Saturday, October 02, 2010

Time & Alone

While making the decision to go study overseas, I got a very sound piece of advice - You will learn how to spend quality time with yourself. At that age of rebellion and teenage silliness, I didn't quite understand what it meant and dismissed it as a part of the 'gyaan' I was getting from the adults around me.

Forward to 5 years later - now, I'm still discovering a new dimension to it almost everyday.

I don't know what to do at home. - a statement most people seem to make more often than not. And it surprises me, not in a derogatory way, but a genuine awe of sometimes how emotionally dependent our society makes us, that being with yourself is unheard of - even taboo, if I may say so. 

It starts very young.

Parent - Come out tomorrow for the party.
Son - I'm a little tired and want to be by myself for sometime. So is it ok if I don't go?
Parent - Are you stupid? What will you do home alone? You are coming.

Overseas, we do our daily activities alone - eat, shop, school, chores, even drinks. (movies alone is still creepy to me). And it's not lack of social skills or friends, its just that we like doing these things alone. Its peaceful. Its the most important time and have taught me the most.

Of late too many people around me have been complaining about being 'alone'. Not single, not without family, but alone, by themselves. Ya well reality check we all are. We fill it up with people and things. 

Retrospection. Introspection. Instincts. Eureka moments. I think they all come alive when you spend time with yourself. This isn't some philosophy or gyaan, but just acknowledgement of that fact that too many are scared of spending time with themselves, because they are not sure of what to do with themselves.

What is it I'm trying to wonder the real reason for this fear? Are we unable to draw the line between alone and being lonely?

Friday, October 01, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I thought I'd start with something I wrote 4 years ago.. here goes..

If any of you theatre fanatics out there missed Tim Supple's briliantly directed and multi-lingual A Midsummer Night's Dream, feel really bad! Sponsored by the British Council, I happened to go for it by chance and witnessed India come alive through Shakespeare's comedy.

Yes, most of us have read one or another of Shakespeare's plays at some point in our school/college life. My interest started with the study of Julius Caesar, which I might add was so not done justice with in the inadequate ICSE system. Anyhow, I loved Hamlet and King Lear taught while I was doin the IB. Now there was some justice done to Shakespeare, we literally analyzed every word in the book and I'm so glad we did.

This particular production of AMND (I'm gonna use this abbreviation everytime I need to mention the name) was so far beyond what I had expected. It had 7 Indian languages and English, and almost every character spoke atleast 2 of the 8. I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was that the entire play was so Indianized. Right from Bottom's clan where one of his colleagues was wearing a dhoti and carryin a stick from which dangled, our very own indian pots and other steel vessels, clanging all over the stage. With actors from across the country and even the world, I loved the Indian music, I loved the idea that Shakespeare could actually be converted and shown in such a desi version breakin away from the monotony of being all English. It was like a wild dream come true and truly fascinating to see Puck (the cutest of the lot in his silly red underwear creating comeplete chaos among the characters with his unforgetable mischevious smile like a lil imp) convey Shakespeare in such fluent Hindi! The acrobatic stunts, which all the characters were amazing at, are also worth a special mention. Lighting, music were extremely good and the sets and costumes were gorgeous (such beautiful zari)! It was hilarious and surpassed all my expectations! I was in plain simple awe... the entire time! This production of AMND, I feel, gave Shakespeare and theatre a whole new dimension and genre! It was in one word - indescribeable!

Everytime we approach Shakespeare, we must learn to see and hear again. As he always gives us the most simple of surfaces though which we can glimpse the most complex images of ourselves. I'm not only giving the performance of AMND a standing ovation (which they actually received at the end when they all sang a beautiful song), but also trying to highlight how important and intriguing his works are, if studied with genuine interest.