Me and, well *sigh*, the bee - 2


Today was the final of the American Center - Times Foundation spelling bee.

Didn't go as well as I planned, actually.

Day began at 5:30. Woke up sleepily to see off mom and grandma who were leaving for the airport to catch a plane to go to Bangalore. Mom wished me luck for today and for the gazillionth time, apologized profusely for not being able to came and see me at the bee. I was a little relieved inside really, since I didn't want to let anyone down if I did badly there (that's one thing about me - always cynical. Have to take G's suggestion. Maybe my next post will be about G and G's wonderful message).

Fast forward to the time when me and Manu Kohli ma'am were getting ready to get to the American Center from school (I try not to bore you with details).

8:40. Both of us sitting in the transport incharge's office. Being informed that there's no transport available. Manu ma'am being given money for conveyance. Being told that the metro was our best option. It's then that I realised how the internal matters of the school were controlled and regulated; how people engineered the situation to their benefit (Now, I really can't explain anything).

We chose the best and quickest option before us, the Delhi metro. Were driven to the nearest station, Dwarka sec-12 (don't know how ma'am managed that) and after taking two tokens for Barakhamba, we got into a slightly crowded metro. And it just kept on getting more and more crowded after that for 23 stations, if I'm not wrong. I didn't mind the standing, but what peeved me was that there wasn't enough space for me to practice some more with the book held in hand. Finally after about 40 minutes of travel, we disembarked and without much event, managed to get to the American Center (remember not centre) at about 9:50.

Quickly, I got my thing-with-the-number-on-it-which-I-needed-to-put-round-my-neck and well, put it round my neck. No.10 (I was actually glad to get a nice round even number, don't know why). What followed was a very plastic interview by NDTV metronation at the Center library. The interviewer ((who I think believed he looked cool with a silver piercing on his eyebrow) told us to pretend to look around, looking at books, completely unaware of the over-sized camera. The very idea of getting us up there was to have the interview. The pierced-eyebrow guy asked me a few questions, which I answered absentmindedly.
Also, I met Amanullah (refer to comments of MATB), a nice taciturn fellow.

A few introductions, a phone interview with Samir Mishra (last years winner of the Scripp's spelling bee) and rules for the days competition followed. The rules in condensed form would sound a lot like - Get a word wrong and you're outta here.. I started gulping gallons of my own saliva.

I don't exactly remember what followed or the sequence of events, the only thing I can recall next is me up on the stage being asked the two preliminary words by Maroof Raza.

N-E-O-P-R-E-N-E. Neoprene. 'Correct'.

F-A-S-T-I-D-I-O-U-S. Fastidious. 'Correct'.

I'd get 'em right! I went and sat down onto my seat noting the encouraging smiles of Manu ma'am and my dad, who had just then come from office. Saw Amanullah tripping on a word, which I think was because it wasn't pronounced right.
After a teeny juice break, I found out I was to be in the final round. I noted with slight discomfort that this round was going to be recorded for television broadcast.
The first word now - T-E-M-P-E-S-T-U-O-U-S. Tempestuous. 'Correct'.
My second word - 'Venireman'. 'Huh?'. 'Could I get that again?' 'VENIREMAN'.

I paused. This didn't sound familiar. I got nervous.
'Umm - V-E-N-I-R-A-M-E-N' .... 'I'm sorry' Maroof Raza said. He certainly didn't look it. I was out.

A Sprigdales girl went on to win the competition, and quite deservedly too. Amanullah comforted me and said that the word was tough and took down two more people after me. 'There's always next year'. I noted the disappointment on his face when I told him that the bee was for students of classes IX and XI only. 'Unless we fail.' I added, to lighten the convo.

Photo by dad, me fiddling with mic

Venireman : A person summoned to jury duty under a venire facias. I don't think I'll ever forget that word. Ever.

A lunch sorta thing followed which saw a girl from Loreto Convent flying past me saying 'Nice blog' (If you read this, say hi).
I ate half my pastry, but it seemed tasteless, wax-like and all too creamy that I chucked it in the bin.

I wasn't a sore loser, I could have blamed Raza for his slight mispronunciation, I could have blamed the camera, I could have blamed the abruptness, the lights. But I knew I should have kept my wits about me. Asked the definition. Waited. Pondered. And then said. Instead I acted like an arse.

I felt dejected, I cannot deny that. I'm someone who's been in love with language my entire life - It's my thing. And I screwed this up. My dad had missed an important meeting to be there. Manu ma'am had probably expected me to do better.

It was time to leave. As I ascended the stairs, the campaign photos of the US presidential election candidates greeted me. It wasn't Obama who I was looking at, but the smiling face of senator John McCain.

We probably belonged to the same class, McCain and me. I think I then knew how McCain had felt while giving his speech after the results were out.

I breathed easy after that. Schadenfreude? I couldn't care.


Manmeet Singh said...

Hey I guess you did a appreciable attempt and the post was really good.I mean you narrated your experience oh-so-well.

But,I can't console you that better luck next time.You know, why? :|

Quicksilver said...

Well, its life. without failures, success never feels sweet.
But thanks.

Manmeet Singh said...

Hey I saw that Spelling Bee thing on Tv on Metro Nation while surfing the channels for some interesting stuff,thats when I saw that event.

It was really cool and scary as well, but the concept was great.

and that girl's knowledge(who won) was way too terrific.Hats off to her.

Ro$h said...

hey..its me- "the girl from Loreto who went flying past you saying 'Nice blog' ".

The name's Roshni. And like i said..nice blog :D i live in dwarka...and i suppose u do too, considering the fact that ur in DPS D.

Anirudh Garg said...

nah he lives in vasant kunj/vihar
but they wudnt give him admission dere in dps vk or dps rkp..
so had to make do with dps d..

Ro$h said...

uh huh..

Quicksilver said...

Hey Rosh, sorry i cudn't reply before, just turning to this post depressed me. tnx for saying hi!
yes, ani's right, i live in S.Delhi.

Anirudh -
very funny, fact is i never tried either for vk or rkp after i'd got second shift in dps vasant vihar. my parents suggested that I try for rkp in 7th but I told them I'd miss my friends, i.e. people like you.

Anirudh Garg said...

sry brother
tune to dil pe le liya yaar
blieve me i was kidding everyone's parents suggest their kids shifting to rkp at some point of time? :|