Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Show Must Go On

It's been a while since I wrote something funny. Here, the joke is entirely on me. Read on for some sadistic fun. You'll come off feeling quite superior.

So, some years ago, my brother was still in school and I, having just completed my MA, was trying to 'figure out my life'. It helped that my father was posted in the Netherlands, and so I earned big, fat Euros tutoring some American-school kids in English and life was just peachy.

The high school drama class was rehearsing for a musical (Pippin) and a lot of my brother's friends were in it. He'd keep hearing about the play, and some of the dialogues, and the cast kept singing the songs at lunch time so it was pretty much all the high schoolers were talking about. So my brother got two tickets to go watch it. One for himself, and the other for his good-for-nothing sister. We decided to bicycle our way there. It was 7 kilometres one way, so that was a commitment. But, having moved there from New Delhi, it was a novelty to actually use the bicycle to go places rather than ride in aimless circles in the safety of a fenced-off park. Everyone cycles in Holland. In 2001 we were told the country had 15 million people and 16 million bicycles.

No need to memorise that. This isn't reading comprehension. So anyways, on the day, we cycle off well in time for the play. But we don't factor in the rough winds of winter blowing in from ye ol' North Pole or wherever and through the North Sea into the poor bicycle tracks of The Hague. So we huffed and puffed as the clock ticked and tocked and we barely made it to school on time. Dashing in to the auditorium, I picked up a programme along the way, just as a souvenir. The lights were already dim so there was no question of reading it.

The play began. My brother pointed out his various friends in their colourful costumes. Pipping sang some songs. Pippin seemed a confused, angsty sort. Pippin sang some more songs. This happened 6 years ago so I don't really remember but he did seem to be rather directionless. Oh well...

Then, Pippin caught on that this wasn't right. Pippin sang some more songs. The final one ended on a high note with lots of girls draped all over him. He seemed to have arrived in life. The note died out, the lights came on, the curtains went down, and everyone stood up, clapping. My brother and I hurried out. It was already 6 and would soon be pitch dark. We didn't want to die of lung breakdown on the way home so we wanted to hurry off before it got really windy late in the evening. So we scurried out, unlocked our bicycles, and raced off towards home.

The route was rather scenic. Framed against the setting sun were llamas and cows (the foreign-looking cows: brown and white, photogenic types) grazing in a rich man's fields on our right. Brother and I chatted about the play and how it was good but not great. Then I started dissecting it as I pedalled. My English Litt background paid off as I mulled over the various plot elements and realised that some of them hadn't been resolved. So I tell my brother, "They dind't show xyz..." and he says, slowly, thoughtfully, "Yeah, but I thought it was supposed to happen..." And then I think of something else that wasn't right. And he says, slowly, thoughtfully, "Yeah, but I heard it was supposed to happen."

And then I stop, pull out the programme from my bag and look at it.

It says, slowly, thoughtfully:

Pippin: A Musical
Show begins: 4:45 pm
INTERMISSION (caps mine): 6:00 pm
Act II: 6:15 pm

The cows seemed to be smiling at us as they chewed their cud. The llamas looked on indifferently as we stood, halfway between home and the play we had left during the Intermission.


Kalyan said...

lovely reading this post!

Anamika said...

Hi Kalyan, welcome to my blog. Thanks for commenting, and for not laughing at the stupidity!!!

dipali said...

What fun! But aren't you glad you saved your poor lungs?

sbora said...

That surely is funny!!! One of those moments in life ha?

Sorry to hear aboyut Tejeshwar Singh...he truly had an indomitable aura about him but I am sure he is just as human, as you pointed out in your Pioneer arrticle! He was one of the few unforgettable newcasters of DD. I especially loved his voice.

aunty g said...

Does your brother let you live this down? || Cycling seven kilometres out, and into, town || But llamas in Netherland || That's hard to understand || Anyway, we're enjoying you being a clown:-)))

OrangeJammies said...

Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk! I could picture that with such ease! :0) Oh well, at least you got home without changing your name to Kulfi.

Anamika said...

Dipali: In the long run, yes. Else there'd be one less super blog (ahem!)

sbora: Yes, I know quite afew people who were total fans of his voice.

Aunty G: Both my bro and I | Decided to hide this till we die|| But now I've spilt the beans | And shared those funny scenes || And now he will ask me WHY???

OJ: That's my pal - Always showing me the bright side :)