It all happened in the very early 50's of twentieth century while I was studying in the Infant class in a Roman Catholic school in Bhimli,a small seaside town in Southern India.Though a girl's school, it offered co-education up to 5th.class.
Every year,there used to be a gala function on Holy Mother's Day (I am not sure about this name).During the function,toppers in academics,sports,fine arts etc. used to be awarded.In addition,there used to be music,dance and drama performed by children of various classes.That year it was decided to stage a drama wherein children from the entry level can perform together with students from the higher classes.The story chosen was 'Snow White and the seven dwarfs';the story of a beautiful girl, Snow White who "takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as "the fairest in the land," and Snow White's beauty surpasses her own. The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals. But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs, warned by the forest animals, rush home to chase the witch away, but they are too late to save Snow White from the poisoned apple. They place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her. The Prince, who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen's deathlike spell with "love's first kiss."
Sister Grace cast me as one of the seven dwarfs.Being the smallest of the seven,I was only to walk behind the other six as a tag.Each dwarf was to have long white beard.The costumes were made ready.Rehearsals were held.Everything was hunky dory.On the day of drama,we were all made up(Surgical cotton was used as beards for us.)and asked to walk on to the stage.As soon as I walked on to the stage,a small speck of cotton entered my nostril making me sneeze heavily resulting in my white beard getting blown off!.This scared me and I ran backstage crying.
The show however went on well and the audience applauded!
When the actors were being introduced to the audience at the end of the show,sister Grace called out my name also.I went on to the stage without my beard and with lot of tears in my eyes. Sister Grace gave me a hug that made me beam again!
There was a thunderous applause from the audience;an applause for the sister's Grace which is unforgettable!!