I love to watch theater workshops, before the play workshops, and eventually the play itself staged. Interviews with playwrights and their craft discussions are easy to take in tea cakes style with my favorite beverage Masala Chai with some soaked biscuits maska chaska!
A Snapshot of My Acting Career
My earliest stage exposure was to sing the prayer song with a group in my lower kindergarten days. Then, came Christmas plays being one of the angels with folded hand and no dialogue. I was more a fixture than contributing anything major to the play.
Maybe in 9th and 11th I had a role to play as a baby ghost and a flustered mother of a son who is about to get married, respectively. In the role as a baby ghost, I had no dialogue but “Mother.” Of course, as a mother to my son it was a hopelessly melodramatic over the kill crying sequence. Thank God there were no cell phones in those days, if not I would have to live with the horror of seeing me play the parts rather hopelessly.
Punctured Acting Career and Binge Watching
Anyways, my acting career got punctured long back. I hold no regrets on that aspect. I am frightened of the stage and for the life of me, I cannot memorize my dialogues and I always improvise much to the playwrights’ frustration. If I were to write these dramas, then I tell you, that I wouldn’t remember the dialogues of my own play.
I simply cannot remember things. I am such a classified nincompoop! Physically shaking my head! Anyways, that joyous goof-ups apart! I find theater fascinating (imagine me with bright shining eyes) That is me! I watch anything and everything that is enacted but do I religiously see it no. No, if it captures my interest, then I am stuck right there watching and sometimes binge watching!
Life, Literature and a Squeeze of Lime! That’s My Life
I don’t know but my life has been one fascinating travel of various literary works. A book is easy to read, and a human is too dark inside to read – Ah ah! I don’t know who said it.
Voilà! I found it!
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx
From the WikiNOknowledOpedia here are the lines that identify the famous Groucho Marx.
“Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was an American comedian, writer, stage, film, radio, and television star.”
All forms of literature I have read but except maybe Horror I avoid, of course, my young niece introduced me to horror which I read hiding in the room under the most expensive bed covers that couldn’t keep off the fear of ghosts, while I was busy avoiding being frozen over in early September, in my brother’s home in Seattle. After reading the books, I would always check the room for ghost and then attempt to have a disturbed sleep. The phenomena lasted for four days until I replaced with The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Books are my world and I am not ashamed to be a loner. But then I have a whole world of it, and I am never alone.
My Latest Craze and A Need to Reconnect with My Roots
Among the writers and poets of Ancient India, I believe Kavi Kalidasa is my favorite. In translation his work “Ritusamhara” and “Meghdutham” are two important work which for me I wish to read directly in Sanskrit. In order to the do that I have taken up studying Sanskrit.
I need to take this story a little back into my past. My very first attempt to write was the four lines on four seasons. After which I was secretive about my writing. I never shared what I wrote with anyone for quite sometime and I also made sure that there were no evidence lying around about my writing. People got to know that I wrote only when I volunteered to share it with people.
I forgot about the four lines and later when my internship at Chandamama started, I was given the layman job of searching for topics to write for the syndicate channel. It felt like all my birthdays presents were given to me at the same time. Just imagine if you get a Children’s Magazine which has been popular countless years, gives you access to its library man I was floored! Yoo-hoo! My day was done. I can die peacefully.
Finding One Heartbeat in the Countless Hearts
The book titled “The Complete Works of Kalidasa in Translation” beckoned me relentlessly and I opened the book to see the first work, “Meghadutam” and that day I didn’t come out of the library and my mentor arrived to find out what I was doing not reporting to him. Ramakrishnan sir (Consultant Editor) was my mentor and I loved working under him. I used to speak to him about my fascination for stories and endlessly talk to him. He entered the library and found me on the floor seated with the book open and engrossed in reading the translation of Kalidasa, with a star-struck expression on my face.
I didn’t hear his softly spoken sound of my name. Then, the librarian’s gruff voice shook me from my deep involvement with the book. I looked up and I was not sure where I was. Then, when I saw the surprised look in Ramakrishnan sir, I rushed to get up and stumbled until I was up on my feet before him.
“Your report,” he said, and I thought he was speaking in Greek, I shook my head. It took a couple of minutes before I realized that he needed the list of my selection of topics for the Syndicate works. I had selected about three topics and while checking for the fourth I was sidetracked by Meghadutam. “Meet me in my room,” he instructed and left the room slowly shaking his head.
Kalidasa’s Plays and A Star-Stuck Moi!
The complete works had poems and plays that were such fascination for me. For the rest of the reporting hour I was overzealously talking about the messenger clouds. That was when I understood that I had no exposure to Indian writing. I made photocopies of the Kalidasa’s two works Mehgadutam and Ritusamaharam after taking permission to borrow the book from the library and take it home and bring it back safely after making a copy.
The plays by Kalidasa was powerful and it has Indian sentiments! Wow! The various aspects of Indian theater became clearer and yet there were a few things which was not clear but then I was happy for the first time in life. My internship days of 45 days was like living in Heaven for me. The office was more home. Ramakrishnan sir gave me freedom to explore various Indian literature and balancing it with some modern topics for the channel. When one of my pieces was chosen for Indian Express paper I was overboard and so super happy. My love for research was well and truly set in Chandamama office.
Zee Channel’s Rangamanch and I’m in Love
These days I get to see theater whenever I am ready to watch, and each play is such a world of characters and plots with actors making it such a wonderful experience for me. Plays are a great way to bring to the social front those thoughts that provides new perspective and a different way of looking at the same problem.
I cannot think of a life without literature in it for me. I may not be popular or be even recognized in small circle either. Till date, I don’t have a byline with my name in it, yet I am happy when I write. Yeah there are a countless story to read and plays to watch, but then somewhere among all these, I wish I could write one poem, or one work that people recognize as written by me. A dream not sure if it will happen or not. But for now, I write to please myself the most. The joy of writing and listening in to creative gasps of the writer happens sometimes, but I have yet to write a memorable piece.