India, Real People, Teachers »
May 2, 2012 | Comments Off on Don’t Let Your Kids Slip into the Cine-Studios! | Betsy Woodman
Growing up in India in the 1950s, we didn’t have TV, and only occasionally went to the movies. My sisters and I staged our own entertainment, including plays we wrote ourselves. One was called “The Abduction of Brenda Brussels;” it must have been pretty scary. Then there was our version of Washington Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” complete with headless horseman. We held it in the neighbors’ driveway, so that we could use their pony in the production. When the time came for the pony to gallop away, however, it could barely be persuaded to budge. Finally, lacking all sense of the dramatic, off it plodded.
In this photo, we are putting on a play in our living room in New Delhi, with some German friends. The players outnumbered the audience, which consisted of the two sets of parents. The title of this masterpiece is lost to time, but I did note most of the roles in my scrapbook. Left to right: Betsy (the maid), Lee (Princess Ann), Eva K. (the Queen), Sana K. (Princess Margret.) Jane, on the end, appears to have been cast as court jester, and doesn’t look too happy about it.
My dad used to write about our doings to his retired schoolteacher friend P. A. Thiruvenkatachari. Mr. Patch answered: “As far as your kids are concerned they are a good set of actors for the stage; but see that they do not slip into the cine-studios. It is a clap-clap to swallow respectable children and to drag them into the gutters. Mrs. M used to tell me that she would kill her children if they should even dream of becoming cine-stars.”
No talent scout from the studios ever spotted us, so we escaped that slide into degradation.