The year 2000 – Y2K : I was a fourth grader and I was growing up fast like a bamboo shoot. I was the second tallest boy of my class.
Early adolescence was around the corner.
My voice had already cracked and I sounded like a sad confusion between a boy and an adult.
Adolescence brings it’s side-effects too, and I looked pretty ugly at that time – awkwardly tall, lean with extra long hands that I didn’t know where to keep.
By virtue of my height, I was selected for a dance troupe that was to perform on the School Annual Day.
That meant rehearsals for one long month, bunking classes and going to the High School section of the school for rehearsals.
It was on one such rehearsal trip to the High School section when I first saw her and I was smitten like never before.
She was a sixth grader and was a part of a drama troupe that was rehearsing for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS.
She was Snow-white. Dance rehearsals were never the same for me again. Even at that age, she was very elegant, lady-like. Somehow, snow white seemed like the perfect name for her.
Our troupes rehearsed together which meant I could see her for 3-4 hours everyday. I simply couldn’t take my eyes off of her.
For the fourth grader in me, she was nothing like I had ever seen before. It seemed that the Snow white character was made keeping her in mind.
She fitted in so well. I would spend hours in the course of the next month watching her.
I watched her slow, soft hand movements and the gentle tilt of the head, as she spelt out her lines in a monotonic voice, that is so characteristic with first time actors.
In the course of the next month, I learnt to dance. Passably well. Soon, it was time for the Annual Day. All dressed up, we were waiting for the long, boring speeches to get over.
We wanted the performances to begin. We were all first timers, more or less. But we were not nervous. That is the best thing about kids – their spontaneity and fearlessness.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to be staged right before our dance programme. She was all dressed up – in white. She had a tiara on her head. Boy, did she look the part!
I watched her perform from the wings, we all did! It was not me alone who had a crush on her! It was our first collective brush with testosterone!
Her performance ended. They made their exit. We made our entry. Bright lights fell on our faces and we couldn’t see any faces in the audience.
It helped. We gave an uninhibited performance. This was the start of my long lived love affair with the stage, that was to take on multiple roles in the future – dance, music, debate, anchoring events, stand up comedy!
That was the last I saw Snow White for a long time. Next year, as I moved to the fifth grade and graduated to the Middle and High School section, I started seeing Snow in the corridors again.
That was my first crush and it lasted another year before abruptly fading out, out of over-familiarity.
Snow got married last year and moved to the US.
The memories still manage to evoke a sheepish smile.