It was a near perfect evening & I was happy with the way it all turned out!

The plan was a last minute one, and hence with all the last minute action, I reached the Churchgate station 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled ETA of my friend, Thakkar-san. This gave me just about enough time, to do a quick drop in and have a short tête-à-tête with the wind, the sea & the shimmering sun.

:)

The talk was short. But yet again, as on numerous occasions before, I stood there, humbled, by the sheer magnitude. All my doubts and worries seemed totally insignificant in its wake. The sun shined away as if to re-energize me & the wind gave me a smile.

Next Stop – Tea Centre. T-san was his usual ‘XXL bundle of exuberance’ self. As we got seated, it didn’t take him long to espy a small bell on the table, which when tinkled, made a waiter apparate alongside our table. Let’s just say, that the bell was tinkled more than once, and not always the right guy turned up in answer. This one time, a waiter dropped by, with the message that the right guy will show up at the table soon. It was as if you rubbed the magic lamp, and an imp turned up instead, as a proxy, with the message that the genie would soon be there to grant you the wishes.

The tea ( rather teas ) were awesome. Being our 1st time, we ordered a pot of tea for each us. Pots of Ginger Lemon Green Tea, Blood Orange Tea & a Darjeeling Full Leaf Tea, made their appearance wafting through in divine fragrance. As expected, there was a lot of tea… and we overdrank (supposed to be like overeat… but instead you drink). I wondered if that was what being liquidated felt like. We had some Khopoli wadas to go with it, and guess they bobbed around in our tummies, like apples/tomatoes thrown into a lake! Later as we waddled our way out, little waves of tea, struck the shores of our stomachs. We were high & smiling away.

Expectations & predicament alike, ensured that we were well before the appointed time to see Manav Kaul’s next – Park. Have caught up on all of his previous works, T-san & I, were really eager, as to what would unfurl in front of us, and whether the travel from one end of Mumbai to the other was worth it. The teas were doing little to rope in the enthu. Our panic was over the free seating for the show. It was a new venue for us, and the people who have been there said, there was limited seating. As expected, a decent crowd had built up by the time the play was about to start. As soon as the entry started, people ran to get the very best seats.

Now, T-san, as he arrived, got the chance to sit beside two cute girls. Ever the gentleman, he asked their permission to sit beside them, and of course they acknowledged. As T-san sat, his mega-ness instantly made the bench sink about 5 cms into the soft park ground. The girls giggled, as T-san grinned that grin he grins. Had he sat longer… in some time, it was sure that the girls would have slid into him. But then he made the ‘instantly regretted’ decision of sitting on the ground, closer to the performance area. [If either of you girls comes across this post & recall this incident… T-san is one of the nicest guys on earth!]

The play was beautiful. Manav Kaul & Kumud Mishra had done it again. Simple & elegantly done, and thought provoking at that. The setting and the ambience provided to the play, by the natural surrounds of Horniman Circle, added to its beauty greatly.

As the play finished, I was left wondering whether ‘Theatre’ was the only form of visual entertainment that had any sense of sincerity left.

Highly recommended – Park, lots of tea & a short stop by the sea.

2008 was musical, very much so. And it was natural that 2009 had a lot of expectations to meet with. After my first concert of this year, I am still very perplexed as to how I should go about trying to make the whole experience sink in, and to classify whether it was a good or a bad experience, to begin with.

It all started with my friend, calling me up one evening and enquiring whether I would be interested in attending the Dr. L. Subramaniam & Kavita Krishnamurthy concert featuring The Leipzig/Indian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dr. Micheal Koehler.  I cited two reasons for a probable backing out: 1> weekday  2> I had seen them perform before, sans the Orchestra for an earlier Pongal event. But my lovely friend allowed me the liberty to let me opt till the D-day and said would hold up the passes for me. When the moment of reckoning arrived, I found myself enthused to witness the performance all over again with an added philharmonic texture. I made the decision at 6 for the 7:30 concert, to do the rick+train+cab routine from one end of Mumbai to the other… all for my love for music.

I make it there by 7:30 pm sharp, after overestimating the road traffic, and underestimating the Indian Railways, which pretty much evened it up for me. I was halfway through my self-congratulatory jigeddy jig jig, when I was jolted into the reality, which had taken the shape of an unending human chain starting from the gates of Tata Theatre, all the way through the sea facing road, right to the Ticketing counter at the back of NCPA. A line for an NCPA event – never encountered even once, during the past 2.5 years of spending choice evenings here.

Considering it to be just another formality, I < like a good kid >, go and stand right at the end of the line, waiting for my friends, who were yet to arrive. As soon as they showed up, my friend began her complaining that had she known, she would have come earlier rather than indulge in her lazy evening timepass etc. etc. Her cribbing continued as the line moved languidly forth, with anxious eyes, constantly checking how far their feet were from the destination. We gave the event organizers the benefit of doubt, to the security measures in place for the concert, given that the Trident was but a small walk away.

Then the rumors started rearing their heads in slowly.  “The concert has already started”, said the guy in front to another. Hah! Elementary Mr. Watson, it was 8:15pm, they had might as well started it, if at all they were to get on with a show. But then the rumors started getting less funnier! The grapevine started suggesting that :
1>    People are breaking the queue and rushing from the entrance.  :O
2>    There were only 1000 seats and 2000 passes had been issued :O :O
3>    Only 100 more people will be allowed :O  :O  :O
4>    Fights have broken Out :O  :O  :O  :O

In the ensuing few minutes, there was much agitation in the crowd. The queue was deteriorating by the minute, with people rushing to the entrance to verify the hearsay and others who had old people & young kids in their fray, making an exit, shaking their heads and accepting them rumors on face value. Amidst all this, me and my two friends had reached the gate, and saw that the doors had indeed been closed and two frail security guards were being pummeled by a few hundreds of angry music enthusiasts. From where we were at, it looked like a scene straight out of one of that PG rated zombie classics. (No blood and shredded limbs. But screams, shrieks & other guttural sounds aplenty) The TOI/NCPA initiated logistical nightmare was in full bloom now. They had grossly underestimated both Mr. L Subramaniam and the audience alike, when it came to the number of people expected to turn up. The curious, the furious and the delirious were all beginning to take it out on the glass doors that separated the audience from the concert.

Then finally, a representative of TOI shows up. I recognized her from the previous wonderful concert experiences that she had organized for Pongal & Sufi nights. But the day was clearly not hers, as she built up on this folly by making a statement to all, which went, “Agar aap tameez se ik line banayenge toh hum sabko andar jaane denge!” That’s right, post the whole time-wasting, super painful campaign, what the already fuming audience needed was a lesson in public behavior. There was no apology, and she almost made it sound like it was entirely our fault. With 100-200 odd people still hanging on with an hour or so well into the concert, it wasn’t exactly the perfect time to do the ‘pehle aap’ routine. The jostling made some random people get between my friends and I, but still… a line gets made. Thick, breadth wise!

That’s when I suddenly realize, what I was experiencing was one of the strangest phenomenons ever! We were like a moshpit, in a classical Carnatic / Philharmonic / Fusion concert. Whoaa!!! Old grandpas, angry uncles & aunties, resolute youngsters, amused bachcha parties, in one big a state of elevated entropy. It was like a bloody I-Rock/Mood-I Livewire at NCPA! Then … COPS SHOW UP!  \m/

The cops do a swift job of thinning the line, right in the front. A fine demo of liposuction! I could tell some of the aunties were super impressed. Then, just like that, the doors open, and people begin to funnel in.

I make it inside. 🙂

They let two more people after me. They close the doors again. My friends don’t make it inside.

Now, my friends were the ones who were interested in attending this, right from the start, who coaxed me into this, got the passes arranged etc. It was suddenly as if we had swapped places. Nevertheless, I stood on this side waiting for them to restart allowing the people; they were just 3-4 people behind.  My friend calls from the other side and asks me to go on for the concert, and that they will find me in the auditorium. I almost get reprimanded by her, for hanging on. I shake my head in disbelief and I made my way towards the concert.

The audi was packed to the hilt. I sit on the stairs. In a matter of minutes, the Leipzig / Indian Philharmonic ensemble ended their routine. The MC makes an appearance and starts to say something on the lines of ‘brilliant precision and amazing co-ordination’. I felt it was something that the organizers from TOI & NCPA could most definitely take a cue from.

A 10 minute break was announced, and I quickly rush to check on my friends. The line had been cleared. A lone police van stood outside.

I call, I apologize, not knowing what else to say, got reprimanded again.. My friend told me that, after I went in, they didn’t allow anyone else. The crowd got agitated again. This time around the vans came in. They then went onto put one gentleman inside. This made the crowd angrier. They tried to reason, but to no avail. My friends left shortly after.

I had gone back in and found myself an unclaimed seat. I settled down for the concert – Part II

The Concert:
Kavita Krishnamurthy: Amazing voice, some parts she sang were brilliant. The overall performance was marred though slightly by her bad throat.

Seetha Krishnamurthy: About two years since I last saw her perform. Failed to impress, yet again.

Ambi Subramaniam: Clearly growing under his father’s guidance. Played the second fiddle, which was impressive in itself.

The Leipzig / Indian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dr. Koehler: Beautiful.  It made me realize that  not having listened to the first half, was a big miss.  On a different note, the women on the Leipzig Orchestra, they looked as beautiful, as they played!

Dr. L. Subramaniam: The appreciation for him, shone in the eyes of some of the Orchestra Members. You felt the sounds that his violin emanated.

The highlight for me was definitely the last piece – A carnatic classical piece played by a western classical Orchestra. Amazing experience.

Eitherways … TOI/NCPA surely made it a night to remember!

So… it ended on a good note?

I walk out of NCPA … and there is not a single taxi in sight! Apparently, some strike had been called for, in the interim! I groaned … and the ever so gentle sea breeze tousled my hair & tried to console me.

This is one ode, that has taken a long time in coming. There were many things that came in between this post and the urge to put my feel of the day into words, but then that’s another story. The day was 14th December… and Mumbai got stung… and it wasn’t winter at work! I was there… right up from when this German penta-force raged passion fuelled firestorms deep into the aural channels!

Scorpions… 🙂

My introduction to Scorpions had been to their Gold album <black cover with the infamous golden scorpion on show!>, in the first year of my Engineering course. Since then it has been a relationship that was much cherished. Klaus, Rudolph and co. helped me go through sheaves and sheaves of assignment papers, and that was one favor that I have to have to accredit them for. So, when I heard they gonna be there in Mumbai for their Humanity Hour I tour… it was a no-brainer, as to where I saw myself standing in the crowd! There’s been much talk about the concert with respect to a poor turnout, high energy performances, insane guitar and drum solos, freebies to the audiences…etc etc etc… For those of you, who missed this act… my deep rooted sympathies!

Ladies & Gentlemen, here on, I will let these pictures do the talking….

The Concert That Was: Scorpions Humanity Tour – Live In Mumbai!

Hour I
“Welcome To Humanity… This Is Hour I”

Lady Starlight: The Silent Performance!
Lady Starlight: The Silent Performance!

Shimmer Man
Scorpio Supernova….

Powww-Wahhh Chords!!!
Powwww-Wahhhhh Chords!

Schenker & Jabs Rockolutions Schenker & Jabs
The Schenker & Jabs Meltdown!

Klaus! Klaus!

Klaus! Klaus!
Let him take you far away!

Schenker Schenker!
Flyin’ Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Hand Of God?
Hand Of God???

Remains From The Hurricane
Remains From The Hurricane…

Massive-Woda! A Kottak Moment!
Massive-Woda                                        A Kottak Moment!

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The Meine Man

When The Smoke Is Going Down!
When The Smoke Is Going Down…

NCPA was the venue for the my first EVER Opera Act… and boy was it an experience! It was a congregation of the classes (them) and 3 scruffy looking guys (Fuzz, myself and Amar …. in order of relative scruffiness! Amar wore a Google T-shirt… Shilpi’s mind went: What was he thinking???Beachboys???? On the other hand thankfully he had his jeans on… ’cause most of the time, he wears a hybrid between a boxer short and cycling pants!). Above all, Shilpi maintained that she looked classy… and as always our opinions never really mattered! Anyway apart from us… there were The Elites (3 piece suits, low cut blouses and knee high skirts), there were these jewelery shops/glitterati ensemble trotting in high heels few inches above the terra firma… add to this random foreigners professing love for world music … and finally there were The Italians… La Italianos… El Italianouvos. Of notable mention, were the lively and frail ‘one foot in grave’ ladies, who were there in scarves and chiffons, Pradas, Christian Diors, D&Gs and Glucon Ds. There were music lovers, there were the clueless and there were the talkers… who actually knew when to say an oooh and when to say an aaah, while conversing with another ooh-aah person! There were the animated ones and then there were the stone-cold ones. And we… well we tried hard to fit in somewhere, camouflaging ourselves behind our intellectual looks and talking as if we KNEW what the whole deal was about. Shilpi needed help… and we like very chivalrous gentlemen helped! (Note: this could very well be… my last post!)

Anyway, we amble in slowly… and take seats at the back, knowing that sitting in front could be potentially risky. A very wise decision in the end! Now then the thing is that all 4 of us were big music enthusiaists. Fuzz, the most experienced of the lot with years and years of experience with classical music, was our guide to the whole thing. Our quartet comprised of me with li’l Carnatic vocal training of roughly about 3 months, Fuzz playing the classical guitar, Amar who plays the drums, and Shilpi, who has great taste in music and who plays…. err… with Cats ( not to be confused with the musical)! So then, the show started off with instrumentals… a piano, a violin and a cello! Brilliantness! I fell in love with the pianist lady’s hands… as they glided along the black and whites, like a paper aeroplane in flight! All went well till the vocals started. The Soprano lady came and started singing her arias (small pieces of an opera). Now the thing about Opera singing is that you treat you vocal chords like a string/wind instrument, and typically end up having to touch all the notes, and that too in quick succession at times. So the singers were sort of the 4th instrument in the whole act. It is a very tough ask, and took years and years of experience to do what we witnessed. We sat… and listened intently… and to be frank… it sounded weird! But, not one to make decisions based on first impressions, I tried to find and invoke a liking for this.

Opera Singer

Sometime into the performance a little earthquake started…. on probing for reasons… I saw that Fuzz (of all the people) had started giggling away looking at the Soprano singer, who was a thin, petite, beautiful lady in mid thirties! Apparently Fuzz couldn’t help imagining that the Soprano, resembled an ex-colleague of ours! Shilpi gave me a whack, asking me to stop shaking the seat! I pointed that it wasn’t me but Fuzz… and she was in for a shock. The shock was soon overcome by the appearance of the Baritone on stage. A proper Italian dude… long hair, black tux, black shoes… Shilpi melted away like ice in defrost mode! Now to say baritone guy was expressive would be an understatement! He gave all the expressions from ‘Ants-in-Pants’ to ‘Look Maah I am on TV’ to ‘ Marlon Brando in Godfather’, all in less that 10 seconds. And he was singing to us as if Italian and not Hindi, was our second language in school . Shilpi… had to be propped up time and again! Fuzz had completely lost it around this time… and he was re reading the handouts for the 10th time, biting his hand to control his out of control funny bone! Both Amar and I had contracted the Giggle-virus from Fuzz and were soon like fish out of water! I was particularly in a bad state, with sighs on one side and giggles on the other! Amar, after futile efforts to find a pen to write something than look at the singers, finally walked out after three-quarters of the show… I think I saw blood! An old lady turned and glared at me… I didn’t even breathe, afraid that my breath would knock her head off, and inturn cause a landslide of frail limbs. 25 didn’t seem like a good age to go to prison with multiple homicide… plus I was yet to find my elusive she-Floydian!

The highlights of the day… Figaro! Brilliantly sung… we all applauded enthusiastically! Another particular piece that I liked(and knew) was used as a soundtrack in one of them Wong-Kar Wai Films. Mother of all performances, came in the form of some exquisite free gelatos at the venue… We did hear music with every scoop! Having said that … I am game for the next Opera in town! And perhaps… just for the kick of it… we should sit in the front!

PS: Name of the Opera and it’s singers have been with-held to avoid a lawsuit!

I know shit about art…A friend of mine, asked me whether I wanted to go along to the esteemed Jehangir Art Gallery to see a few exhibits, I thought to myself again…err I know shit about art. I went…and I reinstated my faith in the fact that…I know shit about art!

Apparently they were showcasing BMW Art Cars, and the tag-line went…world-class art meets world-class cars! Now, Jehangir Art Gallery and me, have as much in common as PinkFloyd and…err… Marvin the Martian! But I go nevertheless…’cause I had nothing better to do, and the yet-undead mechie engineer in me went…..oooooh BMWs! I mentally prepare myself to take the risk, tag along and go to the coveted ‘town-side’…where, according to a colleague of mine…the sun never sets …

We then make it to VT, get into a cab…rush to the place…with 30 mins left to shut down…and I see….TWO PERFECTLY ‘DEMOLISHED’ BMWs….The first 5 words that left my drying throat where….What The….Why?Why?Why? But, then I quickly recovered and told myself to get over the initial shock..and try and seek the artist’ perspective…Anton Ego style. So then I put up a beeeg fight with my prejudice, tie a cement block to it….and drown it. And then with this brand new perspective, I saw….TWO PERFECTLY ‘DEMOLISHED’ BMWs 🙁 !! I knew that moment on…that this was going to be really tough.

I saw around…and wondered, with amazement, what the others saw that I couldn’t see. They all had this mesmerised…far away…Oooh Mama Nice …look on their faces. I then started playing about with my specs and my beard intellectually…to fit the bill. Then I decided to do a bit of reading, before I proceeded to see and feel dumb again… I got introduced to Roy Lichtenstein – BMW320i and Andy Warhol – BMW M1! Roy…had never heard of him….Andy… I had seen an interesting TV show discussing his wigs! I continue to read… “I wanted the lines I painted to be a depiction of the road showing the car, where to go”, said Roy. “I tried to portray speed pictorially.”, said Andy. “ Really now…’Course you did” , said I!

Roy Lichtenstein - BMW 320i

On the first look…Roy’s car looked like an oversized polka-dotted tragedy, with yellow and green reeds clinging on, but you read up a bit, and you begin to see something more than what you saw in the first look. Still my inexperience, didn’t let me foray too deep…He called his design an enumeration of everything a car experiences, during its run through a countryside. That sort of explained the greens n yellows….and the polka dots…apparently called Benday Dots are his trademark stuff that he portrays in his world famous paintings of comic strips.

Andy Warhol - BMW M1

Andy Warhol’s car looked straight out of a paint can mishap. I tried and I tried and I tried…sorry Andy…I tried…even reading didn’t help! He said that in this vivid depiction of speed, all the contours and colours of the car has blurred, owing to the sheer speed of the car. So, the image as to how he could have painted it faster, was that of a speeding BMW, with 5 people standing at the edge of the road, throwing reds,blues,greens and yellows at it…once the car stopped, Andy going ahead and numbering it 76…may be that was the attempt number that satisfied him 😛 ! Perhaps…that was exactly what he wanted me to envision. Strange are artists…stranger their art!

Also at the exhibition, there were these, small models …’dinkys’ my friend calls it. Some real good pieces of work amongst them…worth a look. See some of the other BMW painted cars http://www.bmwworld.com/artcars/

Anyway, I left the place, with a sense of respect for these two…one, ’cause they are creators…I have deep seated respect for absolutely anyone, who have the ability to create something new…it’s a god-like thing to do so, come to think of it. Two, ’cause they give people new stuff to think about ….And, three, ’cause they are great enough to f*** up 2 perfectly beautiful cars, in the name of art…and get away with it 😉

I would gladly trade these cars for the divine-choco walnut brownie that we polished soon after…that to me was more beautiful than any of the exhibits there… All in all a wonderful day that was…thanx to the Queen!

Oh yes and by the way…if you are still wondering………I continue to know shit about art!!!

I haven’t blogged for sometime now…No excuses there…I just didn’t write…Period. So then…I guess the next question from you guys would be…why now??? No…it aint guilt…I write out of…Shame!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with a heavy heart that I tell you that…In Bombay, Classic Rock is Dead!

Rock Is Dead… R.I.P.

I was party to witnessing the goings-on at the 22nd edition of the Farhad Wadia initiative-Independence Rock! Thanx to the lovely company I work for, I was provided with the opportunity to be affiliated to the event in a small way. After a decently long wait…I was totally perked up to my 1st ever I-rock, the event that was supposed to be India’s answer to Woodstock. The reason that this was my first ever…even after all these years in Bombay was for the fact that…when it comes to music…I am kinda old school. Going by the grapevine…the bands that perform at I-rock, border on the heavier side of rock…which I ain’t aurally attuned to. Yes, I am decently aware of the Parikramas n the Vayus, who are instrumental in keeping the flame of classic rock alive…, but the greater percentage of (both the bands and the audience), tilt towards extreme distortion, menacing screams, and painful deep-throated regurgitations. Also throw in to the melee…extreme weed induced head-banging, topped with the blood and sweat ridden moshpits. I do not disrespect these forms of music in anyway, and it probably is my inadequacy, in failing to understand the art of hard core death metal and the likes. And I say this…seeing the fan following, and the appreciation, that such genres of music, get from the rock-loving audience. As I overheard…rockers discussing what they called Melodious Death Metal…to me it came across like discussing ‘living zombies’ or a feelings of ‘saddened happiness’ 🙂 I ain’t a music critic or someone who’s thoughts actually matter to musicians out there…the above statements, are just personal point of views.

I am a guy…who finds solace…in the wailing guitars, melodious vocals and meaningful lyrics. Floyd is my God….and then follow…the Knopflers, the Morrisons, the Klaus Meines, the Bonos, the James Labries etc. Amongst all this, throw in anything, that has a distinct sound associated with it…I will lap it up eagerly. Like my friend would say, I am sort of a closed box, when it comes to accepting new forms of music…the reason is that, I am driven by a distinct ‘sound’. I aint much into technicality of music…but there is ‘something’ that drives me, and attracts me to listen over and over and over again…This ‘something’, I feel its presence in every Floyd song, in extreme Dream Theater complications, each of Knopfler’s strums, in the vocal chords of Jim, certain Cash somethings, lyrics of Waters, Labrie, Bono etc. etc. I can’t seem to identify…what’s that sets these songs apart from the others…help me understand, if you can 🙂

Now I know that a statement like…Classic Rock Is Dead, is too extreme a statement…but the proof was I-Rock XXII! We had a great set of musicians, who had dedicated their lives to music come up on stage and play to the juvenile crowd (a vast majority being less than 21 yrs old)…and as rightly pointed out…they were not even born, when these guys started out their acts. What was humiliating was the disrespect that was shown towards them Dinosaurs Of Rock…with the stoopid stoopid stoopid…wannabe punks …pelting these singers with empty water bottles and plastic somethings. The can’t tell a Floyd or a Doors….and pose as connoisseurs of Rock…when all they do is get drunk, get high on weed, and headbang to distorted sounds. 70 % of the gathered crowd were wannabes, who would sell their souls to stand out…we saw one with a condom on his ear…a girl straight out of an electrocution chamber etc…All said and done, what do they know about rock…when the music starts…just act crazy…like you KNOW it…!!! The lead singer of now-disbanded Shiva…said that he would like to wear his glares…as the future for rock was very bright…and what he got in return, for his Floyd n Whitesnake was his foot in his mouth…and some well aimed junk!

Gary Lawyer was there…he just got to sing 2 songs…the best in 2 days of Irock! And …that was it…Post the gig, I saw him walking it up the empty ground…I ran up to him…shook his hand…and thanked him for Classic Rock…he smiled and thanked me…When I reiterated, “I mean it Gary”…He said, “How sweet!”…I smiled (feeling saddened happiness), as one of the greatest Indian rockers faded into the black…like the music, he helped promote, all his life…

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Play: Excavators

Language: English

Written & Directed By: Ajay Krishnan

Venue: Prithvi Theatre

Rating: 6/10

I haven’t seen Butter and Mashed Bananas…but of what I had heard of it, it made me feel that I had missed out on something exceptional. So when a friend of mine bought the tickets in advance, I was like… “Hey…I ain’t missing this one” So then me along with a few of my colleagues, reach the venue, this Saturday, looking forward to some fundoo entertainment. The drama starts before the play does…the people with the tickets are late!!! And 2 outta the 3 bells, that denote that start of play, had been rung! We make it in within minutes of the start…and we see a semi-filled theatre…fair enough given a Saturday evening and 150 bux worth tickets, I thought. The set was sparse having just two long benches as the prop. Simplistic….yes! And…we muted our cell phones and waited with baited breath!

Entered 4 characters in the pitch black …and then in the dark…dozed off my Sr. Product Manager (or so goes the grapevine…)! Now the play starts off in a funny way and it proceeds too in a funny way …(in fact, one of my friends went to the extent of testing the very limits of acoustics at Prithvi, with her heartfelt laughter)! But then… IT ENDS IN A VERY ‘FUNNY’ WAY 🙁 ! It was when all of them came out and bowed that …we knew we were supposed to get out :O! There was not one amongst us who whole heartedly understood, what the guys (and one girl…last thing I need is an accusation!) tried to convey!

Ok so here goes my interpretation of the entire thing…
The child comes out of the mother’s womb and grows in a matter of minutes, and during this superfast growth encounters various people under various circumstances. It all begins with an enthusiasm to do something new, without clear cut reasoning behind it. (personified in the play by digging a hole). With time comes responsibility, and then strings begin to attach themselves to the job. One tends to ask questions as to why he was doing, what he is doing, and tries to ‘find’ something in the whole deal. A quest for money, recognition and fame begins…and out goes Gandhi, commitment and above all…the happiness in doing something all for yourself. A quagmire of politicians, people full of conceit, blind faith and selfishness drain the person of the last few units of energy. What he digs for, in the end entombs himself. To sum up…with so much digging…it ended up full of holes!

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Play: Epilogue

Language: English

Written By: Maia Katrak

Direction: Rajit Kapur

Venue: Prithvi

Rating: 7/10

To begin…I am a novice when it comes to theatre and plays. Statistically speaking, this was my 3rd play ever…so you might want to refrain from reading the rest if you were actually looking forward to critical cliches. As your brain might rightfully be suggesting to you now…you can hardly call me a critic. But, what I can do, is offer you a perspective, true to the heart, that would be devoid of any classic theatrical details or technicalities. The following is what I saw and assimilated sitting at a 45 degree angle to the centre of the stage…

‘Epilogue’ is a simple story …. a simple story about simple people…simple people with complex minds. Not a new concept I agree…but a well depicted one, nevertheless! One morning a Parsi family, wakes up to the demise of the family elder Rustom (Sohrab Ardeshir), and they experience a sudden loss for everything that was associated with him. What we see is a brat of a daughter Meher (Meher Acharia-Dar), pregnant and who in herself, is capable of impregnating tumors into the head of her ‘Oh-I-am-so-funny’ hubby Freddie (Nadir Khan). A bereaved mother (Shernaz Patel) who works with clockwork precision, tries to walk the tight rope between her husband’s sudden death and her daughter’s pregnancy, which has run into a medical complication that stands to put both the child and the mother in peril. Amidst all this chaos, stands apparition-like…Rustom! Rustom is shown to be stuck midway between the living and the ones whose afterlife has been decided upon. It is here that he happens to meet the ghosts of two dead war soldiers, ‘The Thinking Man’ and ‘The One Hand Man'(Neil Bhoopalam & Mukul Chadda), who help Rustom make his presence felt amongst the living, long enough to see them through the times of trouble.

My reason to fall in love with the play – even for people who momentarily ceases to believe in ghosts, the play makes complete sense. A family goes temporarily dysfunctional, but subsequently, they manage to find the answers to their traumas, drawing strength from the magnanimous character of this deceased someone, whom they had always held in the greatest awe and respect. But then, what’s theatre without theatrics eh? So then we open-heartedly welcome funny, friendly ghosts and their rants, ravings and ‘dhonnggs’. Exemplary casting and direction, actors…super to the max, and finally, Miss Maia Katrak, a wonderful start. Why I liked the script so much…well…there is death, pain and tears on one hand and then there’s joy, laughter and poor jokes on the other! It’s a balanced out script. I am not mature enough to find out more flaws…perhaps the veterans would. Whatever be the case…all I can say to you Ms. Maia…is that if you want to know as to how well you have performed, all you have to do is read deep into your own script and your eulogies to atoms and molecules. I am not sure whether you are aware…but you have just put a few million molecules and tagged them your own…Feel proud! You have the first step in place … Keep walking!