Indeed, a part to play

humour

Indeed, a part to play

Life came a full circle when last year, my son bagged a pivotal role in a school play called Circle of Life — he was a tree.

You see, I would always land these kind of roles in school. I was ‘grass’ in kindergarten, ‘shrub’ in primary school and ‘tree’ in senior school. And, I know the feeling. Hence, it was natural that I was devastated. I put on a brave front while trying to prod if he was okay with it. He replied, “No, I wanted to be the lion,” he looked at me with large, sad eyes.
It was like déjà vu. But, I had to ensure that my child did not get scarred for life.

“I think ‘tree’ is a better role, baby. You are so tall and magnificent. The lion will look like a dog in front of you.”

At that moment I hated lions and everything else in the feline species, including Taylor Swift. Luckily, my fears were unfounded. My boy bounced back with his characteristic exuberance and started practising his powerful, plot-changing dialogue, which was: ‘Hello guys, I am a tree.’

He practised this dialogue over the entire week, trying out different voices.
“Mamma, shall I now try saying it in my tree voice?”

I had no idea what a ‘tree voice’ was. So I asked him to go ahead. He delivered the dialogue again. I figured that the ‘tree voice’ was a guttural, hoarse whisper. Maybe trees do talk like that — especially while trying to ward off dogs with full bladders.

On the day of the show, I dressed him (with a heavy heart) in a brown tee and track pants. He left by the school bus. And, within an hour, I was at the school, ready to cheer my tree on. The curtains rose to unveil the beautifully done stage. My tree was standing there, right beside the sugarcane stalk, holding up a green, fluffy cut-out. He was Tree One.

“Take that, Tree Two and Tree Three,” I said to myself, “See who’s number one.” But my joy was short-lived.

The show began with the entering of three ‘aliens’, dressed in shiny, silver overalls and sequined headgear. They were accompanied by assorted butterflies in pretty dresses. My heart sank into my boots.

“No, no, this can’t be happening.”
I tried to sneak a peek at Tree One to note his reactions. He was distracted, holding the cut-out with one hand and scratching his head with the other. I narrowed my eyes, glowering at the shining aliens and glittering butterflies. Their respective mothers were taking photos, smiling proudly. “Hmph! Let’s see them scampering without the oxygen MY tree gives.”

The play wore on with the aliens wondrous and wide-eyed about the beauty of our planet. Various animals strode in and spouted praises about the planet. They tried their best, flaunting their silly costumes, but they were not a patch on my nose-picking tree. I think he was quite good — brought out the emotions, the angst, the silent, strong responsibility of being a tree pretty well. All while his track pant naada dangled in full view during the entire performance. Nice touch, I felt.

The play was enacted thrice that morning: in the third slot, Tree Two went missing. Then my boy — Tree One — got Tree Two’s line as well. His dialogue now was: ‘Hello guys, I am a tree. I give oxygen.’
Talent had been recognised!


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