Friday, October 19, 2007

Cleaning the closet

The eagle-eyed will notice that this blog has now been neatly filed under labels. Let me tell you that it has been the most arduous task especially when one realises that there was nothing ‘neat’ about the posts to begin with. As a result they have most of them been labelled half a dozen things.

But must say this labelling business is very self-indulgent activity. It has you going fondly over a couple of year’s worth of vomitorious verbing. Naturally I am ever indulgent because I have a policy against cringing for past selves. So I have resolutely ploughed through the archives of this blog with a grin plastered onto my face. I have valiantly resisted every temptation to hit the delete button. One or two things I have noticed which I will remedy now.

Reconstructing Faiz:

Sometime back I had a post up with an alternative take on Faiz’s Raat khoyee huee… Sheetal assures me that it is disgustingly lazy to put up a version of a poet's work without exhibiting the original for comparison. So that has been remedied here.

Neurotic therapy:

I realized during this labelling process that I used to have some remarkably healthy habits. People who know me will avow to the fact that I have never actively concealed my neurotic tendencies. But in the past I had developed a system of healthy release, which I seem to have misplaced along the way. ‘No fret all action’ is my motto so I am just going to annihilate my latest brain-bug by a few nicely placed bytes:


It was as usual a situation where my eyes were constrained to watch a certain frame for a prolonged period, and my hands were powerless to ease the pain.

It was the first play of the Hindu Metro Plus Theater Festival and I was looking forward to watching Love letters with pleasurable anticipation. It is quite usual in these two-actor psychological dramas for them to go real easy on the props. So no sweat there. In fact I was quite happy to see that instead of hanging around without a thing to do with their hands, the actors were in fact given the task of arranging a set of cubes* in various (quite inspired) formations that not only were used as furniture/props but also doubled up as symbolic and mood creating elements. So far so good. Each actor (Rajat Kapoor, Shernaz Patel) was give a ‘L’ shaped block and a solitary cube with different colour on each face. Shernaz’s character was an artist so her cube had one face with some nice graphic-type art.

I did not know if the original productions had used the same techniques or if it was a Rage productions innovation but I was quite impressed and looking forward to seeing exactly how many different ways these simple props were going to be used. Also I was seated in the balcony**, which gave me the best possible vantage to really appreciate the lighting.

If only is a sad phrase.

  • If only the art director had seen fit to give Shernaz Patel a crash course in the critical importance of symmetry.
  • If only Shernaz Patel’s LKG teacher had smacked her bottom hard each time she drew a Squiggly when she was asked to do a Standing up line.
  • If only some good US uncle had thought to replace toddler Shernaz’s (haphazardly arrangeable) building block set with a Leggo set with GROOVES.
  • If only Shernaz Patel had fallen off a couple of times in rehearsals from the top block because she persisted in arranging it lopsided instead of placing it EXACTLY on top of the bottom block.
  • If only Shernaz Patel was not colour blind.

See, half way through the play I even tried to convince myself that the damned woman’s pathological inability to comprehend and execute a straight line is just a well-planned reflection of the character’s unbalanced nature. But she had to go and ruin it all by placing the blocks in a manner befitting a well-aligned space rocket for a couple of scenes. So naturally I relaxed and prepared to watch in peace for the rest of the time. Oh but the torture of hope!

She slipped, people, she slipped. No, not physically (which would have ruined the play for everybody) but back into her sloppy ways. She arranged and she arranged - letting show just that bit of beige behind the black, creating a nice little curve from two squares - and my nerves frayed just a little bit more... she had gotten on my nerves in Black, but that was nothing compared to this!

I am convinced that I came back from the play with considerably less enamel on my teeth than I had going in.


*A device which has come to be known as Pippin's boxes, the trusty internet tells me.

**Being possessed of a very superior intellect I had naturally chosen the Cheapest & Bestest option, which was not the fate of other unfortunate folks.


deewaan said...

Hey, thanks for the labels!

I did realise - guiltily - AFTER I had put in the request, that it might entail a fair amount of work to go through archives as extensive as yours...

But then again, scrolling through your lyrical writing couldn't have been an unenjoyable experience... even for the author herself!! :-D

Shweta said...

*crimson blush* Please menzion not! It was terribly nice to be asked, I am happy you liked some stuff.

Koi kadardaan to mile koi ruu-ba-ruu to ho
Lazzat-e-fan bhi bade kuch guftaguu to ho