Poem Recital contest

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Memoir

“Kid come on, get up, we’ve got to go to the Hindi poem recital competition today,” hollered my dad.

“Coming,” I replied, though I was not really thrilled with the idea that some thousand pairs of eyes would be staring at me later that day. I dragged myself into the bathroom, in which I stood, motionless, feeling the hot water trickle down my body. I dozed off, until I heard my father yell again.

“Get down, now!” yelled my dad.

“Coming,” I yelled. I realized how long I had been in the shower, and rapidly got ready for the competition. Immediately, I went downstairs, practiced my poem a little, and I ate my breakfast. I was as ready as I would be, and I hit the road.

After about two hours, I was sitting backstage, ready to recite my poem with just a couple of people in front of me in line. Sweat was trickling down my cheeks as all of a sudden I thought of all the possible negative outcomes that could happen. “What if I can’t do it, what if I forget my lines, what if I make a fool of myself?” I wondered. Then, as my mother approached my seat, with a final, “good luck,” positive thoughts sprang out of my mind. “I can do this, I got it, I will win.”

“Good luck,” said Mother.

“Thanks,” I said back. All of a sudden I heard a massive downpour slam onto the roof, which brought back negative thoughts. The weather that day was gloomy, with lots of rain, and an audience full with anxious faces.

“Next,” announced the announcer.

I was ready, and I went onto the stage. As the announcer announced my name, where I was from, and my level in Hindi class, I saw the crowd of people staring at me. It was like a horde of sharks ganging up on a helpless little goldfish that just happened to swim near them. However, what frightened me most were the judges; there were four of them with keen eyes, like owls, stalkers, watching my every move. Then I could feel my sweat, and I could understand the mood of tension taking place all around me. “Would I be one of the lucky three who get recognized for their outstanding ability to speak Hindi very well?” I would have to find out.

I recited my poem, accounting for all the advice that my mother had given me. “Remember to speak clearly, show no fear, and take your time,” my mother’s voice echoed in my mind. I was almost finished when it happened; just a slight slip of the tongue. I felt like this was the end, I was done for. What I trained for, all this time, gone, vanished, destroyed! For I had stumbled, but as if my mouth were on automatic, I quickly recovered, and finished my poem. After that, I felt a bit of grief, but I knew that I gave it my best shot. Then, the only obstacle that prevented me from getting recognized for my efforts was the judges. “Was I good enough, I don’t know, there were tons of tough competition out there, for there was only the best of the best.”

“You did fine,” said my father, but I could never tell if he was acting sarcastically or not.

“Good job, well done,” my grandpa exclaimed, but he is too nice, he will not give me an accurate measure of how I did.

“Nice job, but you shouldn’t have stumbled at the end,” my mother welcomed me back to my seat. Now that was a statement I can trust.

The rest of the day went very slowly, until the results came out. “All the eager faces staring at the announcer, wow that was a true true competition. As the announcer was barraged with looks like, “who won, come on speak up, what are you waiting for?” He announced my division first, and to my amazement, my name was first! I had won 3rd place in my division! This big bad blowout Sunday became a great glorious gorgeous day. My family and I were ecstatic, and there was an uproar from the audience as I went on stage to receive my trophy. Even though I I did not get 1st place, I knew that I was a changed person.

Every time I would have to go up on stage to talk to a horde of people, I would not be scared, or nervous as much as before. I would be able to talk with much more confidence and not just in Hindi, but in English as well. I would still be nervous, but not as much as before. “Confidence,” I said” I have confidence.”





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