October 20, 2005

Kitty party

The house looked like a battleground. The air was thick with tension. Clothes were scattered everywhere. The phone was ringing off the hook. Mummy was on extended leave. Was someone gravely ill? Was it bankruptcy? Nope. It was more serious than that. Way more serious. Little Sweety was taking part in the school talent show.

She was going to sing. Her dance classes had been suspended for the time being, as had the cookery lessons and the painting lessons and the English-speaking classes. Even the two-month crash course in personality development had been rescheduled, such was the gravity of the situation.

You see, the event held special significance for Mummy. She had stuck her rather formidable neck out at the last kitty party and predicted a huge win for Sweety. Over a substantial lunch it had been established that Sweety was a talent par excellence when it came to surs and taals, and that although she might not be in the habit of securing the first rank every year like Mrs Gupta’s daughter or know as many capitals as Mrs Shukla’s son, she was undoubtedly good enough to be the next Indian Idol. School talent contests were child’s play.

Sweety just had to win. Or else.

Back home, the child in question was rubbing her eyes for want of sleep, her questionable musical talent stretched to the limit. The last few weeks before the show were a blur of dresses-to-be-tried-out and songs-to-be-practised.

***

The big day finally arrived. The audience for the talent show chiefly consisted of a number of enthusiastic mummies who seemed to have booked the front rows, unfortunately for the chief guests, and resigned-looking papas filming the proceedings from the back. Sweety’s song went well – Mummy was quite satisfied. After the performances there was just enough time for refreshments before the winner was announced. Normally Mummy would have eaten enough to last her a couple of days (and filled her handbag with some more for the weekend) but she just couldn’t eat right now .. it was all too stressful.

Then it was time – for the Announcement. "And the winner is .."

Mummy stood stunned. This struck harder than Sweety hitting a high note. The winner was this Other Kid. This rather geeky-looking and entirely unimpressive boy. Not Sweety.

But Mummy recovered admirably. Shock turned to anger. She went forthwith to express her indignation to Papa, who happened to be fast asleep.

On the drive home, the family car held a funereal atmosphere. Sweety was crying. Finally Mummy spoke up. “I thought she was the best, by far. Anyway, at least she took part, na?” And all was well again. At least until next month’s kitty party.

3 comments :

sinusoidally said...

:-)

I had forgotten the word 'kitty party' until I just read your post.

babelfish said...

School talent contests are always more about the family members than the participants themselves na? ;D

One in a Billion said...

Sinusoidally : Glad to have reminded you of this intriguing ritual. One is thinking of writing a somewhat sinusoidal post soon, incidentally.

Babelfish : Yeah .. eggzactly.