Monday, 23 April 2007

In the beginning, there was Gladys.

I have just realised that I am the first Indian clown doctor! What an amazing feeling! In this country of one billion, I am the first! I can't think of any other thing I'd be happier to be first at. To celebrate, I share this delightful picture of Gladys who made an unexpected appearance at Kumari Aunty's 60th birthday party. I had informed her that I'd be unable to attend but had baked her a cake and would have a neighbour drop it off. The neighbour turned out to be Gladys of course, who kept the guests in giggles all afternoon. I also discovered that whether the audience is six years old or sixty, bubbles work magic!

Until Saturday, I was the one and only Indian clown doctor, but this weekend Kishore made his debut - Gladys and Mamu kept a bunch of little kids at Ramaiah's Teaching Hospital well-entertained. Gladys was busy making plans to marry Shah Rukh Khan on Tuesday when one of the children's mothers solemnly informed her that he was already married and even had two children. Not one to dwell long on heart ache (really should learn from her!) Gladys promptly called up Salman Khan and rescheduled the wedding and the groom for Wednesday (he had a gym appointment on Tuesday.)

Not to be left out, Mamu decided that he too wanted to get married, and decided that Aishwarya Rai would do. Gladys had to inform him that he was too late, as just that morning she'd spoken to Ash who had been busy brushing her teeth with Abi, newlywed and off the market. But not to worry, Gladys said, she knew another young lady who was eminently available: a Miss Jhanvi Kapoor.

Ah, the delight of being able to bring current events into hospital rounds! It was a great moment for laughter therapy.The whole ward, Mamu included, erupted at that. For a minute there, I think Mamu forgot to be Mamu!

And now, not content with being the first, Gladys also wants to be the best. With the book fairs in town, I've managed to pick up some delightful books for her, that will help build up her repertoire of song and dance games, art and craft ideas, puppet show ideas, and even one book about "mouth noises", appropriately titled "Mouth Noises". Many of these noises have been emanating from my mouth for decades, but now I know their technical names.

Gladys is also trying to build up a little database of Tamil and Kannada phrases. For now, she manages Urdu. Amazing how she does that with her Cockney accent, which, to my surprise, most people can decipher.

So Gladys and I shall be busier than ever, practising songs and dances, tunes to play on the recorder and flute, making puppets and practising a few little skits, fine-tuning my rather pathetic juggling skills, and oh, let's not forget the funny mouth noises. But for now, it's past midnight and Askios awaits my attention.

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