10th February, 2010 Dear Arijit, You can call me ‘Champ’ now, because I’ve just won the ‘Best International Young Debator of 2009’ award, edging out my nearest rival, a Canadian, by two points! What a great feeling it is! I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if I soon find myself flying! Since there was only one representative from each of the twenty- two participating schools, that also meant that our school stood first. I think I’ve managed to get all of you a holiday (I hope I’m not sounding too conceited!). To tell you the truth, I owe this victory most of all to the long sessions of mock-debating I had with you day after day ever since our Principal announced that he was entering my name for the contest. We worked the topics so threadbare between the two of us that none of the arguments my rivals put up against me unsettled me one bit—on every occasion I had a fitting reply waiting to be delivered! I also made plenty of friends from all over the world, and I’ve already received invitations to some of their homes.
Old Delhi, where we’re putting up, isn’t jazzy like New Delhi; but it’s lively and colourful, and reminds me of parts of Kolkata. I can’t wait to meet you and tell you of all the wonderful experiences that I’ve had here. Till then, goodbye! Your ‘champ’ friend, Shilpi