Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dancing, With Wolves

Well it's been quite a heavy couple of blogs, but I can always rely on my childen to provide some light relief.

I had to take our 3 yr old for a hospital appoinmtent last week. It was a long old wait. She had decided to go dressed for the occasion in one of her many fairy dresses (most of which I am ashamed to admit have been donated to her by anxious friends we have visited, to try and quell my daughter's noisy devastation at not only leaving their house, but also leaving the fairy dress behind, I now realise it was all a ploy and mourning was probably exclusively for the dresses and not the friends, being the shaollow toddler she is) Anyway this particular little number was white with a very frothy layered skirt. She chose to wear this over her shorts and t-shirt. Personally in this humidity and heat I find one layer too much, the thought of having another, POLYESTER layer over the top is enough to turn me naturist. Doesn't seem to bother her though.

Anyway she decided during our 2 hr wait that she would dance. The chairs were arranged round the room in a square. The waiting room was full of Sri Lankans. Little did they know what they were in for. My daughter chose to take up position in the centre of the room whereupon she embarked upon a series of cossack style leg kicks complete with claps under the leg, and a flamenco swishing of the skirts. To top off her "fusion footwork", she added a few traditional arabesques and pirouettes. In between 'sets' she would stop and scratch her bottom vigorously. I made a mental note to buy more worm tablets.... She would also add rather coyly, "I don't like people watching me dance". I suggested, in that case, she find a slightly less public place than a waiting room full of bored patients with no posters even on the walls to read. I think she secretly realised the advatnages of a captive audience.

My husband meanwhile has been visiting the hospital on a fairly regular basis to have his ears 'cleaned'. He has a fungal infection in them. Fungal infections are the bane of our life here. So easy to get, not so easy to get rid of, particularly in the ears evidently. Anyway his consultant is Indian and takes a metal probe, wraps it in cotton wool and cleans his, presumably, eardrum with a liquid. M says it is sheer unadulterated agony. He said it also made him realise how he would be useless under torture and would buckle immediately. My husband is very 'no nonsense' and never makes a fuss about anything. He has a high pain threshold too..... which made me realise it must have been quite an ordeal. And it's not even working. I had read in Lonely Planet India that India is I think the only country in the world where 'professional ear cleaners' work on the street. You can rock up and have your ears cleaned for you. Not exactly sure why this is such a booming industry on th estreets of India. Maybe they all have fungal infections too. Well if the worst comes to the worst we can always try one of them when we go to India in October (not really). So that's where M' s consultant got the idea from. In the UK I had always been taught the maxim "never put anything smaller than your grandma's elbow in your ear" But M seems quite happy that because this guy is a consultant, he must know what he's doing. Personally I think the ear probe has unbalanced him......

Menawhile our son has been auditioning for the part of Mowgli in the school's production of The Jungle Book musical. He didn't get the part but he was told by both his teacher and the music teacher that he came 'this close', indicating a tiny space between thumb and forefinger, to getting the part. Personally I wonder if that is the 'primary school version' of "Don't call us, we'll call you".

I had tried to prepare him for tha fact that positive discrimination might have to be at play here. That a Caucasian boy with blonde, curly hair is unlikely to get the part of a 'man cub' from an Indian village in the middle of a jungle, especially as there are plenty of asians in the school. The other clincher for me was that he can't sing in tune. Very well. It's also quite a relief as it's a big part for a 7 yr old. He had learned 4 lines for the audition and a song . When I explained that Mowgli would be in every scene pretty much and with a lot of lines, he said he had thought the bit he learned was the whole part.....

Still he was as philosophical as ever, and said he actually was rather pleased to be a wolf instead, and get to wear a (fake) fur wolf's costume. What is it with my children and synthetic fabrics??

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Positive" discrimination? Surely not getting something because of your race, skin color, etc counts as "negative" descrimination? Oh...I see. You think that any discrimination towards a caucasian *must* count as positive? Tsk tsk tsk.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Hi Anonymous. I first came across positive discrimination whilst working in South Africa. At the time I thought perhaps it was acceptable as a means of redressing the balance post apartheid. My husband disagrees. He feels a job etc should always be awarded on merit considering skills etc not race, gender etc.

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word 'discrimination', but I used the term to mean that I felt an Asian SHOULD get the role as we are IN Sri Lanka after all, and the book is set in a jungle, presumably Asia, as it has a tiger (Sheere Khan) I thought it would look decidedly funny having a blonde, curly haired caucasian playing the role of Mowgli and assumed the music teacher wd think the same. But then I would never object to a black Romeo or juliet for example. I guess it's because there's a cultural context to the book which is decidedly Asian, so you go along with that context, or change it completely, which would be silly I think, as we are living in an Asian country.

Iota said...

Though fungal infections and worms plague you, your children dance and sing. There is something rather fairy-tale-like going on here.

GM said...

I do like that last comment, plit, and hope that you take comfort from it. I was particularly moved by your earlier blog about the tragic suicide of the 17 year old at your son's school; you rightly note that in a world of tragedies affecting millions of people, it is the immediate and the personal that strikes home. but the same is true of happiness - hence the joy of your children!