Monday, January 25, 2010

Basheer Plays - The Prithvi Experience - 5 Jan 2010

Started out for Patna from Chennai at 11 am yesterday. Was supposed to go via Delhi. That got disrupted owing to weather conditions and instead, reached Kolkata last night. Spent the night at the client's guest-house and was booked on the 10 am flight from Kolkata to Patna. It is now 10.30. The flight is indefinitely delayed because visibility at Patna is zero. So, with more time than I want on my hands I thought I would do something which I had been planning for a long time - record some of those special things that made the Prithvi experience that much more enjoyable and memorable.

One of the images that come to mind is Kaveri taking on responsibility to see that everyone had eaten. In the morning if you needed a cup of tea, there she would be, ready to make a cup. If you picked up a slice of bread to munch on along with the tea she would take out the cheese slices from the fridge and offer it to you. Simple things, but it added so much warmth and goodness.

Then there was John and Kalpana working quietly in the background making sure the sets and props were all in the right places and correctly set. Kalpana and Madhavi working backstage helping with the costumes, ensuring the water bottles were full, and the props were in place. Anjana with her ownership of the make up and warm, ready hugs. Malavika and her artist friend sitting at the gate sketching their delightful pictures.

Another delightful image etched in memory is Malavika and her cats. Invariably lunch time for Malavika was lunch time for the cats. She would place bones and bits of meat, (even bones left over in the others' plates which she would pick up), and place them on the wall for the cautious cats to feed without fear. From that image of gentle caring she would transform into the highly 'muscle-conscious', aggressive Aanavaari, ever-ready to 'chop off noses and pickle them in salt'.

One of the most enjoyable aspects was the morning walk-jog with Anushka on the beach. After the walk we would walk past the apartment to the gates of the Army Institute where we would find a young boy vending tea from a cycle. Light tea, rather sugary, but as a ritual it was very enjoyable.

The plays were the central purpose. All the same it were these little unplanned, unexpected actions that added significant richness, warmth, and value to the experience as a whole.

To all these beautiful people, and to all those that I mentioned in my earlier updates, as well as to the group as a whole, deep thanks for enriching my life as well as my experience of theatre.

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