Monday, December 27, 2010


Went for a performance by Sivamani. He made it interactive by playing on a suitcase and a water camper. Pulsating beats, which resonated with heartbeats.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Metros in metros

Just took the metro. Crowded even in the middle of the day, the Calcutta metro needs a makeover. I realised it was unsafe after I got on. Survived the brief ride without incident. Ladies only compartments like in the Delhi metro would help. The windows were half down too.


Mirch was watchable. A hazard of short stories is that they are episodic, specially when they are one after the other. Identification with a character for a sustained period of time becomes difficult. The stories from Panchatantra and Decameron were folk tale like in nature. Would be tough to incorporate the superstitious attitudes the twists in them hinged on, in modern stories. Unless, of course, magic realism was used. The third story's denouement seemed a little weak logically. I liked the last story's comic elements which Boman Irani personified. Women viewers would naturally like the agency taken by the protagonists in all the stories. They all revolved around verbal dexterity rather than brute strength, thereby confirming another stereotype. Still, even considered as tales by themselves, they were fun. That's what going to the movies is about at the end of the day.
Gair Zaroori Log was a gair zaroori play.
Yaar Bana Buddy was painful. The actors went on ad nauseam about a Rs. 1 crore ghada. The title tune was tacky TV serialish. Very against the tone of other plays in Nandikar's annual festival lineup.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

never knew Ecuador was so rich in birds

I want to go to Ecuador!

Main hoon don...

Blue Footed Booby, Ecuador

Attended a folk dance performance from Ecuador. Liked a mask with a long tongue hanging out. Also a snake dance where the men and women wore outfits which had strings of beads hanging from them. Another dance had men engaging in mock sword fights. Sparks flew from their blades. Several dances saw women swirl their long skirts. The last dance revolved around hopes for happiness of a child who had died. Even the various regions of Ecuador seemed different in their dance forms. Looking at these dances, trying to link them to the ones here so that they seemed less alien, I thought perhaps that is how foreigners try to make sense of our culture. The music too was very soothing and lilting.
Enjoyed a much needed break to Mumbai. All refreshed now. Highlights included the Anish kapoor show. I didn't realise many of his famous works which are housed in America would be exhibited here too. Mehboob Studios served as an ideal host for the works. The studio walls as reflected by the sculptures formed mesmerising patterns. These sculptures are new. They seem alive, fluid, changing with every person who looks at them. It's intiguing to wonder how these particular effects- of making the viewer's image upside down when she moves away from the sculpture and the oppposite when she moves towards the sculpture works. Being part of art, what more could the viewer ask for? Anish kapoor has cleverly leveraged this insight in his work.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Out of bounds

Watched the play Out of Bounds recently. Very episodic, with the protagonist delivering monologue after monologue as different characters, as if to say, "Hey, look at me! Look how I can juggle so many different characters!" Funny in parts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I enjoyed Anurupa Roy's puppetry workshop at Seagull even though I could attend only one day.
We learnt about the different kinds of puppetry, such as the ones she used at her show the day before- shadow, cutouts, figures etc. Puppetry called ravanchitra is popular in South india. It is named after Ravan as Ram being divine, doesn't have a shadow! We collected objects from the roadside to see what they would look like when a overhead projector would be used to project them on screen. I picked up a chakri- a leftover firecracker from Diwali. It worked well as a snail when projected. We then composed small stories under a minute using the objects we had found, in groups of 5. A tattered cloth looked beautiful on the screen. So did flowers, water in a transparent bottle, a hairclip. It was fun to imagine, be children again. We then attempted to make puppets from transparencies, cardboard and paper. We had wire and thumbtacks to create joints for our puppets. We were given three stories to stage. First we had to create a visual storyboard. This let us know at a glance what props were required for a scene. The next day we were to introduce colour using cellophane. Sigh. I wish I could have attended the second day too. Ah well, at least I got a glimpse in another world.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I quite liked Anurupa Roy's Anecdotes and Allegories. Puppets were the stars in this production. Babar, Humayun and Akbar's histories were told. Tiny puppets in doll houses were projected on a screen for Babar's story. Humayun's story was told with shadows and Akbar's with cutouts. I did feel that the accented voiceover if in Hindi instead of English, would have matched better with the material. Also, the few parts of the play which were in dialogue stood out. More such parts would have strengthened the subaltern perspective. All in all, a very different play which was worth attending.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Miss Daisy drives herself

Learning how to drive is enjoyable. From first gear to second gear, to reverse gear today, it gives one a feeling of immense power to be able to handle an object bigger and heavier than oneself. To actually move, be able to direct where one is going with a deft flick of the steering wheel…ah what comfort.
Unit Asia's jazz concert was enjoyable. Lighting was used to mirror the change in musical tempo. A Thai, a Malay and Japanese came together to create lilting music.
Liked All About Women best at Airtel's Lifestage theatre festival. Evam's 5 point someone adhered too faithfully to the book. Project S.T.R.I.P. was too like a skit on environmental issues to be enjoyable. Gentlemen was too risque. God- I didn't like the script much. The Leela Tapes did not vary pace.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Melange 2010

I quite enjoyed Melange 2010, which saw six musicians- Nishat Khan on sitar, Trilok Gurtu on percussion, Larry Coryell on guitar, Lily Haydon on violin, Frank Martin on keyboard, Itai Disreali on bass guitar.
Nishat Khan served as the focal point as he was centre stage. As the distinctive India instument player too, he stood out.
Trilok Gurtu used South American instruments among others to conjure up sounds of a storm.
Lily Haydon managed to make the violin sound more angry than mournful.
I liked the fact that the musicians got sounds out of their instruments which I had not heard from these instruments earlier.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 3 weigh in

Slowly but surely
Will win this race hopefully
Even karela feels good
TC tempts, will I be wooed?
Behind target, so think not
Gymming in full swing
Triple time spent there
Next week the alarm's ring
Must be heeded.
A change of work refreshes
Albeit for a while, destresses.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week 3

this weight loss business is Sisyphean
Yo yo like, bounce off the walls lean
In dreams alone. Minor aberrations
Leave their accusing mark in lamination
On scales that weigh, assign justice blind
This Spartan existence, I myself remind
Will lead to better things, but as fruit appeals
Chocolate truffle cake, pizza and garlic bread repel,
My social life shrinks, with water alone to drink
The end seems far, far away. Gym feels good
Getting up's a pain, but I like the bed of wood.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


It goes on, it will go on
Like life. Worth living?
Some argue otherwise.
Lighter in body, if not in mind
Gram by gram, try to rewind
To a slimmer waist, now a waste
memories of bhujiya downed
Invisible masses piled up
To inch towards unhealthy.
Hiking homewards, only to rebound
It is to be hoped I stay mentally sound.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Week 1

Double dose of dal
Double effort low cal
No fruit so far
The acid test- the weekend
Is near.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Day 3

Lost one and a quarter
So far. May not show garter
Wise but gives hope
To trudge on, cope
Am actually liking the fruit
Specially when it bears fruit.
Week one of mental exercise too
Begun, coupled with gym to blue
Drive away. Work wise redrawing
Shapes too. Let's see what the better half
Of this year has in store for this calf.
or should it be these calves?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day Two

Fruit so far
Scales later
In the week
Mountains of flesh to melt
Gym in this heat swelt
Not happening. Bus did
the needful. await lunch now
the ways meals were and how.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Diet is spelt with a Die

Day One

Fruit so far
Hollow inside
Aar ya paar
Gym beside
Woe betide
Flesh, melt already
Am tired of teddy
Type face,
Also body.
Water, zero calories
Is my companion
rotis, begone! Wary
Am I of carbs. When
My diet plan
Has sprouts, veggies
With elan
A spanner in the works
Are spices, choc lurks
In my fridge to combat it.
Distributed to combat
Temptation. Half a kilo
Down, many more to go.
The journey of a sixty five kilos
Begins with a single gram.
Ram Ram.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Right turn

Ranjit Kapoor's Wring Turn at NSD was excellent. Perhaps an adaption of an English play, it was contemporary in lingo. The acting was natural. The stage was well used, the poster design was professional and the music was brilliant.

Behind every great love story, is a great lie

I quite liked LSD- very different. It has the Blair Witch home video feel. One character was Delhi to the core. The three stories were also interwoven well. The music was great. The hattrick!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dilli Ka Shayarana Andaaz

Truly a magical evening. The dramatised readings from a new novel had us riveted. An Urdu translation of The Last Mughal followed. It sounded much better than the original English version. 1852 Delhi was not much different from the Delhi we know and still love today. Sweltering summers, hookah wallahs who emerge in the evening..." Hum Dilli wale chatpate khane ke liye hi to yahan rehte hein."
Ghazals in a melodious voice followed- Yeh na thi hamari kismat by Ghalib, followed by Zafar, Daag et al.
I promptly bought the novel and am waiting for the Hindustani translation of The Last Mughal to be on sale.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Up in the air

I quite liked the movie, with it's wit, dark humour and action. Realistic, relatable and different.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Gorgeous Giraffes

The Giraffes at Select City Walk as part of Bon Jour India was wow. 18 feet tall pink giraffes, with one person being the back legs on stilts and one in the front. The front person manipulated the neck with strings. The clown said में दुनिया में सबसे महान हूँ with great glee. The opera singer sang Tintin style:) Fireworks, confetti, hoops of fire, cranes added to the carnival effect.
Junked on the book fair this Sunday. Bought six books, two of which are non fiction. Can't wait to read them, but have to:)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Music washes away
The dirt of the day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Darling Pudding

The Maharajah of Gaipajama
Little knew of a girl named Nora.
Quiet looking, crabby Cancerian
Happiest when solo aquatican
Whether washing clothes, self or home
Cooking too, watching cells grow, roam
Guitar girl, threatens to flash a Chink churi
Incommunicado often, but does jadugiri
Knowing problems before they arise.
Is it science or is it art?
I just know she’s smart.
Babe with brains, Catholic queen
Hail Mary! I’m glad she’s ever been.

The F People

Friends are gifts from above
Unwrapped with years, love.
They view us with unjaundiced eyes
Ever ready with solutions, spies
Who divine problems we hide
Artfully from ourselves. Beside
Forcing us to confront scary things
Which once spoken, demand enactings.
Work too, so long live old friends.

Nine Months

When we first met you were another's

I didn't want to share, bothers

But when I heard you're cheap

I took you without a peep.

We met in the dark

When I told others, they barked.

Questions that should've come to mind

How much you were of a bind.

You seemed welcoming, you felt right.

I liked the envy you attracted on sight.

Played hard to get, although not

I wanted you to be my scene, i got.

Moving in, moving on

Just us two, the sun

Learning how I liked you to look

Though getting there, a while took

You brought out parts of me

Good ones, that were latent, see

I basked in the sun, the surprise

Of friends who thought we'd never cruise.

Sometimes you get on my nerves

But that's so as we stay long curves

The hours on the clock. I always

Return to you, so I can hear nays

Yeas in my head, drown the days.

Weekends are ours. In day's many moods

I travel though you, cleansed of falsehoods

I make you up when friends come

So you're praised, so me, hon bun.

When I think of leaving you

When you cold shoulder me, dew

Returning to one that I shared

We are no longer me and you. Bared

New clothes I can be myself

You're hot when needed, cool help

Entertaining friends when they stay

When I must share you, for days.

Now that you're part of me

I don't resent the care you need. Identity

Ours is fused. You'd be different

Without me as I would. No lament

For the missing link. We have each

other. Flat you may be, teach

You have to give. You suit me just

Fine. I look in you now, lust

Imbibed, expelled. You know me inside

Out, just as I do you, house wife bride.

Sometimes when I'm too tired to move

I let my marks on you stay, remove

Them later, although only my eye

Falls on them. I please myself by

Keeping you neat- even if I am not.

A bientot.

Writing down my bones

There is bright, warm light streaming in through my window. It falls in a rectangular, sectioned pool on my marbled floor, warming me while I sit on my bed. It merges with my yellow bedspread.Like a shy bride, I cannot look directly at the sun.
Today there is light. The light coming through my door has no such grid. It falls freely, a rectangle big enough to cover me as I write. It doesn’t come everyday and when it comes it is not warm always.
I can cross the grid on the shadow of the window easily; it’s the other way round with real life problems. My mind magnifies them, when in reality they can be crossed.
The window light is about six feet by three feet. It cuts up the tiles even more. I saw a section of light in my kitchen, as if it was being carried by an invisible pipe.
The window’s the vessel through which the sun pours in, filtering, sieving it before it hits me. As I look at it through my hair, I see strands of my hair too seem lighter. The light moves, forcing me to move my bed too, like a sunflower I too am a sun follower, I flow where the sun flows.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I am so excited about my WIP! Holly Lisle's tips on plotting worked like a charm- for the first time ever, I have a plot! Yay! I read the tip, think it sounds too complicated, do it like she shows me, and it works. Last night I wrote for 45 minutes, probably the longest I've done prose for. Didn't bore myself either, in fact surprised myself. Not knowing where I was going had led to dead ends in the past. This way, I wrote 400 words- one scene. This DIY author is highly reccomended. I used her free ebook on plotting.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Also watched Medea in Italian at the same venue yesterday. There was a three floor tall construction on stage, from where some of the actors declaimed their lines. Cloth fluttered from the sides to give a ship like effect. The shadow play on the back wall of the stage brought the tragedy to life, as the actor hung from her harness. Another death had the actor standing on a white sheet, the corners of which actors pulled while he moved. A smaller sheet of red on this sheet was pulled out gradually, so that he seemed to be drowning in a pool of blood. Indian music, dance added to the innovation of this production.


Watched Habib Tanvir's Kamdev Ka Apna, Basant Ritu Ka Sapna at the NSD Theatre Festival on Saturday. From the title to the script, Tanvir has done a marvellous job of adapting Shakespeare's A Midsumer Night's Dream in Hindi, with lines in verse. The actors of Pyramus and Thisbe spoke in Chattisgarhi but the music and dancing kept us riveted. The Wall stole the show, keeping us in splits.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Period Piece

I liked Sherlock Holmes, although it was more a Guy Ritchie version of Holmes than a Doyle version. Was surprised to see how much I've forgotten about the stories. Ritchie's got London of that time to a T. The supernatural elements reminded me of Doyle's interest in the occult. Holmes and Watson are action heroes, twisting in the superbly weird convolutions of plot Ritchie's known for. The cinematography stayed in my head long after the credits ( written beautifully in parchment with sketches) had rolled.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Took a chance at the NSD theatre festival- Bharat Rang Mahotsav and got tickets for Johnny's Midnight Goggles on Sunday. Although the performance began half an hour late due to a technical snag, it was well executed. The story was a little thin. The celloist put up a one man show, singing too. In the open forum after the performance, a lady pointed out that the imaginary land connoting evil in the play, ended in stan. The actor promised to change it for the 9 o' clock show to something ending in shire or ham:)
Also managed a ticket for Naseeruddin Shah directed The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, which had a twist at the end.
Yesterday, I saw Strange Lines, which was...strange. The Indian spoke about India, the Swiss about Switzerland, while images danced on screens behind them.
Capped it off by walky talky from NSD to AIIMS. Google Maps says that's 9.3 km. Wouldn't have believed I could do that on such a cold night.