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)