Every year our school holds a week-long cultural festival that is aimed at identifying and nurturing talents as well as showcasing the rich cultural diversity in our country. All through the cultural week, different events are held during the night and others in the daytime. The main events such as games, public lectures, etc. are held at the main square during the day when everybody including the staff and neighboring communities can attend. Real talent shows such as songs and dances, poetry, and beauty contests are held during the night. It is during the culture week in our last year that two of my friends and I decided that we had a talent for poetry. We had been preparing for this night for ages and were convinced that we had the most amazing voices and talents in poetry. We were planning to rock the whole auditorium with our recitals, which our patron had approved with glowing remarks. But as fate would have it, the best-laid plans are not always the most successful ones as we discovered with my friends. Our well-polished plans came to a total disaster when I fell on stage before our presentation.
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It was finally the big day, one that we had been making plans for and awaiting with bated breath. The day was so majestic you could see it shine with a welcoming sun and a sky a beautiful blue. The school grounds looked like a big carnival with people dressed in all colors. Soon it was evening and the event was to start at eight o’clock and all contestants were to report at seven-thirty in the changing room of the school auditorium, where the event was to take place. The auditorium is a huge, round room arranged in three rows of seats and a stage perched at one corner and rose such that everybody has an obstructed view of what is happening. Once on the stage one had a feeling of being swallowed by a giant or of floating in the Indian Ocean.
We were at the changing room at the back of the auditorium as I mused over the way things never go the way they are meant to be. We could have a view of one side of the gigantic room from the look of it there was not even a breathing space. It was a Friday night and you can imagine every soul in the school was in the room. I started having jitters all over my body and if you looked closely you could see my heart trying to escape from my chest beneath my cute flowery top. My friends were no better. The big changing room was a beehive of activity as participants, in all shades and designs of ridiculous costumes, were busy trying to put everything in order as they awaited their turn to present their pieces. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife.
Finally, it was our turn and I could see the coordinator standing at the door and beckoning us to the stage as was the plan. All of a sudden, my legs could not move, it was as if they were made of lead and my friends came and roughly dragged me towards the door. As I came out, to say I was astonished would be an understatement. I could not believe it. The unusually large room was full to the brim and I could not make out a single face, only a sea of faces. A cold shiver ran through my body and I stood there transfixed, my friends, realizing this dragged me on. Then it was very quiet you could hear a needle drop, they were waiting for us to begin. As I came to the top of the stairs, I missed one step and fell, face down, down the stairs. Within a second people were all over me and there was pandemonium in the auditorium as people rushed to help me others asking in panic what had happened. Right then I wished the ground could open up and swallow me but, no such luck as the Master of a ceremony called people to order apologized and we were asked to begin. I went through the pieces in a daze I have never been so embarrassed.
Though we make meticulous plans of our days, lives and events, this does do not go smoothly as we want them. The day my friends and I planned to outshine was marked by embarrassment, which we overcame brilliantly according to our colleagues, to win in the poetry contest. From this, I learned to put on a brave face and smile every time I find myself in an embarrassing situation.