Aaahh.. This month of May always reminds me of my Spell Bee journey. Probably coz of the Scripps Spell Bee that usually takes place somewhere around this month? Yes, probably. If you’re wondering whether I participated in the Scripps Spelling Bee, the answer is a big no. I participated in the HDFC Spell Bee, now Classmate Spell Bee, in the year 2013. HDFC Spell Bee is the only nationwide Spell Bee in India which has a difficulty level at par with Scripps. And I’m proud to say that I was among the top 16  Finalists in 2013.
This was after the Mumbai City Finals! *_*
At that time, I had written about this Spell Bee journey, right from the day it started, in my journal. Some excerpts from my Journal. (Don’t ask me to post any of my other journal entries, I won’t! 😀 )
Yeah, actually! I had my last 2nd Unit paper – Science! #MyFaveSubject . That’s the sole reason why I went. Or else I wouldn’t have gone. I had finished studying my whole Science textbook somewhere around November.. so..
I’ll explain the rounds a little more clearly-
Round 1- This was the written round. Being the winner with the most correctly spelled words, I earned the Seacod Immunity badge. And could go directly into Round 3, even if I lost out on a few words in Round 2
Round 2- I spelled 7/10 words in 4 minutes. One cute guy even congratulated me on spelling ‘fuchsia’ correctly. *blushes. (“Hey, if you’re reading this blog post, could you please leave your phone number in the comments section?”~Fabulus. Bug off, Fab! -_-)
Round 3- This was the intense round. Both Pratyush and I spelled 10+ sets of words. It was like, he spelled a word correctly, and then I spelt a word correctly. After the event, the organisers actually told me “If you hadn’t spelled Trigonometry wrong, we would have had to search for new sets of words!” 😛
Best Valentine’s day ever! With my one and only love – words and their etymology! *_*
And the 18th Feb thing actually happened. I was sleeping in my bedroom, and Dad called up Mum to tell me that I had been selected for the National Finals. I just heard Mum saying something. Said, “Yeah, okay!” and fell back on my bed. #LazyBones
The three days before the actual televised shooting was full of mugging up words, etymologies, checking out websites which provided some useful tips. Actually, I didn’t know how to go about the prep, because it was my first Spell Bee. My principal provided me with those big, fat dictionary libraries, and told me to return it when the event was over. So, armed with my Oxford Dictionary and a another Reader’s Digest Dictionary, I marched off to Hotel Hiltop. I had also carried a file full of printed notes that I had prepared. But when I reached Hiltop, I felt like a Spelleb. You know, the tantrums with the hotel staff, heels clicking on the marble flooring, huge comfy sofas to relax and study, amazing breakfast/lunch/dinner service! The Perks of Being A Spelleb, I must say! 😀
Yeah, I  misspelled pejorative and vestigial. I got confused with prerogative and pejorative. And spelled vestigial as ‘Vestigeal’ (What? The 10th Std Science textbook says it is ‘vestigeal’!)
Yet, the Press Conference was THE highlight of the moment. Posing for pics, giving an interview for the Times NIE, receiving my Spell Bee trophy-cum-certificate, getting Soha Ali Khan’s and Siddharth Basu’s autograph on my dictionary! *_*
The last line on the page! *lmao
Moreover, the HDFC National Spelling Bee got me to meet fellow Potterheads. Could you believe it? All 16 of us adored Harry Potter! And chatted about Harry Potter on the Conference day! I met some really amazing people and started to get out of my introverted-misanthropic way of looking at the world. At first, I thought that all the other 15 contestants would be high-society snobs. Wouldn’t even want to talk to a bumpkin like me. But they actually thought I was interesting!
Search for me! 😛
The Spell Bee got me into the whole Biliophile and Wordophile world. I still look up difficult words in a dictionary and Google the etymology. And learning the etymology is pretty cool. Because if you know the meaning of the root word, you can figure out the meaning of any word containing that root word!
This task is made easier by my Kindle. You know, the word search feature is super cool in the Kindle Paperwhite. The word learning thing also got me to start thinking about getting my own blog. The original idea for my blog was to start a Word-A-Day feature. But that plan kinda fizzled off and I prepared a twitter account for it @Spellophilia. That account doesn’t exist anymore. I couldn’t handle too many Twitter accounts! 
Anyways, here’s me being a Spelleb,  The actual perks of being a Spelleb started after Spell Bee. I was asked to become a co-editor of the Spell Bee Guide (a guide for all future Spell Bees), which is available for all Spelling Bee enthusiasts. I actually worked on that Guide while I was prepping for my 10th Std prelims! And how can I forget the Radio Commercials! *_* I must say, I sound fab on radio! *_* (“You’re making me blush!” Go hide your face in a napkin, then. And when you’re done, gag yourself with that napkin!)
I still follow the updates on the Scripps page and the Classmate Spell Bee page. It’s something that has become an inseparable part of me. I cannot imagine what life would have been if I was not a Spelleb. Maybe I would have been squandering my talents in the Science field, spelling the names of difficult diseases and writing down prescriptions neatly and clearly. Maybe I would have been labouring over tough Chemistry neutralization reactions and sweating over a microscope. The thought of starting a blog would have never popped up in my mind! And then who knows, Fabulus would never have been born!
Gosh! Thank you, my lovely-elephantine-memory-brains for helping me remember the spelling of words like as if I have an eidetic memory! {I’m not Robert Langdon, just so you know!:D }



20 Comments Add yours

  1. I pretty much sucked at spelling back in high school. It was so bad that I couldn't even spell my name right! Thankfully, that is no longer the case, but I still get shivers from memories of my English teacher grilling me for misspelling costume as custom. *shivers*

    P.S: Any chance you've still got one of those 30 packs of Real Juice lying around? 😀


  2. Wow! First of all congratulations on being among the top 16 🙂 And even I love words. Back when I was in high school, there was a spelling contest for which I was selected for the national level. But sadly I couldn't go 😦


  3. Hahahaha.. I can understand your misery.. Even I couldn't spell the name Michael when I was a kid:-P

    P.S: To even imagine that there would be 1 pack remaining would be the heights of idiocy! 😛 #JustKidding


  4. Thank you so much Reema!
    Glad to find another Spellophile..

    Why couldn't you go for it? I'm pretty sure you would have bagged a prize, something that I couldn't do 😀


  5. Shilpa Garg says:

    Wow! You are a star! Enjoyed reading about your spelling bee contest journey and congratulations for being in the top 16, Mithila. Simply commendable and way to go! 🙂
    PS : You have a beautiful handwriting too 🙂


  6. Congrats on being one of the top 16 Mithila! 🙂 I wish they had that in my days as I used to be the queen of spelling bees in my day. 😉 Came in useful when I studied medical terminology (as a medical secretary years ago). 😉 I didn't know I was a wordophile – that is a new word for me! 😉 And I wonder if you also like to invent words like me as I have never come across such words as spelleb or spellebrity or is that a take on 'celebrity?' 😉 Oh, and by the way, I found it ironic that your title has 'fabulus' instead of 'fabulous' 😉 Is that on purpose? Perhaps you were checking out OUR spelling?! 😉 ❤


  7. Rachna says:

    How lovely! My elder son participated in Classmate Spell Bee last year. He qualified till the 3rd round. It was a lot of fun from what I heard.


  8. Parul says:

    You are rockstar! Such a fun read this post was. Congrats on being the Super 16!!
    I think I was good at spellings but there was no Spell Bee competitions when I was growing up! I just know the BQC (Bournvita Quiz Contest) that Derek O' Brian used to host! 🙂

    Glad you met Siddharth Basu. He I think is India's first Quizmaster and when I was really young – like 8, my dad used to switch on the TV to make us listen to him and learn how to pronounce words! 😀 😀


  9. Yayayayaya! I'm a star! *_*
    Thanks Shilpa 🙂

    P.S. I changed my handwriting when I was in 10th standard.. So now it's print and perfectly illegible 😀


  10. Thanks so much Elly! 🙂
    They didn't have Spell Bees back then? Aaww 😦
    Yup, it comes in useful when I read my sister's textbooks too! At least I know what neuralgia and orthodontics literally mean!
    I invented the word wordophile as I wrote the blog post! I also invented the word fabilicious! #Foodie
    The word Spellebrity has not been invented by me (I solely regret that). It is used to refer to participants or winners of the Scripps Spell Bee! My friend UK calls me a Spelleb! 😀
    Hahahaha.. The secret behind the word Fabulus will be unveiled in one of my upcoming blog posts, but lemme give you a teaser. Most of the first names in the Harry Potter series end with a -us. Example: Remus, Sirius, Severus. Albus.. and hence Fabulus!
    Hope that solves your doubt? 😉


  11. Wow! Now that's amazing! The difficulty level of the Classmate Spell Bee was surely one notch higher than the difficulty level of the HDFC Spell Bee.. From one Spelleb to another Spelleb, a hearty congratulations to your son! 🙂


  12. YUSSSS! I'm a rockstar! *_*
    Thanks so much, Parul!

    I watch the videos of the BQC on YouTube when I have nothing else to do and have exhausted myself by reading the dictionary! 😀

    Siddharth Basu is a really down-to-earth person! I mean, even during the shooting of the episodes he used to keep calm. As soon as the shoot got over and we were leaving the stage, he came around to congratulate us on being in the top 16! Forget that, he even lunched with us at ITC!

    Unfortunately, YouTube doesn't store videos of the Siddharth Basu quiz shows 😦


  13. Rajlakshmi says:

    wow we got a champ among us … congratz on being selected in top 16 😀 You journal pages sound like mine … the way you write them 😀
    I was very passionate about pronunciations and etymology, used to read this huge book on derivations and how words came to be.


  14. Cograts, Mithila. You are ndeed a star dear. 🙂


  15. Thanks Rajlakshmi! 🙂
    Hahahaha.. That means there are weird people like me around! #JustKidding

    Used to? Change that *am reading! Keep yourself updated with the new words that get added to the Oxford Dictionary.. They do come in handy when writing blog posts! 😀


  16. Thanks Vinitha!
    *kindly ignores the spelling mistake 😀


  17. Shailaja V says:

    You're really cute, you know that? I don't just mean the way you look but the way you write. I love the excitement that comes through in your words. That could be the exuberance of youth, of course, but make sure you never lose it. It is in that your singularity lies. Apart from learning difficult words, of course 😉 Well done on the top 16 and the entire Spelleb experience. Definitely something to treasure for years to come, Mithila 🙂


  18. Aaaww Shailaja! This comment <3
    I really do wish a guy would say that first line to me! 😀

    I assure you, and also all my blog followers, I swear to keep up this same style of writing till the day death do Fabulus and me apart! 😀

    Thank you so much for your wishes! Glad to be a person with a singular personality! 🙂


  19. sulekkha says:

    Congratulations on being in the top 16 in the spelling Bee contest. I recognized you in the picture, left corner, (seated) 🙂


  20. Thanks so much Sulekkha! 🙂
    Yayayayayayaya! Finally, someone even tried to search for me in that pic 😛
    Yes, it's me! 😀


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