For Contest 7, we had 21 entries. Thanks to all of you who participated and shared your thoughts. Three common themes came out.
- Multiple personality disorder, where the doppelganger is not real but a figment of the character’s imagination.
- A metaphorical treatment of doppelgangers, where thoughts, experiences and regrets come to haunt the character.
- A straight view of the matter, where people meet their doubles in the flesh, and either fall in love with them or have a fight/argument.
1. The Ball Roller Award this time goes to Lakshmi Priya, who decided that enough was enough, and that she will make her presence felt at the contest after all. She posted her entry on the same day that the contest went live, so just for her sake we’re going to revive the now defunct Eager Beaver Award and present it to her amid much fanfare. Congratulations, LP!
2. The Committed Contestant Award, which we give away to those contestants who enter more than once, this time goes to Lakshmi Priya and Vinisha, who both entered three entries each. Unless my memory is failing, this is the first time in the (short) history of these contests where more than one person has made full use of the three entries they’re allowed. Well done, LP and Vinisha. May your tribe thrive.
3. For the Rebel Award, given to contestants with the most disdain for the 300-word limit, and which is usually snapped by Nitthilan, is going this time to Pradeep Thyagaraja. Giving him a close run to the top are Nitthilan and Hemanth. However, the Late Latif Award goes to Nitthilan, who once again managed to sneak in an entry after the last day had passed.
1. Lakshmi Priya’s second entry, The Door, awakened the Lovecraft fan in me. I thought it had the right amount of weirdness and creep.
2. Mithun U’s poem, in which he wrote some good lines and also made the doppelganger a symbol of love instead of hatred and conflict.
3. Lalana, for writing the only essay of the contest, and raising some interesting points about how we all look beautiful to our own eyes
The winning entry this week had the right amount of tightness, was evocative in the right places, and also stuck to the theme quite nicely. For writing a poem that had some stark images in it, Amrita Prasad is our winner this fortnight. I’m reproducing her entry here in full so that you can read it.
Those of you that know my story,
Know I tell it not for joy.
Nor is it told for glory,
I was but a mere boy.
It was Christmas, a chilly night,
wine long empty, no meat done
the streets barren, no hint of a fight
he was gunned down, the one who had run.
Sharp steps on the porch awaited.
Still fear, cold and seeping.
Movement, quick and sharp, breath bated,
Father staid, Mother softly weeping.
I was sent to scrub up well
for one last time.
As night fell,
I wiped the mirror free of grime.
My face stared, not revealing the guile.
“They’re coming,” I thought,
the reflection smiled.
But I did not.
The door swung open, orders barked
“Walk, shut up, no cry!”
Human cattle, a truck parked,
he climbed silently, the smiling boy.
The Lucky Winner
If you remember, this contest also had a lucky dip, the winner of which will get a free copy of Madhavi Mahadevan’s new book, Doppelganger. I threw all the names into a hat, and the name that came out was Vinisha. Sometimes, it does pay to play by the numbers. Congratulations, Vinisha. I will contact you for some more information shortly.
What happens now?
As they say, the show must go on. Contest 8 will soon be up. Until then, I will give Amrita and Vinisha the prizes they so richly deserve. See you guys soon, and thanks once again for your participation.
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