It hit me, I think, on Halloween. Why were the kids dressed up all scary? Someone said that we dress up like the dead (technical word: zombies) to honour the spirits of those who have passed.
Is death really that scary? Why do all these people assume that all deaths are violent, gory and blood stained?
In the Tibetan practice, there is a practice by which a senior monk guides you through the process of leaving your body... gently, slowly, and painlessly. It is a conscious practice. When a monk is ready to go, the senior monk is called in to guide the entire process.
Imagine the difference!
Because we associate death with violence and gore, the idea of dying fills us with fear. Death is a natural progression is a spiritual journey. When the time is right, the soul will discard its cast and move on.
There are 2 areas in Delhi that I patently avoid: Shahpurjat and HKV. Not because one has something against new age posh, but because one just loves open spaces. So events at these places are politely but firmly declined. Before you ask: Yes, I have lost friends owing to this hesitation.
But when a play is about the husband and the lover of a woman meeting after her demise, the premise is enticing enough to travel one hour and brave Shahpurjat. It was worth it.
A simple, one act play that eliminates all things unnecessary and focuses on.. i don't know.. The emotion that is after a demise...somewhere between anger and loss and grief.. like a Venn diagram whose intersections change every minute, hour and day.
The setting is a beach - half wet, half dry. So you can make sand castles, and let dry sand go through your hands - whatever you want, darling. That setting was pure genius.
The fishing net in the backdrop.. the tiny exhaust window that looks out into god knows what. I loved that window.
The characters are well etched but not fleshed out enough. The actors were great in their respective places, but for some reason, I kept switching them in my head all the time. I have no idea why!! But all the time, I felt that the husband was the lover and the lover was the husband.
The person who played the husband appeared to be grieving a lot more than the lover. I guess the only explanation is that after your wife dies, she goes from being a piece of furniture to being all the pieces of furniture in the house.
How does the lover feel when someone he loved but could not have, passes away? The husband has had a sense of closure.. but the lover? That question remained unanswered at the end of the play.
The husband's sense of betrayal is immediate(because he only discovers the affair after the death) and cannot be remedied... because the woman is no more.. but the lover's sense of betrayal? Does he feel cheated out of a future he could have had with her? SHOULD have had with her?
The sound effects, though overall good, faltered at some places. Quite a few times, the sound of the waves was so loud we couldn't hear what was being said. But at one place, there was a significant silence, and sound was used to perfection in that moment.
The lights were perfect.
The performance was intimate and very..i don't know.. straight from the heart. It did something that made u think of the play even a day later. (And it did get a standing ovation from the full house on that day). There was a small chai and chat session later that i quite enjoyed too.
There are some plays that change how you see life. Of course, you don't know that until much later. This play is very likely to make that list for me.
If u do get a chance, catch this play. And in exactly this kind of a setting. This is a play that demands a certain intimate exchange between the audience and the performance. A play that, I think, requires the viewer to get as naked as the performer.
You can't lift other people, or even bring them down. You are not a crane. Every person is at the level meant for them. Just like you. There are millions above and millions below. Always have been. Always will be. So please wipe the stupid grin off and put the smugness away.
Ab mujhe samajh aaya ki Burj Khalifa Hindustan mein kyun nahi bana.
Ek kahani hai.
Once upon a time, on a ship, some scorpions were placed in an open bucket. A passenger on the ship complained to the Captain about keeping poisonous scorpions in an open bucket. They might get out and sting someone!
The captain replied, "Don't worry sir. These are Indian scorpions. The minute one of them tries to make any progress, the rest of them will pull him down and punish him for even trying. Not one of those scorpions will escape on this journey."
Aaj apna facebook wall dekh ke, kasam se kahaani yaad bhi aa gayi aur samajh bhi.
I am proud(not) to belong to a country where the world's tallest statue in the honour of the world's tallest statesman (show me another example of peacefully uniting over 580 princely states into a single country in world history) opens to .... this!