Thursday, November 17, 2005

Childhood Stories - #1

Yeah, usually I don't number my post-titles but I think I might come up with more stories as I remember them.

Though my immediate family is small, I have a pretty crowded extended family consisting of aunts, uncles and cousins. We often have family get-togethers and since childhood, these get-togethers were always the highlights of any holiday season. When all the families could make it, there were almost a dozen of us children (note, all the offspring of the uncles and aunts are termed 'children' irrespective of the age while all the uncles and aunts are termed 'adults'). My sister and I hover somewhere among the oldest kids in the list and so, from the time we were around 5 and 7, we got the younger kids pressed into our charge.

Baby-sitting your younger cousins is not exactly an easy task. However, creative as we were, we came up with different ways of entertaining the younger kids and ourselves also. One of the popular ways of entertainment was to host "programmes" entirely written, directed, produced and acted by us. These programmes could be anything from dramas and dances to fashion shows and interviews. The cast always exclusively featured all the cousins with the props, costumes and accessories being borrowed from whichever house we were staying in at the time. The audience was made up of the very appreciative adults (not surprising, considering that the performers featured their own children). Of course, putting up programmes meant rehearsals and many a happy afternoon went by with all of us enthusiastically practising our various parts.

I can still remember the very first "programme" we put up. We were just starting out with the concept of hosting programmes and it had still not burgeoned into our later day repertoire consisting of plays, dances and games. The only item on the first programme was a skit. It featured four of us - all between the ages of 2-9. We wouldn't have featured the 2-year-old but for the fact that the script called for a child and we were rather shorthanded then.

Anyways, I do not remember the actual plot of the play. But among its cast, it featured a mom, a child and a Goddess. Now, the bulk of the dialogues were handled by the the more senior kids. All that the two-year-old had to do was: state in a sad voice "Mummy, I feel hungry". Our rehearsals on- the morning of the performance went off well. The actual performance was to be held in the noon, after lunch.

So after lunch, all the adults assembled in the drawing room to watch the play while we kids got into our respective costumes and trooped to the make-shift stage. The play had a few minor glitches but was pretty much proceeding along the expected lines. Then came the time for my 2-year-old-cousin, K, to say his line. And we waited. And waited. But K was as silent as a tombstone. Finally, I (who was playing K's stage-mom) hissed in a low voice to K, "Mummy, I feel hungry." Then K looked up at me and said in a voice loud enough for the whole room to hear,"But I am not hungry. I just had lunch!" and ran off to his real mom!! Upon this declaration, the whole audience was in splits and it was sometime before order could be restored.

Needless to say our first programme was a super-duper hit ;-)! We hosted a lot more performances after that. Each of it had its own share of bloopers but this first one was *the* most memorable one!!


Shilpa said...

Hahahaa LOL !

That was a funny incident...

I remember we used to put up many skits in school when I was in 6th std. Sunaina and I were class monitors and we used to " monitor" the class by entertaining them ! Most skits were from Tinkle comic ( Suppandi stuff)....

It was always fun !

Archana Bahuguna said...

:-) Child IS the father of man...
My aunt was telling me the other day about my small cousin who remained tight-lipped throughout an interview for a school admission just because he dint "feel like" answering those questions^*&&*^%^?????
Waiting for more "success" ;-)stories ..

Archana said...

Shilpa, we never put up class-skits in 7th and 8th though na? I guess we were busy doing other kinds of looti :-D!

Archana, hehehe :-). Little kids do the funniest things and get away with it too!

Shilpa said...

Yeah no skits after 6th, probably cos I was not made the class monitor...hehehhe...not till 10th std again...but the class was too grown up for skits....

yeah little kids can be so cute and annoying too !

we were soo innocent at that age!

Ginkgo said...

lolz..Me have a big gp of cousins too..
But luckily never had to baby sit..

most of us were in the same age gp +- 2-3 yrs..

so fortunately, it was only a case of bossin' the ones that were younger than me, always:-)

Dont remember doin any plays and stuff..prolly not tht artistically inclined, I guess..:-)

But remember one incident...again this was when I had gone to India last time..

My momz younger sister had come over to see me with her 3 yr old kid..
and she used to baby sit me when I was a kid..remember troubling her a lot :-)

and so, I was just playin with her kid, and then when she came in, I said, see Im gonna crush ur mom
and she will break into pieces now..and acted as if I was doing tht..

Dunno what the kid thought, within a moment he started crying..

was soo much fun...took a while to convince him that I wasnt doin anything to his mom..haha

Saranya Kishore said...

wow!!! soooo cute :)

Today I spent some time with my Managers kids... and played with them for quite sometime. They did not hesitate to say I look about 30 yrs old :(( So much for kids being frank and all that.

Archana said...

Gingko, heheh! Even I have fooled my hapless little cousins quite a few times *evil grin*.

Saranya, poor you! Those are the times when I just feel like hitting those 'little darlings'!!