Parvathy Rajeev's love for the English language has helped her win laurels at national level.
Parvathy Rajeev has developed a special bond with the English language, to be more specific, with its words. More than a dozen notebooks painstakingly filled with words and their meanings that adorn her study table stand testimony to her love for the language.
All the efforts came in handy when this class VIII student of the Assisi Vidyaniketan Public School in Kakkanad, emerged winner (category IV) in the MaRRS International Spelling Bee competition held in Delhi last month.
Parvathy fought her way up the school, district, State and national levels to enter the international finals held online. The finals were divided into nine rounds of written and oral tests. Those who scored at least 95 per cent marks in the written rounds qualified for the deciding oral rounds. The written part was further divided into five rounds on spelling, jumbled letters, idioms, crossword puzzles, and phrasal verbs.
Contestants who found ways to get past these rounds encountered even tougher oral rounds asking them to identify words, their spelling and meanings based on phonetics and pronunciation keys.
“In the first round we had to identify and spell the word from the sound generated in the laptop. Those getting at least 50 words correct qualified for the next round,” explains Parvathy. At the end of the rounds the marks of all participants at various centres were tabulated and the highest scorers were adjudged winners in each category.
Help from book
It was a similar spelling contest that she watched on a sports channel two years back that inspired her to take to the English vocabulary in a big way. She started by attempting crossword puzzles in newspapers before realising that reading books of good authors was one way to enrich her vocabulary. Soon Booker Prize-winning works found place in her must-read list.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, who won last year's Booker Prize, is her latest read. Parvathy is now about to read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, who won the award this year.
“My favourite among the Booker Prize-winning books is God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy,” says Parvathy. However, her favourite author is Jules Verne who pioneered in the world of science fiction.
Parvathy says that the hunger to learn more words has now become a passion. She has also set a clear career objective. “I want to become an English Reader at the Cambridge University,” she signs off confidently.