Pari had Dussera celebrations in her school last week. It is actually a playgroup, don't know why I keep calling it a school. Anyways, a note came from the Principal inviting all moms for participation. I was not so keen on going. I had some work planned for the day, and couldn't take it off. Moreover, I somehow always feel out of place in Pari's playgroup, nervous and naive. The other moms look so confident, and so grown up. Of late, I have been cursing my small built a lot. And the school gathering always triggers it. Actually I am not so small, Google tells me that the average height for Indian women is 5'1'', which means I am just 1'' short of the average. But then, I did not google the average weight, which might provide more clues. I have lost a lot of weight during the last year, and struggling to get to the 40 kgs that I was for most part of the last 6 years. No significant health issues other than the allergy, no drop in appetite and no increase in work load -- no reason that I can think of.. and still I am losing weight like there is no tomorrow. The last 3 months figures stand at 34.2, 36.7, 35.. and I feel just miserable. This is turning out to be a weight loss update more than an account of Dussera celebration. Excuse me for the digression, but this has been bothering me for some time now. Coming back to Dussera, the husband was more than eager to participate, but he wasn't invited. So finally, I decided to apply for a leave for the first half and work from home for the later half. Pari was required to dress up in ethnic wear, and we had a new lucknowi kurta/pajama just waiting for the occasion. The pajama was rather long for her, but you can always fold it and make do. As it turned out, the neck of the kurta was too small for Pari's head to pass through and the maid got it stuck there. It never occured to me that a dress which is clearly oversized for Pari can have such a small neck. I admit Pari has a rather big head, but still.. Anyways, we settled down for a lehenga. I wore a suit, counting on it to make me look older.. and off we went.
We walked down to the school, it is hardly 400 meters from our house. And it took us almost 20 minutes to reach there. It is always the husband who takes Pari for walks. I prefer taking the car even for small distances, like her school. So, I had almost forgotten how slow she walks, especially when there is so much distraction. Every parked car was noticed and its colour was reported diligently, umpteen attempts were made to pick all fallen flowers and all stray dogs were attended to, with extremely useful comments that provided deep insight like 'This doggy is hungry, ye dudu peeyega', and so on and so forth. It was almost like that sequence in Amelie where the heroine helps a blind man cross a street, all the while providing him with a rich description of the surroundings, that which was also reproduced in Ghajini. Honestly, I might as well qualify as a blind.. all these petty things gain significance if you look at them through a child's eyes.
The function started with some prayers, and then there was a dance performance by the children. They were all made to stand in a big circle, and given dandiya sticks to dance. Now, the kids did it fairly well, striking the sticks and dancing in the circle, all except Pari. She is actually the smallest in the group, looks the tiniest, and could only hold them sticks and jump all along. Despite a not so bright performance, she looked completely at ease and very excited. And suddenly, I felt my eyes well up... I really don't know why, I mean I am really not one of those sentimental moms but still. Before I realised, tears were streaming down my face, and the other moms were gaping at me. I guess babies do strange things to your psyche. On my way to the school, I had spent most of the time thinking of an excuse that would let me return home as quickly as possible and resume my work, but once there, I just didn't have the heart to leave early lest Pari missed out on one moment of the fun. So we ended up staying for the whole duration. Now, that was a pretty long account.. and to reward you for your patience, I'll leave you with a picture.