This Saturday we got to go see it.
The family was all quite excited about it, including Pickle and Papad who rose early in the morning, without a peep for a change. A pink-and-golden princessy dress had been acquired. A silvery cardboard crown sat on her brow. And for some strange reason, a hula hoop was taken along as a prop.
The play started at 9 in the morning without much ado, and suddenly we were in the middle of the performance. About ten minutes in, Princess Peanut made her way onto the stage, escorted by her Royal Guards. And from the moment she started to speak her lines, which she'd kept secret from us the entire time, Vijay and I gaped at her open mouthed.
She gave instructions to the general public to entertain her; mocked them when they didn't live up to her royal standards; in a couple of cases, even asked for the unfortunate entertainer to be fed to the lions. Her gestures were graceful, her expression practised, and her articulation flawless.
It hit me about halfway through her lines. One of her favourite music videos is Remember the Time by Michael Jackson, and she had clearly taken some cues from the haughty Nefertiti-type Queen's expressions in the selfsame video!
I was about to remark upon this to Vijay, and turned to him just as he turned to me to whisper -
'Wah! Bilkul apni Ma pe gayi hai!'
I glared at him, but he busied himself in taking a video of her with his phone, which we'd specifically been asked not to do. I poked him in the ribs, but he just wriggled over to get a better view and continued recording.
Other insightful commentary from him ensued, including a thoughtful yet smug 'Pretty Decent Casting so far, what do you say?'
The Princess's part finished and she sashayed off the stage. In what is now becoming a familiar pattern for us, towards the end of the play, we found our family divided - the boys in one team. all three of them squirming in their seats and wanting to go home. And me, on the other hand, peerfully tearfully through my glasses, full of wistfulness that yet another milestone had been crossed with her first lead part in the play. Another academic year coming to an end. The kids growing older.
Especially the child who was once this chubby, playful little baby and is now a long-limbed elegant haughty princess.
Peanut often looks at old videos of herself as a baby and remarks 'I want to meet her!' She actually feels sad at the idea that she'll never get to 'meet' that child.
Well, I got to meet her. And thank god for those old photos and videos. Here's one for, old time's sake. Or shall we say, so we can Remember The Time.