Friday, October 31, 2008

Tour de France - Part X

Halloween was a big thing at the American School of Paris. The halls were decorated with cutouts of witches on broomsticks, pumpkin posters and black cat silhouettes. Suji loved the spooky atmosphere imparted by the rolls of cotton simulating spiderwebs and the cereal box tombstones. She decided that she wanted to be a witch for the pending costume parade through the cafeteria and gym and told Amma firmly “No, I don’t want to dress up in a silk pavadai and blouse and go as an Indian girl. I want a black costume and a witches hat.”

Amma was at a loss initially about what to do for the costume, but she had always been very clever at sewing and crafting. She came up with a cardboard and cloth version of the pointy black hat (stuffed with crumpled paper to keep the point up.) and modified an old black underskirt for a sari as a sack shaped cover, with holes for the arms.

The gym was filled with game stands for traditional Halloween fun, but Suji had little success at the ringtoss and the bowling games. She did manage to snag an apple while bobbing for it, but would have vastly preferred the small toys that were being given out for the other games. Still, an apple’s an apple, she thought, as she munched away.

There were about 20 other witches at the parade, all far more elegantly dressed than Suji in their purchased costumes, but she was definitely the happiest of them all. She loudly sang along as they marched around the school :

Witches, ghosts and goblins
Screaming down the street,
Knock on every doorway,
Trick or treat!

When the door is open,
This is what you’ll meet
Scary creatures shouting,
Trick or treat!

The cold crisp weather meant recess was mostly indoors in the gym. The drama club had started its sessions, with Suji promptly signing up. She enjoyed declaiming poetry and drama scripts as they worked their way through listening to tapes of A Christmas Carol and the witches scene from Macbeth. Which one would they perform? A vote was taken, deciding in favor of the Macbeth scene.

Suji was delighted. She could reuse the witch costume from Halloween without much trouble. But what to do about the ‘beard’ that the Macbeth witches were supposed to have had? Amma came up with a solution again. “Try wrapping your long hair around your chin and tying it to stay up on your ear.”

For the final performance, that’s exactly what Suji did, even though the hair did threaten to slip away from the chin as she declaimed, in as shaky and eerie sounding of an 8 year old voice that she could muster:
Fair is foul and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.”


Anonymous said...

That witch in Macbeth would have been a funny sight :) Do you have pictures?

Sujatha said...

Unfortunately, any photos of the event are lost to the dustbins of history :)