Tranquil Reverie

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Play Back Theatre

A play without a script? A cast without a role? Its improvisation on the whole! Does this sound interesting? Well, you should definitely watch an interactive play to get a feel of what I am talking about. A show staged by a group called 'Yours Truly Theatre', introduced me to the concept of 'Playback Theatre'. This is an original form of improvisational theatre in which the members of the audience tell stories from their lives, and watch them being enacted on the spot. 'India's Freedom Struggle' was an apt theme considering that Independence Day was just round the corner.
To begin with the audience and the artists were brought on the same platform, quite literally, where they introduced themselves and interacted with each other. The next part of the show was more like a warm up exercise where the audience could express views on what freedom meant to them. The artists who were listening with keen interest quickly strung an act together based on the narration. The creativity and impromptu nature of the performance was quite stunning.Freedom fighters, Mr Satyavrata and Mrs Lakshmi were invited to the show to share a story or two from their experiences in India's struggle for freedom. It was a chance for them to re-live moments from the past and watch their stories being enacted by the younger generation. Mr Rashid, a famed caricaturist sketched his illustration of the stories narrated by the freedom fighters in no time. The show concluded with a patriotic song by one of the members of the group. Good background music blended well with the above components to produce a captivating show which lasted for two and half hours!
Below are a few photographs from the show which was held at the Nayana auditorium at Ravindra Kalakshetra on August 11th. The pictures are dark as they were shot without using the flash to avoid any disturbance to the performance.

The colours of the curtains setting the tone for the show.

A creative backdrop symbolizing the spirit of freedom.

A conflict expressed by a member of the audience being enacted...

A curtain raiser...

The co-ordination was quite amazing considering there was nothing being discussed before each act.

Mr Rashid's creation depicting the story narrated by Mrs Lakshmi was presented to her as a memento.

A sense of solemn pride filled the air as each of us held the tri coloured candles while the patriotic song 'Yeh Mere Wathan Ke Logon' was being sung.

Freedom fighters Mr Sathyavratha and Mrs Lakshmi interacting with the audience after the show.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


As I went past Vidhana Soudha on Independence Day, I noticed that the place was buzzing with activity. This tempted me to stop by to get a glimpse of the proceedings. In a desperate attempt to find a parking slot for my bike I went near the High Court, but in vain! The cops would just not let me park anywhere in the vicinity. While looking around, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Rangoli competition being held at Cubbon Park. I strolled over to get a peek into the event that was being held.
The term 'Rangoli' is derived from the words 'Rang' which means colour and 'aavalli' which means a row of colours. If there is one Rangoli it might be a row of colours but when it stretches for 5.5 KM, it is a riot of colours! The participants who spanned across various age groups exuded a tremendous amount of energy and brought their creativity and talent to the fore.
While some people stuck to traditional rangoli patterns the others got creative and came up with new and improvised designs and used items such as marble dust, shells, flowers, grated vegetables and mirrors to create their master piece.Although they could pick a theme of their choice, there are no prizes for guessing what the favourite theme for the day was!
Here are a few rangolis that caught my attention.

Monday, August 20, 2007

United Colours of India

As India celebrated its sixtieth year of freedom and liberation from the clutches of the British there was a lot to cheer about. It was really heartening to see a large number of people in Bangalore celebrating the occasion in their own little way.From cycles to buses, auto rickshaws to lorries,push carts to motorbikes, one could find the Indian flag just about everywhere.Little kids were seen with painted faces, waving around flags and sporting tri coloured wrist bands and badges.All the main traffic junctions in the city had a handful of vendors selling flags and other Independence Day merchandise. There were no prizes for guessing which were the colours of the day!
The flower show held every year at the Glass House in Lal Bagh is a big crowd puller on Independence Day. This time around the crowd was the highest ever with attractions like the Taj Mahal made of roses. The mood on MG Road and around Vidhana Soudha was amazing. There was jubilation in the air. The photographers outside Vidhana Soudha were having a field day as they were in much demand. People of all ages gathered there waving flags and shouting slogans in praise of India. There was a Rangoli competition as well which was held at Cubbon Park. Colours of joy and pride filled the air and adorned the road. It was just an unbelievable atmosphere out there.

This boy was at the Independence Day celebrations conducted by Bosco, an NGO which provides a haven for street children.

There was a Rangoli competition held at Cubbon Park. This was a mega event which had about 3500 participants of various ages. The Rangolis which stretched for 5.5 KM were a treat to watch!

A unique combination - Lord Ganesha with the Indian flag! I stopped by Dispensary Road , where members of a youth club were celebrating Independence Day in a big way.

Sixty years of freedom...

This little boy was walking with his sister. The intense look on his face and of course the flag on his forehead caught my attention.

Malls,coffee shops and buildings were decked up with colourful balloons. This picture was taken at ITPL.

Kids from Samarthanam performing at ITPL. Samarthanam,which was started by three blind people is an NGO for the disabled.

A shot outside the Vidhana Soudha.There was a sense of pride and jubilation in the air.

My colleague Shanti who was wearing a tri colour dress on the eve of the Independence Day.

A flower arrangement dipicting the tri colour at the flower show in Lal Bagh

These boys were selling flags at a traffic signal.