Me and the bee

Ok, that's an annoying title which does not really make for a good wordplay. We move on, then.

Today was the preliminary round for the American Center & Times foundation Spelling Bee held at DPS Mathura Road. The morning started out rather slow, as I reached school I was informed that the reporting time at DPSMR was 11 am. The news left me quite relieved, for we could get going from Dwarka and get to Mathura Road at a slow pace, and still be a little early.
Kriti and I sat in the library getting tested and taught a few stuff by the teacher accompanying us, Ms Manu Kohli. We ended our discussions and the end of which, thanks to the way in which Americans had ruthlessly contorted the Queen's English, I felt a little punch drunk and slightly unprepared, for we had been taught British English all our lives.

We set off in a small Omni, at about 9:10. About fifteen minutes into our journey, someone in a passing car told us that we had a puncture on one of the tires. The van lackadaisically stopped at the side of the Dwarka flyover. The school somehow could not send another vehicle, so our driver, rather foolhardily really, set out to change the flat tire with spare one in the boot. His body faced the oncoming office traffic and I actually believe that he got kicked once or twice by passing motorcyclists (which were followed by angry abuses hurled by the understandably miffed driver-cum-repairman). The three of us stood on the flyover, worrying whether we'd reach on time. It was a nice place to get stranded on, actually, we were compensated with a nice bird's eye view. Manu ma'am told us that she was assuaged by the fact that the broken down van didn't have the words "DPS DWARKA" on its side, just as the ten minute procedure ended.

We were fortunately not late when we reached DPSMR at 10:50. DPSMR had a certain "old-school" charm with respect to its architecture and layout. Anyway, me and Kriti sat ourselves down on vacant seats in the hall after completing the usual registration procedures. The Director of the American, Anne Sheshadri, council was visibly pleased as she addressed the gathering, which she pointed out was because of the American presidential election results.
After a few more introductions, the main competition started quickly enough as me and Kriti 'good-luck-ed' each other. There were twenty words in all, being spoken out by a heavyset man who went by the name of Maroof Raza. I managed to write all of them down, hazarding guesses and being sure at times. I handed over my sheet with a few misgivings.

Refreshment Break. Didn't feel hungry.


Screening of a small part of the film 'Akeelah and the Bee'

All of us waited as the papers were being checked and the lucky 30 were being winnowed out.


The results were about to be announced. 'some-kid's-name' the Director bellowed. 'Some-other's'. 'Fat-girl-with-glasses-on'. 'Completely-surprised-skinny-kid'. 'Snobbish-girl-with red hair'. Nope, not me... Yet (I liked to think in those unkind moments). 'Unmistakably-nervous-kid'. Namely me.

There was an audible 'Oh-Congrats!' from Kriti as I hobbled to the front were the rest of them were standing. It was an unusual feeling. Unusual meaning not usual. it felt all weird really as I stood there waiting for the list to get over, half-expecting, half-hoping kriti's name to be called out any moment. It wasn't. Probably that is what added to the "unusualness". I loosely shook Anne Sheshadri's hand. There was a closing address with an announcement that the finals would be held at the American Center on the 20th of the month, which would be, as spelling bees usually are, an oral round.

I looked at Kriti as the crowd dispersed. 'I'm surprised', I said.
The teacher smilingly asked me how I was feeling, after the customary 'congrats'. 'I don't know. Unusual', I said truthfully. I didn't say much to Kriti as we were beginning to leave. I felt if I tried to say comforting things to her, in typical 'me' style, it would be misunderstood as mocking or condescending. I stayed quite, feeling rather proud inside but not showing it.

We got in and ma'am pointed out that I was one of the only boys who had qualified. Another thing that I was too dazed to observe myself was that I was the only guy from any of the DPSs. 'Saving Grace', she laughed. That left me really pleased with myself.

The van rode the way back and I asked to be dropped at the Vasant Enclave market, so I could walk home from there.

Well here are some of the words that I spelled incorrectly (followed by what I wrote) - aggrandizement(agrandisement), segue (seggui), maneuver (manoeuvre - darned american english). Must take care next time.

Came home and saw Johnny Gaddar.

19 comments:

Anirudh Garg said...

gr8 job man
xclap

so will da skool be takin u on 20th?? or u will hv to go by urself?

da part wid consolin kriti actualy made me laugh out loud..it iS 'u' to make sumone feel humiliated while consoling :D

neways
REALLY g8 job...bt i dun really understand..hw can neone manage to memorize spellings??....dat must be one hellofa diifficult job...

dasvidaniya kab aa rahi hai vaise?

Espèra said...

Damn. How come I didn't know about this? I'd have loved to go for a Spelling Bee.

(The 'bee' in the title made me think of Mr. Weatherbee. You know, the guy from the Archies' comics.)

Anirudh Garg said...

ya they used to call him the "bee" :)

do u know even archie had won a spellin bee cmpetition once when he was a kid...like when he was in 4th grade or sumthing...he won on da word magnetism
:P :D

Kriti said...

God ..
Abhinav, you make me seem like a monster out of a horror movie who would gobble you down in one and wouldn't even belch!!

Man .. I'm not that hot-headed girl you probably still remember from class 4 .. Same goes for Anirudh ..

Anyway was really feeling pretty pissed with "rendezvous" .. Had I got THAT correct I would have got through too ..

Well, congrats again!! Hope you do really well in the 2nd round too and once again be the "saving grace"!! :D

Cheers!

Espèra said...

AG: Yeah? Didn't know that. BTW, it isn't "memorizing" spellings. You just know, is all. It's the same way you don't memorize your name. You know if it looks wrong to you.

L'argent Vite: Did you really spell aggrandize that? Not even a double g? o_0

Anirudh Garg said...

@kriti
it isnt easy to erase a person's aready existing image nd replace it wid a new one...
1st impression is da last impression u see...


@espera
for sumone who sux at spellings...it is like memorizing spelings :|

Manmeet Singh said...

hey man you are in which grade and which school??

Quicksilver said...

Magnetism, eh ? not very hard to miss, is it ? :D

Anirudh -

Reiterating what espera said, it's not memorizing, it's kind of like knowing certain basic phonetic rules and origins of words and knowing where to use them. That has always fascinated me, really.

Dasvidaniya on 7th Nov, acc to the promos.

Espera -

Well if you want to know now, some teacher told me.
"Did you really spell aggrandize that? Not even a double g? o_0"

As a matter of fact, yes. You make it seem like a crime :)... I thought it would help to french-ify it a bit (excuse the coinage).

Kriti -

Its not that, its just that if you ask people who know me, they might tell you that I've always been rather cautious to analyze stuff and weigh them a bit before acting. Its just me, really.

Hotheaded girl from 4th grade ?
Think a little back, the little girl on the stairs from 2nd grade.

Manmeet -

11th, dpsd. How about you ?

Espèra said...

No big, just that ... well spelling it "aggrandisement" is fine, even understandable (probably even correct).
Nevermind.

I remember this guy who went with me for a spelling bee (inter-section) and misspelled "chivelry" as "shivellry".
I still torture him about that.

Evil ole me.
=P

Manmeet Singh said...

I'm in 10th in jkps.

Manmeet Singh said...

all the best for your second round.

I am said...

stupid me, now i know, iv been wonder..for quiet some time... :P
CONGRATS!!!!
all the best for the next round. its strange, you around and i never knew...but i guess that's the irony we all must agree to live with..!!
:P
its a difficult world to be in...pat pat on our back, shouldn't really hurt..pat-pat for you!:P

Anirudh Garg said...

ill hv said it bfore..ill say it again....
for sumone who sux at spellings...it is like memorizing spelings :|

dasvidaniya releasing this friday

Quicksilver said...

Manmeet -

thanks, bro, much appreciated !

P.S. - jkps stands for what exactly ?

Aditi -

Thanks very much, yet the battle still remains to be won. I hope I make it on the 20th. Stuff like this doesn't normally happen to me.

Anirudh -

First time Wikipedia failed me. I feel I'm going to cry...(!)

Anirudh Garg said...

dun wry hero...i guess it was earlier planned to be released on 7th....bt neways...der aaye durust aaye...(in case u cant figure out....its a hindi idiom :|)

Manmeet Singh said...

jaspal kaur public school..
shalimar bagh.

google it.

Amanullah said...

Hi Abhinav,
this is Mohd Amanullah from Jamia Senior Secondary School. i was there at the spelling bee. Congrats on reaching the second round.
I was wondering if the girls from Jesus and Mary's had completely gobbled up the guide book or what! 20 on 20 is simply amazing, even though you'll agree that the most words were rather pedestrian for a spelling bee.
Any way, I think you were the only student from DPS fraternity who qualified...and your partner lost it by one word as I read. I was wondering whether any other DPS had participated or not...
And yeah, your blog is amazing...so kudos for that too.
I've entered the second round as well...so we'll meet soon. Take care about Americanism this time!
Best of Luck!

Quicksilver said...

Thanks, I just saw your comment.

You qualified by what, 17 or something right ? Now, that's something awesome. Yeah, 20 on 20, I kind of figured they'd memorised the book too.

Best of luck to you too, we'll meet on the 20th. :]

Amanullah said...

I got 18.