Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Preschool Admission - Dress Code

'It's only pre-school admission, after all', I had told myself last night. 'It will be a breeze.'

This morning, I could have taken my words back.

'OMG', My breath caught in tummy, knowing I had misjudged the situation completely. In the US, I would have gone for a private school interview in my sharpest business suit. Here, respecting the damp heat, I had turned up for the interview in pressed slacks and a demure long sleeved top.

'I should have known better. I should have read between the lines.' I wrung my hands in desperation.

The interview letter had stated 'informal conversation with the mother' on stiff letter-head paper. As I saw the glama-mamas slink in and out of the interview room in their slinky chiffon tops and skinny jeans and borrowed-from-MIL two carat diamond blobs, I knew I had blown the dress code.

In desi circles in the US, this sort of outfit would have been the domain of the belligerent teen, the one you knew would challenge the 'Indian' ideals so consciously upheld by her parents. What they would thinking of it in Shining India- where saris were de riguer- was another question altogether. But this was Mumbai, shinier than the shiniest. What every tot needed for nursery admissions was Carrie Bradshaw as Mommy!

'Oh just pass me the number of the nearest makeover coach', I rued silently. 

Forget the days when degrees in science were good qualification for raising would-be math prodigies. Now motherhood equated with Madonna, and no, not the Pieta types, rather the Haute Maman avatar who can slink around looking like a sex-goddess. 

I sat at the edge of a mini-chair in the corridor of the preschool, awaiting my turn for the interview, suddenly feeling nervous. In fact, more nervous than I had felt in interviews and meeting with financial whiz-kids in London and Washington DC. 

My eyes glossed over the finger-painted modern art lining the corridor of this 'to die for' preschool. Outside on the little patio, lay scattered some gross-motor skill enhancers- a sad looking rocking toy, a tilted climbing frame, a fading cubby house with tiny hinged windows. The kind of stuff Australians routinely donated to war-ravaged regions of Papua New Guinea.

A slim petite woman came out of the interview room, ushering out another slim woman in designer togs and three inch heels. Being size 2 must be a definite criteria for mothers wanting their kids to attend this school, I thought tartly.

Whatever happened to those temple statuette types, all ripe boobs and rounded hips? Banished beyond Bandra probably; nothing but Mrs World aspirants this side of town! But I had to hold that thought there. 

'Tara Malhotra?' The slim woman called out, reading my name from a register. 

It was interview time.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, these schools are the first exposure to the outside world for the children. They are a special time in the life of these young kids and their growth and development is accelerated from here only.

    Preschool in Mumbai