. Better then anything that can be solved. Really, the biggest problem in life is trying to get someone to smile.
If you can do that, you’ll make the top 10 on anyone’s golden list.
“With wings, you can fly.” Krish told me that right before we entered the competition room.
I turned the corner. I tuned back to my search for my best friend. Room 118…
I thought of Krish’s missed question as I turned to peek inside room 120.
There, I saw what I never should have ever seen in my life.
A mistake. A silly one too.
There, spinning from the ceiling fan, hanging, tied to a noose, was Krish.
Going 24 rotations a minute.
Nowadays, we value test scores and ranks more than our own lives. We should be thankful we have a life to live for, and not worry about the silly things in life.