Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A day in the life of a tiger

is worth a thousand as a sheep.

Chinese proverb.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Open Baithak Biradari featuring Bob Holman

Bob's hyperactivity reminded me of Robin Williams, whom I like only in films. The Challenge was an innovative way to combine the regulars with the new- Bob would respond to each poet with one of his own. I enjoyed Badshah's poem on the tiger- how it returns to the sunset and curses us with an Ice Age.
Taught exchange rate in hindi-hope my student passes her boards. Some of what I teach is guesswork. Terrific strain on the brain.
Finally finished Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man- which I had bought at the last book fair. It had it's moments but I found it tough to read it for more than an hour at a time- which is unusual for me.
New coach at the gym is making me work out with a vengeance- feels good.
was also fun to meet a woman writer- Claire Kilroy with two others at the Irish Literary festival. Over red wine, I asked her whether she connected with women wroters differently. She agreed. Men write women incorrectly often, because they look at them differently.
I liked the reading of the children's book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas best. Think my attention span has not progressed much:) Another listener shared my sentiments, finding it the most readable. The Information Overload Age has had many side effects.
What struck me was that they write so much- 8 hours a day.
None of them read from what they had written on Ireland. The world writer now seems to be a reality.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Hungry Spirit by Charles Handy

I had picked it up at the Walden sale but then ended up giving it away before I had time to read it. I read the first page online.
Coincidentally, it talks of how "In Africa, they say there are two hungers. The lesser and the greater. The lesser refers to food and sleep. The greater to the question Why?"
Titillation, often seen in art today, caters to the former. It was well treated by a Ruchika production I saw a couple of years ago, which I described and a team member agreed to, as being like a souffle. A frank discussion of family's different ways of coming to terms with their varying sexualities, it was funny without being heavy breathing.
Just laughed nonstop for a while, watching a friend chase two others around the lawn.:)
Look for the bear necessities
Mother Nature's recipes
Forget about your worries and your cares
The bare necessities of life will come to you.
Jungle Book.
Don't like the story I wrote any more much. But I had supreme fun writing it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Penultimate weekend @ Theatre Utsav

Past is Stimulation was wistful, with a gauzy green backdrop, similar to the outfits the women wore. A scene involving partial nudity evoked gasps of shock from the audience.

I liked Nati Binodini. The humour, the action which resulted from having multiple actors play the lead, ensured the subject was deftly treated.

Charandas was as usual delighful. The lead was impressive, as was the music, dance and other actors.

Burqavaganza was awful. Pakistan artistes used the burqa to make digs at everything and everyone, but the humour was gross.

Stay yet Awhile was yet another docu-drama which had Gandhi and Tagore.

Am taking a break from the festival for a couple of days.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Hiring women is only the first step. If no man likes to take orders from a woman, think of her. She has to take orders from men all the time.

Sugar daddies help. But when they withdraw support, it's back to square one.

CEO support helps too. But when they withdraw, one is once more alone.

New broom swept clean all the men I disliked. They shared a lack of commitment.

The one I did like, for his sheer engrossment in his work, is a blue eyed boy now.

Glass barriers are ones we constantly bump into, for no man really thinks a woman is more intelligent than him, can do his work better than him, or will eventually rule him.

New broom was manufactured in the same factory, so is also suave, polished, stiff upper lip.


If wax dummies were any good, mannequins would make us move.

Breaks only underscore that nothing's changed.

Am sure that still, when Any Questions? time comes, no one opens their mouth.

Fancy flights

There is something about the womb of an airplane, the tribal attendants, the atmosphere which lets us enjoy soaring, staring as sun yolks trickle through blues.

Psyche derelict

I remember explaining Peter Pan's psychedelic pickup to my friends. Thankfully, Junior is not a fan of "pretty pictures."

Consumer citizen activism

Electronic goods crimes are on the rise.

As service declines, branding spends rise, consumers are brands.

They are striking back at the hands which fed them phones which do not work, shares that are not given in time, policies which are sold by omission.

Power is corrupting them absolutely.

They are organising themselves on an impromptu basis, taking advantage of the very loopholes used to exploit them- a sluggish executive.

Organisations still look at the low cost of angering consumers as inferior to trapping ignorant ones.

As the information asymetry sets itself right, will organisations reform?


They still think youth will be disillusioned.

They do not realise that as youth gets the results it wants, by acting, it will see less and less reason to behave.
If organisations are run by the cognitively old, who want to cater to the young, using young media, icons, imagery-how will it's consumers be satisfied?

न किया तुने यह क्या किया?

Connecting people.

We call this

humane तेच्नोलोग


That's not my compartment

Doesn't work. It's still your train of thoughts.

Having tried compartmentalisation, I can say it did not work then. The first six months of bschool, I ignored my grad identity, my College friends, my passions.

I got burnt out.

Integration too did not work. It led to heartbreak, recalling the inertia which had propelled me elsewhere, nostalgia.

A new identity, belonging to a new community, creating new events, newsletters, friends.

Now that helped. And is repeatedly working.

As I view another burnt out case reviving himself, clamped down memories, relationships I hope and pray for peace.

Nom de plume's dropped as the peacock unfurls.

कसम शायरी कि

और शायर कि भी।

Thursday, January 10, 2008

From The Birthday Letters

from The Rag Rug

Somebody had made one. You admired it.

So you began to make your rag rug.

You needed to do it. Played on by lightnings

You needed an earth. Maybe. Or needed

To pull something out of yourself-

Some tapeworm of the psyche. I was simply

Happy to watch your scissors being fearless...

Whenever you worked at your carpet I felt happy.

Then I could read Conrad's novels to you.

I could cradle your freed mind in my voice,

Chapter by chapter, sentence by sentence,

Word by word: "Heart of Darkness,"...

I dreamed of our house

Before we ever found it. A great snake

Lifted its head from a well in the middle of the house

Exactly where the well is, beneath its slab,

In the middle of the house.

A golden serpent, thick as a child's body,

Eased from the opened well. And poured out

Through the back door, a length that seemed unending-...

Antigone by Motley

Naseeruddin Shah as King Creon and Ratna Pathak Shah as Antigone, Benjamin Gilani and others drew in audiences as they performed Jean Anouilih's version of the classic.
Clever in parts, static in others, the acting kept the play together.

Phedre in India, Phedre in Hindi

Saw a packed house at Bahumukh. People were sitting on stage too. The diya lit stage, live tabla etc, Indian dances and transgressive plot kept the audience riveted.
The queen falls in love with her husband's son.
A French woman read in her language while subtitles flashed above the stage. The internal dilemma thus came through very well.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Copeius note

Being Boring
= 4)
// -->
If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.
There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion-I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last,
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.
I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.
-- Wendy Cope


saw some impassioned acting. The cold in my head had taken me over, though.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bamboo Blues

Pina Bausch's performance, Siri Fort: The yearning dance mirrored the plaintive music, the billowing stage. The sheer freedom, violence, trust between the dancers took stage turn by turn.

Monday, January 07, 2008

1st Weekend@ Theatre Utsav

Saturday saw Delirium by a Swiss group and Njinski, the God by a Polish troupe.

I liked the set, lighting, music and slapstick in Delirium. The story was more tell than show.

Njinski, the God too had a slick set, with competent dancing, lights and music. The constant homoerotic references took over the storyline.

Sunday saw an Afghani production of Caucasian Chalkcircle. It had a beautiful scene, where one of the women walks up a ladder with her babe held high, and men trailing sating on the rungs of the ladder as she climbs to its top. It reminded us strongly of Mary and Jesus, as a child in the audience pointed that out to his mother.

Dear Bapu by Mohan Maharishi had a trio standing around and reading. Very historical, the play showed shots from Gandhi's life as he spoke with Nehru. English with a smattering of Hindi, the play was more a documentary.

Butterflies are free, from China saw decent acting, a witty script and fast paced action. Although more like a film, which it has been adapted in, it still engaged the audience. Highlights were when the heroine reveals her wig and false eyelashes, surprising the hero and us.

Max Mueller showed a documentary on Pina Bausch, whose dance drama Bamboo Blues, inspired by Kolkata; (where she spent weeks recently) is on view today.

IHC saw a duo from UK read from Shaw's plays on Friday. Very lively, Shaw seems relevant still. The lady was indignant over his being ignored by UK theatre troupes. Even in his 70s, he wove a spell on a woman 1/3rd his age.

The only perfect love affair is on paper.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Ratan Thiyam's Prologue: NSD Inauguration Theatre Utsav

The Golden Jubilee of the National School of Drama saw Shiela Dixit and Ebrahim Alkazi on one stage. Alkazi's 30 years in theatre, 16 of which were spent teaching at the NSD, were recalled by his students and himself.

He announced 2 Rs. 5 lakh prizes from the Mrs. Roshan Alkazi foundation, for MK Raina and Hema Singh.

Alkazi spoke of how NSD needs to modify the course to include film, even if it means lengthening the course duration, as theatre all over the world, is not a paying profession by itself.

Ratan Thiyam's Prologue was stylistically flawless. The synchronisation of the dancers and the musicians was perfect. The stage, the costumes, the acting all ensured that the audience was involved despite the performance being in Manipuri.

Subtitles would perhaps have added to our understanding of the story.

As the three week theatre fest kicks off, with international productions as well as indigenous ones, it is interesting to note that the house full ones are Indian. Also, the 10 rs. tickets are most in demand.

Delhi's love for theatre is likely to be satisfied this month.

As was mentioned last evening, NSD has taught its students to fight.

The good fight.