Saturday, August 23, 2008


The past week has been a hectic one, for me as well as my daughters.
First, there was Unity in Diversity day celebrated as the Little Cat’s (my elder one’s) school, where she had to dress up as a Bengali bou (lady) in red-bordered white-saree with a box of sandesh (a specifically Bengali sweet).
The same saree did double-duty under a sober shawl a few days later when the Li’l Cat pretended to be Indira Gandhi at her school’s National Leader fancy dress day.
Then we had to nip and tuck a rather large green salwar-kameez for the Independence Day patriotic song-and-dance competition, “Aao bachcho tumhe dikhayein jhaanki Hindustaan ki” (Come children let us see glimpses of India…).
The lyrics be damned (or, in this case, hummed), there was much enthusiastic dance practice on the bed and elsewhere for days (with the copy-kitten, my younger one, dutifully imitating). “Vande mataram” (Hail motherland), especially, is a very acrobatic dance-step, involving a simultaneous raising of one fist with the stamping of the other foot. The copy-kitten is just two-and-half, so the complicated fist-foot co-ordination would fox her at times and she’d topple over, only to get up gamely and continue, much in the true revolutionary spirit.
But the copy-kitten had her own set of school activities, too. One day for pretend-rakhi festivities in a hand-me-down salwar-kurta, the next for independence-dance-jump-prance-stomp in white kurta-pajama with tricolour dupatta (stole) and Gandhi topi (cap).
Coming up next is Janmasthami Day when the copy-kitten will be copying Radha, the eternal beloved. The blue/orange chaniya-choli is awaiting its turn.
Only problem is the copy-kitten insists that all her school dances be performed to the tune of “Sare jahan se achchha, Hindustan hamara hamara” (India is the best), ad infinitum. She keeps on re-cycling this same line over and over again. After half-a-dozen repetitions, she pauses, realizing that something is amiss, and says “What?” That is my cue to step in and complete the song, which ends on the same line, which starts her parroting and prancing all over again.
As I said, it’s been a hectic Independence week.


Jaquanda Rae said...

understandably so. you make motherhood seem like it's worth the darn try....I wonder sometimes if I can ever be as good a mom as my Mom is.

I missed the significance of independence by a few decades. When my Mom was 9 Jamaica became independent. She got involved in the celebrations, singing and dancing with her school at the National Arena. The new govt is trying to bring back some of the excitement of independence. Maybe next year I'll be more active in the celebrations...

Jaquanda Rae said...

Girl, I recommend you check out Nugget's page. She/He writes infrequently but whatever s/he writes is bloody hilarious! I still don't know if Nugget is a man or woman, it don't even matter.

ugich konitari said...

Great write up, Sucharita. Brought back a lot of memories from almost 20 years ago. The songs and schools certainly havent changed, but each child has his/her own way of doing things uniquely...

(Just be grateful the kids are not doing a play, and that you are not doing the dialogue practice in your free time. I once did that with absolutely hilarious real time results ..)

Sayani said...

independence by independent soul , knowledge,drive and spirit ...great stuff

jai hind

Mina Jade said...

A country's independence is the most important.
I was only 4 when our political system changed so dramatically and Hungary became a free country instead of a people's republic, but I read a lot about the dictatorship (I'm interested in politics) and I do believe the early nineties were the best period of Hungary for a very, very long time.

(By the way, copy-kitten is a nice name to a child :-) )

Sucharita Sarkar said...

@ Jaquanda,

With Jamiacans blowing super-hot at the Olympics, patriotism must be running high over there. And I'll definitely take your tip on Nugget.

@ UK,

You've awoken my curiosity. Please can we have one of you lovely detailed blogs (with your inimitable asides included) on this drama-tic incident?
@ sayani,

Thanks a ton!

@ Mina,

I am really learning a lot on Hungary from you, Please keep on writing in.

Mystic Margarita said...

You've had a busy independence day week! Lil Cat and Copy Kitten must have enjoyed a lot! Belated wishes :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

@ MM,

Yeah, they did, actually I did too. Only cribbing is like second nature to me, esp. when I'm exhausted.