Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jamming & Gelling with Maraa

click on the link to see the pictures Raktim took of Jamming through October

Love & Fresh Air

I had been receiving regular invites to theater jam’s october fest and had been missing the events for either being busy or mostly being lazy. Having had met Deepak and his colleagues at an earlier occasion of a Hindi film music evening that I enjoyed, I surely wanted to show up for at least one event.I convinced a friend that going to theater jam would be a better option on the last Sunday of October. rather than sleeping in late. So, with our sandwiches packed we landed at the big-rock Cubbon Park. Had not been to big-rock since the days we would hang out there on Saturday nights for music gigs.

Met up with theater jammers under a shaded tree, got introduced to every one including Pritam [Chakravarty]. We were not familiar with her work, so we just chatted around and waited for events to unfold. A while later, Deepak suggested, why not begin with Pritam’s performance, and all of a sudden the petite lady came alive. Within seconds into her act she had ever one riveted…her story seemed real and in the face [Pritham performed Nirvanam]. The performance was in such informal and intimate setting that I remember feeling queasy as she continued to push hard and ahead with her act. And, what an act that was, to have squeezed in thirty minutes someone’s misery of a lifetime. Honestly, both me and my friend were later relieved to learn that, what we had just witnessed was a performance and not Pritam’s real life story.

We stayed on for another performance by regular theater jammers, a painting & artworks exhibit of talented Pallavi who had been also doing the publicity posters for the event and also saw photographs from an earlier photography event organized in shivajinagar and ulsoor.

I subsequently attended a Indie/Student films screening as part of oct. Jam. Again, a great intimate event, full of believers & do-gooders. So, this is to thank Pritam, regular and guest theater jammers, and the indie guys, who all do it, quite literally for love & fresh air. Also, thanks to big-rock for being there!
 Small tech glitches on the day of screening were a non issue for me. It was organizational genius to have quickly shifted the venue and made the event a great success. Wish I had stayed for all screenings and perhaps also attended more events during the course of the month.

I sincerely wish to congratulate you, ekta, sukhmani, pallavi and all Maraa team mates to have pulled this off so wonderfully.

Ajay Gehlot

Monday, October 26, 2009

poetry night

I remember falling in love with poetry while reading ee cummings and Shakespeare and Keats over and over again, to really understand the poets and there poetry or just interpret it, over many chais with my teacher and friends. We spent days on one poem, digesting it. Spending hours sitting next to the river, mulling over each verse.
Before that, in school, words had just passed through me. They were just words, thrown at me in a strange language. I had no time to take them in slowly, I had to move over to the next one in my course, only to vomit out everything the next day in my exam.
Tonight took me back to such memories. I was excited to share all of my favourite poems, although, after a while, I felt like one of those people who like the sound of their own voices! I enjoyed sharing them with everyone, but I wish I had talked about them a little more. That I had shared the experiences that went with each one of them.
I enjoyed listening to other’s, too. But I did feel, again, that words were just thrown at me and I had no time to tie them and slowly take them in. I realize I was doing the same to others too.
Poetry, I now understand, is not about the recitation or the rhyming. It is about experiencing.
It was, however, heart warming to see a lot of enthusiasts turning up to share their verses. To find so many people could string their thoughts, so well, into poems. Even that few people generally hanging out at the café also decided to join in.
Still, tonight was important. For many met many new people, many got the space to voice  themselves through their own words or another’s and we all transformed a “public” space into a very warm, intimate space, close enough for energies, thoughts and feelings to connect.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sampath 's poetry

A  few Poems that i have written over the years, on various themes, often late in the night, racked by guilt, Loss, Love and all the other  chips and dips issues of life.

Here are a Few of the poems i read out on  our Poetry Night

Gone saw you briefly
Like a firefly glowing
Seeking a thought in
all that darkness.

Who knows where your journey
takes you?
Is there an insect heaven?
What predators prey on you
Will i see you again?
                     Dilip Sampath

Whatever you and i do
is complete, replete with
streamers a party atmosphere
Balloons bursting, emotions extending
our minds expanding, like people
believing in expression a total sublime
Without any inhibitions our sweat mingling,
close to your body, a sudden release
is all we need.
Tense and pretending we try to fit into
our social roles, playing our parts for the first time
and not knowing our lines, daring to cross to
the other side.
The creativity your expressing is beautiful
now,paint a picture of my life.
Alone and free at last to explore
our private past.
                                   Dilip Sampath

city specks - the story of Select Bookshop

The amiable and witty Mr. K.K.S. Murthy, the face and voice of one of Bangalore’s oldest and iconic landmarks took around 20 of us down an enchanting memory lane on a pleasant Saturday evening earlier this month. It was part of the City Specks: Mapping Memories activity of the Jamming through October festival ( organized by Maraa (, a community media collective based in Bangalore

Born in 1930 to a bibliophilic father practising as a lawyer in Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) who relocated with his family to Bangalore in 1944-’45, Mr. Murthy formally took over Select in 1977. However, he kept learning about the used book trade immensely while choosing, buying and shipping books from dealers and auctioneers in Paris and New York, (during his professional stints in nearby Spain and New Jersey) apart from those in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai. (With a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Science, he worked as an aeronautical engineer in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and later with the Kirloskar group and private firms in the US). 

“Father would visit Bangalore at the mere receipt of a post card from any acquaintance in Bangalore about the arrival/availability of some secondhand books. Katherine Mansfield was among his favourite authors. I have seen people from Kerala carrying and selling books in baskets here”, said Mr. Murthy. His father Mr. K.B.K. Rao (Rao, a suffix acquired for being an Andhraite) who started Select in 1945 in an Irishman’s garage on Museum Road catered to

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

october jam: Schedule for week one

1st october
Meet, greet n perform (try in a group) 
Stare at the sky for 5mins (try this in a group)
Sing a song loudly on a street corner (do it in a group)
Smile at a stranger
Carry placards with smiley on them (try in a group)
Event Scores, involve simple actions, ideas, and objects from everyday life recontexualized as performance. Event Scores are texts that can be seen as proposal pieces or instructions for actions. The idea of the score suggests musicality. Like a musical score, Event Scores can be realized by artists other than the original creator and are open to variation and interpretation. 
Stare at the new constructions for 5mins….

2nd oct.

Nagara Chitra /SEEMPLY POSE MADDI SAAR, pick and stick
 meet up with fellow photographers, first timers n old timers
 we're going into markets, streets n lanes of bangalore,
 freeze a moment,
 creating a story,
 using your SLR's, Digi SLR's, just Digital, cellphones or even handy cameras..
 choose pictures from the loot and display them back in the same markets, streets and lanes you clicked them on..

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

jammin through october

theatre Jam turns one this october,
to celebrate the arts and build this movement
we are
jamming, all through october
in public spaces of Bangalore.

theatre Jam is a space to affirm of individual expression.
a caravan of artists who meet every month to share, create and JAM.

make theatre jam,
bring your story, art, medium, idea
dreams, memories, tricks…
install, improvise, perform, express
anyone can Participate in the jam activities.
pick a date in October and tell us what you want to do.

most activities will take place in
public parks, streets, terraces, basements and markets.

spread the word and encourage more people to participate in the october jam.


yes, indeed, we have some running costs! We roughly need about a lakh for travel for outstation artists, food, publicity, coordination, chai-pani. So if you pledged some donation to us, it would get a few things moving! Just mail us if you want to contribute at or call us on 4148-8264, you could contribute online at if u have a paypal account or a cridit card.

You could also offer spare rooms and couches for outstation artists. food, water, travel, coffee/tea will help cut costs. we need people to shoot, update, collate and coordinate. volunteer. Get in touch.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Whenever that i can
see the world
by dog's eye
Wherever that i have
depressed dog's wide eye's sight

I shall kid people
with their
funny laughing
and coming to beat
when i saw them
toward garbages
just running to eat

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wet sounds

"Sun, rain, sun, rain!
was the refrain
But from performing
we did not remain..."

said a Flower

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

pandies profile

       pandies’ theatre
phone 65711312  telefax 26130761          81 sector A pocket C
e-mail -           vasant kunj          new delhi 110070             india   

pandies' theatre was registered (under the societies act 1860) in Sept. 1993. Committed to staging plays relevant to our ethos and time, it evolved as an activist and possibly the only feminist theatre group in north India in the 1990s itself. Our origins are humble.  Started as a university movement in `87, we have a consistent strength over 70 members.
The group began as an English theatre movement performing the bulk of its plays in the proscenium and established its niche in that slot. From `96 we went activist, taking on projects on issues rather than simply plays and today apart from one or two productions in commercial auditoriums every year we cover diverse slums, bastis, schools and colleges. The issues revolve around women because the group believes if our society is to head anywhere, it has to become more women-oriented and woman-friendly. Every year the group picks a topic and works on it for at least one year. We have targeted rape, prostitution and HIV, Mental Health Act and its relation to women, institutions of love and marriage.
Post – 2002, while retaining our earlier focus, the group took a conscious decision to target anti-communal forces and work intensively with children and these have been the high points of recent years. The group has moved more and more into the margins, working specially with under-privileged children from diverse areas and groups.

The plays are directed by Sanjay Kumar, and essentially multi-lingual scripts evolve in workshops and through research and are written, at times collated, by the director in conjunction with Ms. Anuradha Marwah  and Dr. Anand Prakash – creative writers and members of the group. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

down memory lane...

Sounds of laughter shades of life
are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which
shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

A friend sang as she spoke of a VHS circulating library disappearing in the early 90’s. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic about everything that has forced itself into my overflowing memory box from the city’s landscape I once knew.

Looking at the deformed structures disrupting and deviating traffic onto lanes above glass buildings and broken tree stumps, it is indeed an overwhelming sight to find the city stuck midst its forced makeover.

Day in and day out taking over another road, another building, yet another slipping into congested memory lanes…

The last jam brought back the many hours spent over zillion cups of coffee with scrambled eggs and toast as we chased various deadlines over random scripts and relationship dilemmas. Meeting interesting strangers or catching up with an old friend over yet another cup of coffee and masala dosa as we watched MG road at its different stages. ICH in its original avatar came alive for those few moments as Chandran spoke of place very close to me and a time that I could relate to.

‘jothe jotheyali’

Deepak’s stories fused with film songs reeled back matinee memories of bunking class, matinee memories, 25/- Gandhi class tickets, watching ‘Jurassic park’ for the fourth time with a stiff neck occasionally tackling with rats and cockroaches, plaza and galaxy.

Auntie and Uncle’s (yashu’s parents) Bangalore was a Bangalore I never knew. The stories of a young couple in the 80’s to getting used to the eruption of the many malls, apartment complexes, as simple as the buses turning blue from red. Luxurious auto rides with meters blinking from a min of Rs 2/- to 14/- now. I guess it had already begun its evolution long before we even knew.

Getting used to that change at it’s different phases was Harsha’s grandma as she sketched out the entire landscape of Bangalore in the 50’s to how she copes with the crowded city as it metamorphosed from a pensioner’s paradise to a youngsters quick ‘change’ lane.

Watching the K R Puram experience performed by the students from Srishti brings back one to reality. As the act of balancing out continues as we begin our journey if not to undo at least be aware of this mistaken modernity that is taking over the city.

The jam did bring in a wide range of stories that covered the City’s past at different times and different phases. But what does one do with this feeling of loss and nostalgia at the end of the day. Can be a frustrating one…but in my opinion it was a learning of the things that were and that could have been. Things change, people change, lifestyles change and we adapt. Why do we adapt and from what have we become. Becoming aware of the choices that we make in our dailiness.

she brought in a song, we clapped she danced... 'rab ne banadi jodi'...

Dusted knitted sweaters or broken cycles, whether in your closet or in an old trunk, take three random mental shots of people and places around. As the present now, will soon be past!

(facebook pictures courtesy Shrikar Marur)


Friday, June 26, 2009

jamming at another park....

Calling for stories, songs, dances, art work,

film, music, sound, solo pieces, poetry, improvisations...

and anything you feel like you have always wanted to share

but never knew where and when.

its time now, to bring it to Theatre Jam...

We're hopping away....

from Nanda Park..

To Sri Chamarajendra Park,

Meade's Park..

Some even call it Lover's Park,

for non-snozzers it's Jogger's Park,

for many others it was the toy train Park,

better known as Cubbon Park...

you know where it is...

Land up by the Victoria statue


Sunday 5th of July

by 12 noon

we'll move into the 100 acre green canoe...

come along... choose your spot,

it's July, let's give this space a shot!

under the trees or over a branch,

amongst the rocks with a puppet sock!!

Bring your Friends, Lovers, Mothers, Aunties and Uncles and Neighbours...for stories, music, dance or as audience to talk or just to hang and nod.

Spread the's an open space for ANYONE to share ANYTHING they want to. Come fill up this space.. regulars,don't be lazy, it's our first jam at Cubbon Park, let's make it memorable..forward it to friends and others...

if you wanna know more or if you get lost...give us a call

9880755875/ 9343763497/9889628582

or mail us on

or blog us on

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Theatre JAM in its 9th month

kaeli kaeli kaeli…

AkkA Thangigale,

AnnA Thambigale!

It is time to theatre JAM once again!

7TH June 2009, 32rd Cross park space on Nanda Road, Jayanagar

Calling all PERFORMERS…

intensely light or dramatic floaty types,

gimmicks and mimics types,

sketch paint and music types,

scientist, motorist and cyclist types

Calling all AUDIENCES…

listeners and curious viewer types

Wah wah! Thoo thoo! types

jabbering thinker types

binoculars and spy glass holder types

innocent gossipy types...

Pack your backpacks with instruments, masks, handmade costumes, doodled scripts, scribbled notes, water, food, and candies fare...

And hike out with all of it to you know where!

Let us know if you have an idea or two

Call us on 9343763497 or 9880755875

Methinks you can blog too!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

3RD MAY – Theatre Jam Hits The Streets
33rd Street, Nanda/RV road, JAYANAGAR
12 PM onwards
Bangalore needs you to express yourself… and the time has never been this right!
Calling Grandsons, mothers, lovers, musical types, creative types, passionate types, etc…
All who found refuge under grand green giants when it rained, and who drove through golden green canopies when the sun shone…
A green impersonator monster with purple font that calls itself Namma Metro is out to get those green giants…
All this happeningright around the corner in Jayanagar…
Would you want to come and say you don’t like this much?
Would you like to do more than that and celebrate the trees with music, theatre and activities that you or others have in mind?
Send out a strong pink heart sign to your city’s green giants.
Stand to protect, and be protected!

Want to express your outrage and ouch?

Ideas we have

The string thing…
String your hopes, memories, stories and togetherness together! Bring old pieces of cloth, bedsheets, colorful sarees you don’t want to use, lungis and dhotis…and tie shreds of these together around the trees on the street, to create your protective web.

Doodle Banners
Bring white or near white dhotis or bedsheets that you don’t mind painting on to express what Bangalore with trees meant for you and tie them up for display on the streets between trees

Growing up in Jayanagar, I befriended a tree…
Do you have a tree friend?
Does she have a name?
Did he talk to you on your way to school?
Would you like to reconnect to her?
Bring your own personal message and leave it on the tree on metal boards

Monday, April 13, 2009

From the girl in a saree…

For the past few months I’ve been contemplating the whole idea of public spaces and how we’ve been trying to look beyond the constructed usage of the term ‘public spaces’. The jam has inevitably become that space.

Meet, greet and perform…. And that’s what exactly what happened. To start of with Andrea’s exercises - What I found really amazing was how the group enthusiastically participated. I, for one, found the exercises very liberating. In the sense, that it started with movement and body first from the ‘self’ to subtly moving into sharing that space with another, especially the ‘fall – hold’ and the ‘roll-over’ exercise. We did gather some inquisitive gazes, at one point even a truck load!!

But there is some sort of a barrier…wish people would join us at some point..just jump in… or do we come across as an eccentric intimidating crowd? (Just been playing on my mind)

Vahid’s poem – I didn’t catch the name or the entire poem, but I did get bits of it…and that was enough to let my thoughts travel. The off-shot performance was interesting…would want to know what the poet thought of it? I decided to go with adding some kind of sound to it – because I felt the piece spoke a lot about ‘silence’ and how it magnifies thought to some extent (okie that’s a little something I got out off it), so picked a bottle and a twig to add to the movement enthusiasts …it became a piece in itself with the drummer adding his crazy chamaaks!

Songs in Bangla to folk to rock to quawaali…..was a very fascinating mix. From singing mosquitoes and sharing jackfruits!Personally for me, I’m at a state of understanding this crisis of religion, tolerance, violence, secular, non secular, faith, belief and culture. Feel like a juggler trying to find a ‘where’ to walk amidst this clutter, right now it seems to be on a painful fence. And I couldn’t help but enjoy these songs from that fence. (Got a bit surreal…dunno if it was the space, the songs or the theme behind or all of it)

And how could I forget the short piece Ekta read out from Sangamitra, remember ‘the black linen shirt’, I don’t know why it’s queer…it sounded so simple and regular to me.

Deepak’s autobiographical piece – ‘When someone asks me who I am, I don’t know what to say!’, I think someone mentioned this at the Q and A post the performance, but I felt I was stepping into something that had already started. I particularly liked the repetition of certain parts of the text; it put the emphases in ‘quotes’!

The form juxtaposes movements, text and fragments of songs, the method behind the autobiographical dramaturgy plays more on the impulse of movement and thus making it more abstract, yet I would think it is not that different. But I’m keen on understanding the process of decentralizing the individual’s story with spurts of disjoint body movements. Conceptually, as a viewer, I could still make some connections and somewhere draw a parallel with the content. But I wonder how 'fair' it would be to the actor and his story, that’s where I’m stuck in understanding the method itself..when one is directed….how far can you push it to being your own (autobiography), or does it even have to? However, I am interested to see how the piece evolves…

Masrah’s stories from a park bench – phew... glad to be ‘finally’ performing at the jam. I thoroughly enjoyed coming up with the piece over ice-cream and cigarettes at some 3am two nights before the jam. All of us were super excited about sharing our stories, but more anxious about opening the bench out for the audience- hoping someone will want to share their stories. It was rewarding to see so many of them willingly come forward. Thank you guys :0

Coming back to the form, it wasn’t too defined but we made sure it followed a certain conversational feel. But would personally want to see how and where we can take the piece from here.

Soumya and Andrea’s movement number –It was really cool to see how that space just transformed itself into this set for their piece. Hope you didn’t get a bump on your head Andrea?!

For the next Jam, was wondering if we can see how to get the locals from the area involved. Maybe put up a poster or two, Do some door-to-door pamphlet thing? What do you guys think?

Also found out today that they are going to chop some 300 trees around that area – Why…well because of the METRO…(duh) and it apparently happens during the night. Now…am not sure if anything we do CAN stop this mess. But it would be interesting to see how this spills into our performances next jam.

until next,



Friday, February 27, 2009

The 6th theatre Jam is round the corner, and I was told that the facebook event post will get us some more audience and participation.
So I have created one on facebook

Send the page around, become members, ask others to take a look

Monday, February 2, 2009

Theatre Jam went Public!!

Jammers from the jam, post your response!

Yes, the 5th jam happened out there, in the public realm!! Here are some pictures from the jam that just passed us...was an incredible experience for many, many reasons

this beautiful park is one of the spaces off nanda talkies road, which is the big park flanked double road that cuts across Jayanagar. Very soon, this green area will be destroyed because of various modernisation and development actions, the metro being one of them. Please start using these parks for various activities other than just lovers and senior citizens hangout. Would end on a very dismal note, despite the jam being really lovely in this shelter space...citizens inititative may never be a possibility(I've given up on Bangalore's citizens coming together and making a landmark turnover of events. We just murmur. No new idea and strength remains) and the parks will soon be gone. Im almost sure. Use them so we have painful as the only realistic possibility of "just having memories of these parks that once existed" remains.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vimochana Space Interiors

possible venue.
May the venue inspire the performer
in you

Friday, January 16, 2009

and finally a JAM I don't mind being a part of!!

The space has molded itself into an exciting visual exchange of colours, which to me signify tints and shades of various emotions. Looking back at the last four jams, what has kept me constantly engaged is the wide range of subjects or themes (if you would like to call it that) of every single performance and how it has been explored through the nuances of theatre, music or dance. The switch from one to another has been quite challenging for me. And I mean this in a very positive way. Because I have always considered myself as some one who cannot handle too many heavy discussions in one day…for this reason I can’t even watch two films in a day or attend talks with differing topics. I tend to space out into one thing…and just zone into a rather Alice-like conversation with myself. Theatre Jam has somewhat challenged that comfort spot and the space makes you want to share and understand the dynamics of the process of coming up with a piece of work.

And honestly it is more exciting to be the audience. Every other month has had such exciting performances or presentations…I get damn hungry to watch and take it all in (yah….a bit selfish I know…but can you blame me). It is what the city’s traffic jams do to you whether it is the honking voices of cars and people or the blinding lights of family, work and college, one yearns for that space to just get away but yet be constructively engaged. And I hope to get on the other side and perform more often. I sat down to just sketch out a visual of the jam…and this is what churned out.



Monday, January 12, 2009

The 4th Jam and still going strong!

sandeep shikhar
playwright, poet, artist

sabse pahle theatre jam ke liye aapko bahut bahut badhayi... aap logon ki ye koshish aane waale samay me zaroor aur bhi khoobsoorat roop legi isme koi shaq nahi.
agle theatre jam ke liye mujhe lagta hai mai play (Treadmill) reading ki jagah kuch kavitayen (poems) padhna chaunga... koynki play reading me time jyada lag jaayega... 40 minutes reading me aur uske baad discussion me 15-20 min. to almost 1 hour ho hi jaayega,shayad jyada bhi... poems me 15-20 min. kaafi ihai....sliye agle jam me play reading ka plan drop karte hain... phir kabhi aane waale dino me play reading ka plan karenge... aur waise bhi medium of expression chahe jo bhi ho, main maksad hai aapne thought ko baaki logon ke saath share karna... to isi maqsad ke saath agle theatre jam ke intzaar me hoon...

senior theatre practitioner and lecturer, Pondicherry

I, Rajaravivarma, a Lecturer in Dept. of Performing Arts , Pondicherry University rehearsing a 35 minutes Play production on PRAHALADA- a story in VISHNU'S Thasavadhara.
It is an experimental play based on THERUKUTHU style . The centre message is "Every one has a pillar and if one wills the power will appear ( Narashimha ) to protect oneself " and " Every human beings are equal to one another " .
And also wants to share the knowledge of this experiment.

With Regards,

FrAMeS FroM 3Rd JaM