18 May 2016

Very funny article…

I would love to share an article written by my young friend Rish Basu from Dallas. I have known Rish ever since he was a baby – and he does not want to talk any further details on that – but more importantly, I always thought of him as a very talented basketball player and a football player. I am certainly rooting for him to be a rare kid of Indian origin getting into a college with football scholarship (which is where he is probably headed). Speaking of kids of Indian origins, this is a great take on one game we seemingly are good at – spelling words (undoubtedly, much to the chagrin of the sales guys peddling spellcheck software).

In case there is any doubt about the relationship of Indian parents and their hapless Indian origin American born kids, the following story should put it to rest. I called up Rish’s mom – my dear personal, social and runner friend Mita and asked her if she could ask Rish if it would be okay for me to feature him and and his article on my blog. She replied affirmatively.

On a hunch, I called Rish the next day to check if she had asked him. I am going to leave the rest to your imagination and focus back on the real article – Rish’s plea to the Indian origin kids who seem to have made it their personal rites of passsage thru life to win the Spelling Bee 🙂

>>>>>> As Rish put it…..>>>>>>>

It’s about that time of the year again. The Scripps National Spelling Bee.
I know you’re probably wondering why a kid like me has any connection or affiliation with such a prestigious event for such incredibly talented kids.
And your queries are definitely justified.
As something I would classify as one of the greatest accomplishments in my life, I made it to the eighth grade spelling bee once from Mrs. Ferguson’s English class. However, my accomplishments were short-lived as my entire family witnessed my elimination in the first round because I spelled the word “enamel” as “animal”. And I don’t think any of my past English teachers at this school would be quick to name myself as the next, greatest English scholar of the 21st century.
So yes, you are correct in assuming that “Scripps National Spelling Bee” and “Rish Basu” should never be put in the same sentence (except right there).
But this column is a formal proposal to all the Indian-American kids who participate in the National Spelling Bee: please stop winning.
You guys have won the last ten National Spelling Bees – and also 12 of the last 15. To put the dominance of Indian-American kids at the Scripps National Spelling Bee into layman terms, the combined dominance of the Golden State Warriors, University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, and the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls would still not achieve the level Indian-American kids have in the recent National Spelling Bees. So please, speaking on behalf of every other mediocre, barely above average Indian-American kid in the entire nation: give us a break!
Every year, my mom turns on the National Spelling Bee, and I hear the same, awe-struck statement from my mother: An Indian kid won the Spelling Bee again! If those middle schoolers can do it, you can do amazing things too!
So that is why I want you guys to stop winning. There’s too much pressure on kids like me who want to spend their weekends watching Netflix. Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m always up for a challenge but being compared to an American-Indian kid winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee is like being matched up against Tiger Woods in his prime. An unstoppable force.
And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my mother is watching kids who have basically dedicated their lives to spelling. While I was learning how to take my first step, they were spelling words. While I was watching cartoons, they were watching Spellbound. And by the time I was attending basketball camps over the summer as a six-year-old, they finished writing their fourth dictionary.
You get the point.
In a perfect world, I wouldn’t know anything about the National Spelling Bee, and the chances of ESPN being turned on at the Basu household come May 26th would be slim to none.
But recently, I figured out that one of our own, Sai Gunturi ’07, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2003. As you could probably guess by now, Sai Gunturi was an Indian-American kid from St. Mark’s, who went through the similar pressures of this school as I am now. So maybe, just maybe, there is still hope for me of achieving something as great as Sai did back in 2003.
After all, using my mother’s mindset: if Sai can do it, so can I.

Posted May 18, 2016 by Rajib Roy in category "Humor


  1. By Rashmi Roy Mathur on

    Love it! Straight from the heart! @ Mita Basu – Give Rish a big hug and tell him to focus on golf/ lacrosse/ football and all that he enjoys! We will cheer him on from the sidelines! BTW – He is Romil’s role model and I am sure and know that he has a huge followership (gals and boys alike!) Witnessed the screaming from the sidelines!

  2. By Chanda Parbhoo on

    Im rooting for his football scholarship to blow that ceiling wide open for Indians. Mita Basu if Rishi can do it – Sai could not have done it too! Life is too short to peak in high school – have all the amazing experiences you can absorb – enjoy the journey!

  3. By Mita Basu on

    Wow! When did all this happen? Thank you guys. Rajib – Golu was very happy to get a call from you. I am glad you did. He has written this for the school newspaper – Remarker. His teacher also loved it. Thank you all for the encouragement.

  4. By Dibyendu Mukherjee on

    Rajib, I don’t know how I missed reading this before, the date would suggest that I have visited this platform many times after the post! Whatever. This is just wow! Every syllable of it. Just superb.

  5. By Mita Basu on

    Bipasha It is amazing how these Indian children excel year after year. Yes, I saw this 6 year old. Someone should do research and see what these kids do later on. I am sure bigger and better things.


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