Thursday, November 19, 2009

OUT FOR A DUCK


The Copy-Kitten is having some sort of elaborate programme at school where she has to go all dressed up exactly like Donald Duck.

The teacher in charge of such superfluous entertainment called me and stuck a shiny photograph of Donald, with eyes closed and nose in the air (Donald’s, not the teacher’s), in my unwilling hands. “Make it at home,” she loftily said, “we don’t want cardboard cutouts,” (reading my mind), “You’d better make it with cotton-stuffing. IT MUST LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPH.” (Or else…)

Meekly I nodded, saving my indignation for later. I am poor even at darning and button-sewing, let alone such ambitious projects like home-sewing the iconic bad-tempered duck.

Donald’s bad temper was rubbing off on me. None of the shops which sold fancy-dress costumes on hire (I got the names off the Net) had anything near an exact replica. One shop (a “high-end” one) had a coming-apart-cardboard-mask you would really have to imagine hard to be DONALD, which they stuck on top of some ubiquitous Charlie Chaplin-type costume with a tailcoat. I wanted a nice stuck-up fluffy white ducktail, not a dirty black coat with a tail.

Wherever I searched, I got a duck (as in cricket, not cartoons).

Finally, when I attended a pre-programme meet organized by the teacher (which, I suspect was to catch hold of laggards like me and push us into getting the costumes done), I met a pair of parents who had brought along a Doremon who looked exactly like his namesake. A tailor, who mercifully happened to be quite close to my college, apparently specialized in such complicated costumes. You just had to give him the photo (and a rather obscene amount of money), and within two days he would give you a 3-D costume.

And so I rushed right out of the meeting into the shop of the tailor with the magic Walt Disney-esque scissors. And two days later, like a conjuror pulling rabbits out of a hat, he pulled out a Donald Duck costume in luxe velvet-with-sponge-stuffing, looking exactly like that da---ned photograph, with gloves, webbed-feet-footwear, mask, right down to the fluffy white ducktail!

Only snag is, the lookalike costume is tailormade…to fit some child three sizes larger than the Copy-Kitten.

So, as she waddles about like an overstuffed inebriated duck, I’ll have to bring out all the large child-safe pins in the house to keep Donald Duck on his feet. And keep my fingers crossed and hope that Donald a.k.a Copy-Kitten does not have a wardrobe malfunction on the stage.

And if anybody mentions how sweet cartoon characters are, especially Disney ones, especially a cantankerous yellow-beaked duck called Donald, I’ll shove an entire roasted Peking Duck down their throats…on second thoughts, down mine. Or maybe Duck with Orange Sauce…and chew all of it down really viciously. Quack! Quack! Quack!!!

19 comments:

Kavi said...

Peking Duck down the throat with orange sauce seems to be alluring idea though ! :)

Seems to be a major scam to me. ( perhaps i am reading too much newspapers) Perhaps the teacher and the tailor are hand in glove ! Maybe you should invoke the RTI act or something like that !

Why else would she want copy-kitten to be dressed like Donald Duck ! Next they would want Batman. Spiderman. He-Man. With a sword, webs et al.

Silly ! yet, I hope copy-kitten enjoyed this well !

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

Absolutely hilarious, Sucharita. By writing this, and by letting us share the story for free, you would be recouping some of the financial damage.

But seriously, not forgetting that you yourself are a teacher, when will our teachers ever learn? And although quite a few Indians today have trees in their backyard on which money grows, should a school presume that all the parents belong to that elite group?

The Holy Lama said...

I can empathise with you. Its same here too. Last week I had the great pleasure to make a chinese drum as I could not get it ready made or tailor made. Let's start a harassed parents club.:)

Swati said...

hahahah..lol at the last para ..but these schools are pathetic ..first they charge you so much and then the except you to do all the hard work ..grr

Jyothi said...

Ha Ha...Nice one! What its fancy dress season in India or what? I just read another blog post on the same topic. Initially , I used to listen to what the teachers said word to word. Then I realized that doing that ends up having to deal with an angry hubby and two impatient kids. Do you need anything else to raise the blood pressure? The trophy's are rarely worth the pain!!!But of course, the kids will be happy when they out do the other kids in costumes or projects and stuff. Did someone say money can't buy happiness???? ;)

Aparna said...

Seems like a lot of work, but thank god for talented tailors.
So how was the programme? Hope you all went to Mainland China to celebrate the success of the event.I do love the Disney characters, they are so cute...

Vineeta said...

Hey dats kind of silly of that teacher!! Asking parents to do this.. didn't get teacher's behavior? Is this normal?

Meira said...

That is so cruel of the school! Whatever happened to good old cardboard and thermocol? But she'l gel well on the next trip to Disneyland :P

Swaram said...

ROFL. Is it in the way things are or the way u write them :P Hilarious :)
But, so much project work for the parents :P Back to school eh ;)

Lazyani said...

I am sure that there is a nexus between the teacher/school and the tailor.

Bh the way,did the little one enjoy the show?

Nona said...

Glad that you found the right tailor and the right tailor is so close to your college!

I will send you a picture when my daughter needs something like this! :)

Sumandebray said...

Liked your sense of humor. Hope the function was as interesting as sourcing the costumes.
I guess such acts helps in distribution of wealth but I think it to be a criminal offense to spend so much money for just a few hours .... on second thought .. the memory might last a life time!!!

bodaat said...

Picture please! I'm sure that your copy-kitten is going to look very cute!

sujata said...

Thats the second post in a couple of days that I read on fancy dress and kids and costumes, these things should be kept simple and creative, whats the point of it all, if there is no imagination involved and only money and sourcing a good tailor is the option. I love kids dresses as vegetable sellers wearing white undershirts and pyjamas with a beard drawn and a gamcha on their head and rattling the prices of their veggies..

Tomz said...

So finally you too had one Donald Duck experience..

Liked,and laughed a lot and all the time, I was thinking about your hurry to get one Donald duck costume. I liked this cartoon character from childhood days, and I liked him more than Micky mouse for his peculiar sound, walking style, and his innocence and short temper.

Onkar said...

Quite hilarious. I think, most parents have to suffer the way you did.

JD said...

:-) phew!! lucky u to have got a good tailor. Imagine sitting and sewing!!
he fancier the school, the fancier gets the fancy dress shows.. Schools ensure they have parents wrapped up on their fingers..

Pollyana said...

Hi Sumi! Had a good laugh reading your blog. Ritam is only in Nursery and that too in a playschool but has special days throughout the year! I was lucky enough to be able to send him dressed as Spiderman for two consecutive years! First year I rented the costume. 2nd year Ma gifted him a costume on his birthday because by then he had become a Spidey fan! But this was just the annual fancy dress competition. Other than that I have to dress him up as Krishna, Hanuman, a patriot, a Disney character, and a postman (for world postal day)! You are absolutely right - schools have become atrociously demanding in their extra curriculars! Reading your blog I am HIGHLY tempted to vent my ire on Ritam's play school which invites Sanjay Khan (the actor) and Advani as chief guests for the annual school function and has instrumental music of "Roop Tera Mastana" playing as fillers intbetween stage performances! I was fuming! Anyway, am taking him out of the school this year! Just 3 more months of this absurd commercialism! Btw, we got a sms from the school that senior school children would be interacting with Amitabh Bacchan and it would be aired on TV. That got me grinding my teeth all over again! Deepanjali

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Dear all,

Glad to report that there was no wardrobe malfunction on D-Day. Copy Kitten returned tired but happy, clutching a packet of Parle-G biscuits and a very dirty and deflated costume. But I've washed and cleaned and kept it safely. So,if any of you need a Donald Duck, you know where to come.