Monday, February 28, 2005

Reading -Day2

Day 2 of the reading of evam Indrajit and as all of us sat around, there were a few more people from the previous day, as Pavi and Karuna(the overall team leads for Barefoot in the Park) had also joined us. The reading started with Bhagyam reassigning different people to read the lines of the different characters. Act two started and with most of the setting the same as the first reading, we all participated in the reading.End of act two and there was a minor pause, where some of the roles were reassigned.With this done, we plunged into act three. At the end of the reading, Bhagyam asked everybody as to what they thought about the two acts which had been read. Some interesting views were thrown up with some people thinking that there was a lot of redundancy in act two and three. The reason for this, some felt was that in act one Indrajit was questioning what he saw around him but it seemed to have been overdone in act two and act three. The question of how to approach people with this play seemed to polarise the team into two where some felt that we should just let people come and watch and decide for themselves whereas there were others who felt that we should let the audience know about the gravity of the play. In the end, we all split with homework from Bhagyam to read the script and suggest what we would like to add or remove...should make for an interesting second reading.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Reading-Day 1

Sat through my first reading with evam of the new play that we intend to do in june, evam Indrajit by Badal Sircar. It was quite a novel experience for me as I have never done this before. There were 13 of us sitting in a circle and reading the play.evam Indrajit is a play that evam has been looking to do for a long while and it is also the reason why evam calls itself "evam". The setting consisted of an open terrace, a light wind, dimming light, with a moon of no particular form and 13 of us reading evam Indrajit. After we finished reading the first act, and we were asked to give our first impressions about what we had read, we thought we were not sure we had formed an opinion but as the discussion continued we all discovered a variety of things, some that we had not noticed and some that we had only subconsciously noticed but not attached importance to. It brought up an interesting topic about rules applied to women and whether the play itself was dated, in the sense that was it relevant in today's world and about Indrajit himself. Looking forward to reading act two today.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Tsunami

I traveled extensively across Southern Tamil Nadu after the tsunami hit Indian shores. During this journey, I teamed up with two journalists from Bombay, Dilip D'souza and Amit Verma. It was an educative experience traveling with them.They reported on the sights we came across, on the incidents that happened to us during those four days, on everything we felt and didn't feel.Read them at Dilip's or Amit's blog.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Barefoot in the Park Unleashed...

The venue of the play

Paul,Corie standing with Mrs.Banks and Velasco seated at Paul's residence

Paul and Corie in the fight sequence

Team evam

More team evam

and more...

Read what others thought about our play here
The Hindu

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


All jella bella are sweets
All sweets are laddoos
All jella bella are laddoos

Syllogisms or just gibberish...???

What amazes me is that somebody, somewhere in some obscure part of the country gets paid to ask CAT aspirants questions like these. I mean talk about injustice to those people who work day-in and day-out and yet get paid lesser than these people who get to ask questions which sound like my nephew's pleas for a toy car(he is three by the way).hmmphh...

Saturday, February 12, 2005

at last the play...Barefoot in the Park

Paul(Karthik on the right),Velasco(Neelu standing), Mrs.Banks(Karthik Srinivasan) and Corie(Andrea)

The set of Barefoot in the Park

Manoj(on the left),Andrea and Sunil

Evam Crew

This is the first of the team evam(the theatre group I work with) snaps that I am posting.It is not a comprehensive list of people but its what I could lay my hands on.Starting from top left is Debashish,Bhavesh Kumar alias Manoj, Preethi,next is Amit in the white shirt in front of the water can with Pavi(grr...) next to him.There's Bulbax and Premal to their right in the same file.Next, to the extreme left is Anjana(who is completely "anjaani" and thus her penchant for asking questions),Sundar in the cap,Nisha,Chaaya and Anahita.In the front row is Kanishka on the extreme right and Aishwarya(the winner of Ms. Beautiful smile in a contest I don't remember) and yours truly alias "me" to the extreme left.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Profound indeed...

Ok could'nt resist putting this up- a classically profound quote which I found here.

"Bad words are of two kinds - anatomy and relationships!"

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I love Papayas

At the outset, let me clear any misconceptions that might arise from the title of this article. Its not a metaphor for anything else, I genuinely love papayas with a fervor that is quite unmatched. It seems to me like a perfect example of how some of our best relationships are forged in times of great distress and suffering. I will not push you all any further and move on with the saga behind “Papayomania”.

Circa 2000,
Board exams drawing perilously close and I still seem to be in a state of madness and detachment, which was characteristic of me all through school life. Dad even came to school and had a “word” with my teachers and they all calmed him saying that I was a good student but I was just not paying enough attention to my studies (the ultimate paradox of my life!!). That evening dad and me had one of our famous chats (what normally happens is that he talks and I listen!!) Anyway, having sailed through all that with my conscience unscathed (I had a skin of raw hide and nothing really made a difference) it was time to hit the books because it was dawning on me that maybe I was just pushing things too far. Mom, dad and sister left for a marriage in January to Bombay and I stayed back because of the IIT-JEE screening. Don’t have much to talk about the screening except for the fact that I got screened and so we will just move on. If you are wondering where the papaya is in all this- just hang on we are almost there.

They came back in a week and my sister had contracted chicken pox. It was a mild form of chicken pox. But all of a sudden, during that period, my empathy towards my sister grew manifold and I spent most of my time in the room in which she was quarantined. Lo and behold a few days later I noticed a growth on the back of my neck. Thinking of it as just a boil I decided to forget it. But for the first time my nonchalance proved disastrous. I had a raging fever the next morning and my face was pockmarked. I was devastated. I was a month away from my boards and had my practical exams coming up. I felt my face and could feel the genesis of a number of lesions that were going to lord over my being for the next 2 weeks. I cursed myself for having been so foolish and vowed that next time I will listen to mum (don’t ask me what happened to the vow…) Grandma was in town and she immediately took over the entire operation coded- “OPERATION SARAANSH, THE CHICKEN” (or something to that effect!!) I had neem all around my bed because it was supposed to be therapeutic.

Then came the decision about my menu and after countless sessions of brainstorming and committee hearings it was decided that I should be fed something that cools my body down so that the lesions would dry up quickly. So they decided I would be fed lots of papayas. It was never a fruit I enjoyed eating before that. But then all my fundamental rights to protest had been annulled because of the declaration of emergency by grandmum. So night and day, papaya became my companion in this ordeal. It was with me while doing those integration problems and it was also there when I was trying my hardest to make salicylic acid on paper (chemistry for the uninitiated!!), it accompanied me when I was trying to figure out which way the current flowed and it was also with me when I was stuck with all my “inheritances”.

I had stopped shaving and was beginning to resemble some of our ancestors of the simian variety (crudely put- I was beginning to look ape-like). I was also made to stop bathing and I will not go into any description pertaining to the aromaticity of my surroundings lest you feel nauseated and throw up on your monitors. And so it was papayas in the morning, afternoon, evening and night. I lost track of time. It was like I was perennially eating papayas. My lesions grew and flourished and one day I scratched one of them and it burst, oozing out thick yellowish pus and aggravated the lesion even more. Now I was at a stage where to find a part of my body without lesions was becoming difficult (and don’t let your imagination run away with that statement!!)

Through all this, the papayas stuck by me. Those luscious, deep red fruits were my sustainer. I slowly but steadily started recovering and then one day after 2 weeks, I took a shave and a shower and realized that I was actually human. However my scalp was badly affected and I almost shaved my head off at the barber’s. What a sight I was!!! But through all that I realized that those who stick by you during your worst are the ones you really should cherish and treasure. So here’s to the papaya- the bunker buster of operation- “SARAANSH, THE CHICKEN”.

Hail Ishwar!!!

I have always wondered about the word-firefighters in the contextual sense of the word. Firefighters are those people who are brought in to diffuse a crisis, to stabilize a situation and finally to bring the system back on track. The only problem with this was that I had never seen a "firefighter" in action...until the 6th of February, 2005.

Location: Sivagami Petachi Auditorium
Event: evam, the theatre group staging a new play called Barefoot in the Park

We had completed 3 shows and were gearing up for our next show on the 6th evening. At 6'o clock all final checks were being done with regard to backstage and front-end. At 6:45, the audience started coming in and the venue had an almost festive atmosphere. At 7'o clock, the light box discovered that the entire set of dials and buttons that controlled the lights for the stage had ceased to function. The only way it could function was that either all the lights remained on or all lights went off.

This presented a huge crisis as there were 350 people waiting for the play to start but the play could not start because of the above mentioned reasons. As I stood there watching this, I was wondering what would happen next. Then suddenly I noticed Ishwar(a member of the evam crew) dash in and get into the main controls area that was adjacent to the stage. It took him 15 minutes to find out which main switch controlled which light. Once he had these cues written, the play was started and he managed lights solely by what he was being told by someone who kept a watch on the stage proceedings.

What struck me were a couple of thoughts- the calm on Ishwar's face while making a note of the lights, the ease with which the promoters of the group gave him a free run during this period and our relief when we knew that Ishwar was looking into the issue. Its amazing how implicit, faith becomes as we come to know people better over a period of time. The play started and everything went off picture-perfect.

In the end, Ishwar I know that this will never suffice but- Thanks yaar!!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Why we choke...

I came across this interesting piece written by a friend, Amit Verma. It discusses the feat of losing from a winning position, how players, professionals and others choke when they are on an upward swing. Read more about it here.


I hate the sinking,leaden feeling of lonliness(this is not to suggest that there are others who like it) It seems strange to me that I get this feeling at times when they are completely last night when we(evam-the theatre group) had successfully completed four shows of "Barefoot in the Park" and when everbody was cheerful and happy about the way things had gone, I effortlessly sank into melancholia...No idea what brought it on...aarrrrrgh!!!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

One fine day...

Every moment of every hour of every day of our lives,we live in a world of deadlines, appraisals, studies, exams, family, kids, future...and suddenly something happens that makes us snap out of it all.There is a strange safety in all those things that I mentioned because it takes our mind away from worse things that happen to people around us.

Manoj has done considerably well for himself.He studied Biotechnology at Mcquaire University in Sydney before he decided to come back and started a firm of his own called Student Concepts.He was also a renowned face in the theatre community of Chennai. He had a normal life with a set routine and then one day he was driving home for lunch and as he took a blind turn in first gear, a motorcycle on the left sped past him and applied brakes suddenly to avoid a collision with a car in the front. Since the motorcyclist was very close to his car, Manoj could not avoid him and hit the back side of the motorbike...somewhere near the number plate.

He could not believe it.Manoj is what we would call a laid-back guy,somebody who thought that every issue could be solved by talking it out and that mistakes happen which is why they are called accidents.Manoj got out of the car apologising and told him that he should have been slower on the turn,in his less than fluent Tamil. The motorcyclist instead, gruffly asked him to come out and pay the damages. Manoj was a little bewildered because it was not entirely his fault.Having said this, Manoj decided to move his car to the side as it was blocking traffic. The motorcyclist taking this as a sign of Manoj escaping, got angry, said he was a policeman and snatched the keys from the car's ignition. Manoj got out of the car and walked up to the policeman.The cop asked him, his tone filled with disgust, if he spoke Tamil or Hindi and Manoj said he could speak a little Tamil.

The cop insisted on taking him to the service station and asked him to come and pay the damages.Manoj said maybe they should call the traffice police and the policeman who was dressed in civilian clothes took out a badge that had Tamil Nadu Police embossed on it. He put the badge back in his pocket and without a warning slapped Manoj.The blow was so strong, that his spectacles broke on his face and he was hurled a couple of meters from where he stood. He fell against the wall and could not open his eyes.His face felt numb. The man moved forward and struck another blow which made Manoj fall on the road.Manoj started yelling hysterically and curled himself in a foetal position to try and evade blows to his vitals. He felt the heat of the road and the dust that he was breathing. He started crying, uncontrollably. The man struck another blow and Manoj tried to crawl near a parked car for safety.There were people around but not a single person intervened.

This could have happened to any of us and for all those people around watching, it would have just been a spectacle to watch and move on but how would the victim make sense of this, of an attack that came unprovoked,during broad daylight and where nobody around had the balls to intervene.Manoj has filed a police complaint but I wish I was more optimistic.When Manoj told me about this, he spoke about a person's dignity and our individual rights but all I saw was the indifference of the people around,the ability to carry on as if nothing was happening around them until it hits us in the face.

Friday, February 04, 2005

at last...machines with emotions...

I had sent a mail to a friend of mine who I thought works with Sify and so I sent the mail on her sify email id. However I received a Mailer-Daemon which read thus-

" Hi. This is the qmail-send program at'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
Giving up on"

Don't know why but I found it hilarious...I mean talk about machines with intelligence, emotions, the mail server apologises, pleads that its giving up because its fatigued and that its sorry that it "did'nt work out".Relax yaar...

This is an update to the last post.A friend received this in his email when he did'nt subscribe to a particular service.

If this means that you do not care to be in mobile friendnetwork, then just say so - and save both of you the hassle. It only takes a few seconds!
Just click here to confirm or reject your relationship with
If you dont want to be invited by your friends, just click on the linkabove....