The final winner of the contest was to get a new Santro car. For the fun of it, I scratched the covered patch and found a number.
The next day itself, I posted the self- addressed card after having filled in all the required data. The fun of it ended with it and the matter was forgotten. A fortnight later, I was playing with my friends in the village playground in the morning. All of a sudden the village postman came to the place and beckoned me. He handed over to me a telegram. I was surprised because I could recall no one who would send me a telegram. I looked at the telegram and its contents struck me like a thunderbolt from the sky. I felt as though I had missed a pulse.
It stated that thanks to my lucky stars I had been selected among thousands of people to win a new Santro Car. It also stated that I had to reach New Delhi on 10th November to receive the gift at a small function to be held to celebrate the occasion. The news left me speechless. I could hardly utter a word. I was dumbfounded and my joy knew no bounds. I jumped with delight and happiness.
I ran round shouting like a kid at the happy news. I was going to get a grand new Santro car – costing over four or five lakhs. Only one or two rich businessmen in my town had such a car. My friends too read the telegram. They too jumped with delight.
They congratulated me. I ran with the telegram to my home. I shouted as I ran. People gathered around me to find out what had happened to me. My friends who ran along with me told them the reason.
Within minutes my house became full of people. The news had spread like wild fire. People’s faces glittered with joy. My mum kissed me on my cheek while my younger brother ran to call my father who was working in a near-by tea garden. People from all over the place rushed to see me. I had become a hero. It was the happiest day of my life.
I can never forget the day or the date. It was a Saturday, 25th Oct., 2002. The whole of that night my friends sang and danced and my family prepared a grand dinner for them. Even when my friends left me late in the night I could hardly sleep. I was soon going to be the proud owner of a new car. It was the most exciting day of my life. On the stipulated date, I reached New Delhi and received the prize personally.
The organisers made arrangements for the safe delivery of the car at my native village. The car reached my village about a month later. Hundreds came from far and near to see my new car which I had got for just rupees ten (the cost of the magazine). I can hardly recall what happened since the day I received the grand new car.
I was in a dream-like world. The thrill and the joy of possessing a new Santro car filled my days for sometime and it took me weeks to get back to normalcy.