Sunday, September 21, 2014

My only stage 'performance'

Those were days before the 'Kindergarten' system or Child Creches in Mysore came into vogue.  Little kids would be sent to school at the age of four and start with 'nursery' to get a feel of 'school atmosphere'.  They became eligible for Class One when they attained five years.  'Nursery exposure' was not mandatory and kids were directly admitted to Class One in many cases.  For my 'nursery' I was first sent to Jagadamba Shishuvihara in 1961 [this school, established 1939, has the same wooden board even now] and a few months later during that academic year to Bhagini Seva Samaja  [established in 1937].  Next academic year I was admitted to Christ the King Convent [CKC] for Class One. 

I carry a few impressions from my nursery days in both schools but those from Bhagini Seva Samaja are more, may be because I was then a few months older. In this post, let me recollect one particular impression, out of a few.   This is still fresh in my mind, probably due to the extreme discomfort I was put in at that young age.  It was much against my nature, wish or desire, at that age of may be four.
This picture is around that age:

What was done to put this little fellow in so much discomfort?  It was some function, could be 'School Day'.  I clearly recall the day as festive and very grand and there was a stage covered by pandal.  Plenty of people had gathered in front of that stage - see this in the photo below [I took this photo 3 years ago from the street].  Look inside the quadrangle.  

I cannot recall any speeches or in what dress I was in or how I was taken there.  It was already dark when the programmes started. I cannot recall anything else but standing on stage with other tiny tots in the front corner for some song/rhyme item being performed!  And there were may be 500-600 people in front of me, as an over-estimation, but my frightened mind was magnifying it to be 5000, even though I did not know the count of 1,000 at that age!!  My memory is blank on any rehearsals on the days before that our teacher made me to attend.

There I was, on stage, bright lights from above, other kids clad in white were doing some actions in tune with the music.  I was in a state of shock at the sight of '5000' people in front of me.  I was simply standing still and staring at other kids or looking here and there as the song/rhyme went on and the other kids performed their actions. I had turned in the direction of other kids to my left and behind as if to avoid looking at the audience.  I never wanted to face that crowd at all leave alone do anything!  The item must have lasted just a few minutes which seemed to drag and drag!!  I do not know what I did later. My mother recalls my unique and grand 'stage performance' vividly. She says that I was placed in the front row because of my cuteness!  Boldness and participation were completely missing!

When my kids were in school for their school day programmes on stage my memory rolled back to 'my stage performance day' when I saw, sitting among the audience, some tiny tot 'doing a Dinu' and teachers getting restless from the stage's side wing!

Perhaps, if I did not feel the shock on seeing '5000' people at that age, 'the Dinu story' would have taken a different course!


Susan Hirneise Moore said...

Hullo! That's why we go to such performances: To see the precious children who don't conform. Er, at least that's why I go to such things! I am reminded, too, of the baseball games of our children's youth: so much fun to watch those children do unexpected things....

Gardenwife said...

I agree with Susan. You no doubt left as memorable an impression on some as the experience made on you! :) I can almost picture your poor deer-in-the-headlights look, Dinu. Poor kiddo!