Monday, September 25, 2006

Ready, steady, charity 1

Words - Cicisbeo Tourbillon Chateau

As she walked towards the microphone a hushed silence fell over the room. The bald man in the third row stopped shaking his leg; bringing to an end the ‘shk shk shk’ sound his polyester trousers made as one synthetic leg rubbed against the other. She could see her mother sitting right up front, lips moving as silent prayers invoking His thousand names and meant only for His ears escaped in to the universe. The Chinese (or was he Korean) boy Kim walked past her grinning. Chateau? Please. A five year old could take that. Standards had dropped since last year. Last year. That had been something. Tourbillon. Now there was a word. Her word. The applause had been deafening. The interviews never ending. Champion. C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N. Champion.

She stood at the microphone now. Arms behind her back, tightly clasped, fingers digging in to the skin. Painfully. To remind her what losing would feel like her mother had said. What would that feel like she wondered?

“Cicisbeo”

The word furrowed deep in to her brain where its meaning resided. She realised she did not know. What failure felt like. Was it like the thudding, dirt hitting low that accompanies the inevitable descent on a see-saw. If success was in her hands so was failure.

“Cicisbeo”

“Could you use it in a sentence please?”

As the thin faced woman prattled out some inanity, she looked out at the audience. Her mother’s eyes were screwed shut, her lips moving faster

‘amaanee maanado maanyo lokasvaamee trilokadhrik
sumedhaa medhajo dhanyah satyamedhah dharaadharah’


Shk-shk-shk.

‘C-I-C-I-S-B-E-O.’ she thought to herself.

Getting this right meant another day of necromorphous, acephalous and drapetomania. She wondered what was on television at 12:45 on Tuesday afternoons.

She cleared her throat.

“Cicisbeo”

“C-I-C-I-S-B-E“

Maybe they’d have Tom & Jerry on.

“-Y-O”

The wail from the front row drowned out her final, triumphant Cicisbeo.

19 comments:

neha vish said...

I am now officially jealous of you!

The Inquisitive Akka said...

I feel sorry for the spelling bee contestants. Poor kids, so much pressure! Nice post!

Nee said...

Nice one..for a great cause!

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

What about forced violin classes?
Yeah well, it's the concept.

noon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terri said...

I'd never heard of Cicisbeo before, but why, oh why, did they outlaw such a fine custom?

noon said...

Nice one. "Spellbound" is a nice movie - tracks 8 kids who are competing for the spelling bee...interesting to see how the parents of these kids deal with it.

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Neha - Aww shucks. I just got cool words :D

Akka - Me too. We used to have informal ones in class. I think I got out once on photosynthesis. The shame!

Nee - :) Go on! Give me three words

Arthur - Another travesty!

Terri - Is that you or your mom talking? Hmm first love-nu blog-la yezhudara apparam why outlaw Cicisbeo-nu kekkara! Seriye illa

Noon - I managed to catch a bit of Spellbound a few weeks ago. Must watch the whole thing

dinesh said...

You wowed me with that. Terrific !

And yeah, about the spelling bee, like somebody else says here, too much pressure on the little kids. Being competitive is good, but ivlo pressure venuma ?

rads said...

:D

ggop said...

This is a real good quick tale :-)
I was wondering how you would incorproate all these obscure words into a story.
gg

TomCruiseChellum said...

TomCruiseChellum has a very difficult sanskrit name which does not lend itself for spelling to most people even in Indian languages. In fact once a teacher asked the entire class to write out my name as a test of their Malayalam spelling and half the class got it wrong

Szerelem said...

thats just fabulous.... i really loved it :-D

Ravages said...

Like Neha says, totally jealous. Turning words into a story in which the words are actually words and not part of the story. (Er, what am I saying?)
Awesome

WA said...

Just so that people like me know who long one can procrastinate the coming up with the 3 words up part, please let us know if there is a deadline.

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Dinesh - Thank you.

Rads :)

GGop - Thanks. It was fun

TCC - Mr Chellum. Pliss to tell your difficult name and two other words and a tale shall be told. In lieu of a small contribution of course!

Szerelem - Danke

Ravages - Stop stop! Such praise is hard to take early in the morning. Actually no. Keep it coming :D

WA - Will check and let you know!

Dog's Best Friend said...

Sometimes I feel you are the person you write about. Great writing ...

Terri said...

Cha, Shoefie, of all people I thought you'd understand, being the sensitive sort.
I presumed more women would be on my side, but I see I was born 200 years too late, and hence missed the train.

Gauravonomics said...

An attempt on the three words in fifty-five fiction:

Like a cicisbeo, he frisked her off to a chateau on the French Riviera for the fortnight; her husband even dropped them off at the airport.

They spent their evenings shopping for tourbillons at quaint antique shops, until the tenth day, when her husband called –

Come back! They are calling me a cuckold!

Indian men!