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Showing posts from June, 2012

What they say and what it means !

The Weather Bureau:
Light to medium showers = Heavy downpour
Any customer care call centre: Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line. We will attend to you shortly. = We don’t care a hoot about your call. Please stay on the line to benefit your mobile service provider. We may or may not attend to you before you wait in desperation for a good fifteen minutes and then hang up.
The Maid: I’ll do it right away = Don’t hold your breath
Boss: It is our responsibility to get this done on time = It is your responsibility to do it on time
Mom: Eating this is good for your health = It is going to taste awful
TH (TheHusband): I’m on my way home = I’ve not even left my place of work yet

You can’t help but howl with laughter when…

…you and your friend are sitting at her house chatting, when suddenly her mother bursts into the room saying, “Its beginning to rain. Come quickly to the terrace. We must remove our clothes.”
(remove our clothes from the clothes-line where they are drying or else they’ll get wet in the rains, she meant)
…you walk into a toy store to buy something for your three-year-old nephew when a man who’s already looking at some stuff says something to the salesperson and suddenly the salesperson shouts out to another, “Sir wants big balls…show him some”
…in the theatre, two rows ahead of you, a six or seven year old, thinking that she’s whispering but actually loud enough for all to hear, says to her mother, “Mom, I can’t see anything because of this fat aunty sitting in front of me”
…the woman standing in line ahead of you at the laundry, after an impatient wait of ten minutes, indignantly shouts out to the person manning the counter, “Why won’t you remove my clothes ? I’ve been waiting for ten min…

The Secret Keeper

This is what my pseudonym should be actually. I am the best you could find.

If anybody entrusts me with a secret, they can rest assured that it will never be revealed unless and until they expressly ask me to.
On the one hand, this takes your credibility way up and your esteem in everybody’s eyes is always high. On the other, it means that you can frequently find yourself in really tricky situations and your acting skills are tested to the limits.
Sometimes it becomes really burdensome. You know something serious about somebody. You are not supposed to know it. So each time you interact with them or refer to them in interactions with others, you have to remember to NOT know that secret about them and tailor all your reactions accordingly.
Sometimes the secret-teller tells you that you are the only one who ‘knows’ and asks you to seal your lips. So you guard that secret diligently. Then some day you find that the secret-teller himself / herself has been telling it to others and one of thos…

TH is off to Dubai…

for shows of a play in which he has composed the background score, has designed the lights and will operate it for this show and has designed the set.

So I asked him to bring back petrol.
Somebody had recently told me that the petrol price works out to approximately Rs. 13/- per litre in Dubai. Compare that to the Rs. 78/- per litre here in Pune and you’ll see why.
So the grand idea is, to buy a whole lot of liquor bottles on landing in Dubai, finish them off (with the help of the entire team of the play, of course !), fill those bottles with petrol, get them sealed and bring them back. Simple !
TH, naturally, laughed at this uproariously like I was cracking a joke !
I tried to din some sense in him… look at the spiralling prices of petrol, when do I ever wear gold ornaments, we’ll enjoy a few guilt-less days of roaming around aimlessly on the bike … so on and so forth ! But to no avail :(
I earnestly told him, “I mean it ! I really do.” This appeal prompted a fresh burst of guffaws !
It is…

At the risk of getting laughed at...

I must share this incident.
It happened for the second time today, but since I was alone, I was saved of some embarrassment.
So, naturally, I am compelled to share the similar but more embarrassing incident that happened a few weeks ago.
My friend S and I were leaving office together one evening. We started chatting as we walked out and while chatting we signed out of office and came to the elevator. Luckily it was at our floor and we didn’t have to wait at all. So the moment we pressed the elevator button, the doors opened and in we walked, still talking.
The doors closed and the lift started descending. The doors began to slide open as we reached the ground floor and in that very instant both S and I realized at the same time that neither of us had pressed the ground floor button upon entering the elevator ! The lift had descended by itself ! We did a slow-motion double-take like they show in the movies. That was the moment the door opened completely and in front of us, on the ground …

The amazing human brain !

In our world of theatre, I always experience the amazing complexity of the human brain.

Today I was conducting rehearsals for a one-act play I'm directing. It is an intense play. The actress in it and I were chatting a little before we began rehearsals and laughing about something. Then I said, OK, Let's begin. I spoke to the actor and the actress about their characters' motivations and gave them some character history - small incidents that I made up to help them build their emotions on. Then I just told them to wholeheartedly put their belief in it as their characters.
They began rehearsing and eventually at an appropriate point in the play she began sobbing for real, as is required. Just like that. In a matter of ten minutes. The girl who was joking with me a little while ago was, due to her belief in what I told her, was sobbing.
I too have experienced this magic of make-believe as an actress.
Should we 'choose' to believe in something, it becomes real for us. We c…

How do I feel about new people jumping into my life ?

Until quite recently, my first feeling when new people jumped into my life was - "Attention!" (as in the position that soldiers are supposed to stand in during inspections or before they begin marching).
I am no longer that 'jumpy' around new people, but still I'm initially somewhat guarded.
I am not somebody who makes friends quickly. I get uncomfortable with people who get friendly too much too soon with me. Also, I cannot approach an unknown person just to make friends. If the other person takes the first step forward, I do respond, politely and kindly, but not very enthusiastically. I take a lot of time to get on back-slapping terms with people. Those whose patience can last that long do gain a fiercely loyal friend in me. Only they get to see my crazy sense of humour, my fun-side and also my vulnerability.
I have, several times, attempted to understand why this is so. So far, the answer that I have arrived at is that I feel vulnerable and I like to be in contro…


I feel as if my life’s a play and I’m simultaneously acting in it and watching it
I wonder if I really am or is this just one big elaborate dream
I imagine living various lives in alternate universes by making a single different choice in each life
I long to be truly free - of everything and everybody – even though I have a happy life

This one’s for my dear un-romantic friend who hates the rains

The rains are here and that means…

…Hot tea and pakoras (fritters) enjoyed over conversations with fun friends
…Getting drenched to the bone on the way home and changing into warm, dry clothes and drinking hot chocolate
…Wading through the water and jumping unexpectedly to splash some water on your friend
…Sitting by the window with a book in hand, staring at the rains and not turning a single page
…The clean and bright look of the sky after the rains
…The shivering sparrow on the window sill
…The mountains turning colour from a staid brown to a riot of shades of green
…Listening to rain songs and feeling all warm in your heart
…That smell of the first rains falling on the parched earth…I’d wear it daily if somebody made it into a perfume
I love the rains :)

A day in the life of…

I'm nobody big. So it is highly unlikely that 'A day in the life of' feature would be done with me. And yet if you were to take a look at the last three days of my life, you'll find that they were about as alike as chalk and cheese.

Day before yesterday I was in office, processing the payroll, making business calls, doing documentation.
Yesterday I was rehearsing and performing.
Today I spent the day at the hospital with my poor friend who and her husband are down with a severe case of food poisoning.
I'm drained. I have more experience than I'd like of being in hospitals as an attendant with a dear one. Mentally and physically I have the routines down pat. I never feel exhausted. But no matter how much experience I have, being in a hospital drains me emotionally.
Sometimes I fret that 'nothing is happening in my life'; And almost immediately, so much begins to happen that I regret wishing for something to happen.
So today too, like yesterday, I'm just …

I'm just happy the day has ended !

Actually this morning I was doing just fine. I had a lot of work to do but I knew that I would manage everything properly and on time. What I didn’t anticipate was how other people would have an impact on my plan.
I had planned that I would get ready and prepare notes for the program I was to be a Master of Ceremony at. This was the concluding program of a theatre workshop that I taught at for the last 22 days. In this very program, I was also the director of one team's skit out of the four teams that would perform skits. The final rehearsal of my team was scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at my place. So I would prepare my notes a little before and a little after rehearsals. By 2 I'd be ready with the notes and the final rehearsal would already be over. From 2 to 2:45 I would write my NaBloPoMo post, eat while re-reading my notes and get dressed and leave. I would reach the venue at 3 p.m. sharp. Then, till 6 p.m., along with another girl, I would be the make-up artist, the cos…

Do you believe in God ?

I am guessing that in other countries you might be spared of answering this question since it would fall in the space marked “private” and thus not be asked at all. In India, not so. Indians pretty much ask each other anything. Nothing is considered off limits.

I usually find it very difficult to answer this question whenever anybody poses it. My true answer goes beyond a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. I can’t explain to people, to their satisfaction, what I mean when I say that I’m spiritually inclined but not religious.
In my experience, many people do not (cannot?) distinguish between spiritualism and religion. To them if you are religious, which is proved if you follow prescribed rituals in the religion, you are automatically spiritual. When you say you are spiritually inclined they will ask you which spiritual leader you follow and which religion you practice. It is very difficult to explain to them that I do not associate being spiritual with following rituals or any particular religion. …

Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down

I often say this to younger people whom I advise, especially to my students in theatre, particularly to those who are more than a little afraid and do not trust themselves while I can clearly see their potential. I tell them that it is possible because they are more capable than they think you are. It is also my way of telling them that I trust them and that they should too; and if they can’t trust themselves, they should at least trust me because they have come to me for advice :)

The truth is, many times I have to repeatedly tell this to myself too. There’s a funny thing I’ve observed about myself. I am quite the risk-taker in theatre. I am an actress and I am always willing to put myself in a vulnerable spot to explore my character or play deeper. Yet, when it comes to all other areas of my life, my risk perception is quite high. I have to push myself. Or give myself pep talks or sit down and rationalise my fears and plan for the worst-case scenarios so that I feel secure enough to …