Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Diary of a single girl - What is TOI up to?

Sample these for a mainstream newspaper's magazine content on a Sunday -
"I have the breasts of a Greek goddess and they are real. Just that I don’t appreciate some girl pushing her twins into my man’s face." 

"My opening line to guys is, “If you fall in love with me, I will run away.” I don’t hate men. Au contraire… it’s just that I’d sooner let a man into my pants, than in my heart."

"I woke at about 9am and was just about to open the attached bathroom door, when it opened and out walked out K —  stark naked —  towel on his head, drying his hair. He was as shocked to find me standing there (wearing nothing but a top and my thong, having kicked off my jeans sometime during the night) as I was to see him"

Every Sunday, I look forward to TOI, relish reading it and savor every word. Over the last few weeks however, I sense if something is not wrong. What is the TOI team trying to sell with this column - Diary of a single girl?

I hate taking the moral high ground. After all, a reader need not necessarily read every column in a newspaper. However, carrying a column like this on a sunday makes me wonder if reader tastes are changing. 

Are we calling ourselves liberal by setting yardsticks like this?

What role models are young women reading these columns getting?

Aren't posts like this feeding into the stereotypes associated with the female body and male libido? 

Where do we draw lines to writing like this? 

I know not. I only know that single girls who write diaries like this are not the kind of girls India needs right now. If this viewpoint is regressive, perhaps it is and I shall stand by it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Boy with a suitcase - When art transcends boundaries

"My father waved; the bus turned a corner; that was it; I was on my own", says Naz (played by Shrunga) in the play "Boy with a suitcase" written by British writer Mike Kenny. Uprooted by war from his home, Naz is packed off into a bus by his parents. The play weaves together Naz's experiences along his journey to find his sister at London. Throw in a universal theme (war refugee), a cast comprising Indians and Germans, exemplary music, brilliant acting and a bagful of lighthearted stories - Boy with a suitcase is a typical example of art transcending boundaries.

Directed by Andrea Gronemeyer, the play is an outcome of collaboration between Schnawwl theater, Mannheim, Germany and Arundhati Nag's Ranga Shankara in Bangalore. This play shows how fruitful and beautiful, successful collaborations in theater can be. 

Naz grows up listening to his mother telling him stories of Sindbad the Sailor. Much like Sindbad, Naz sees adventures in adversities and regales his girl companion along the journey, Krysia (played by Simone Oswald) with funny stories. The two meet when Naz boards a bus which takes them along deserts, and bond closer when a few soldiers board the bus. Krysia becomes a fan of Naz's stories as they run for their lives escaping wolves and later, a man who wants Krysia to be nice with him. 

Interspersed with excellent music that stands in for storms, commotions of a busy city and rough waters, the play makes the audience laugh, think and keeps them engrossed. Creative use of the stage and props also stands out. Naz and Krysia are innocent and adorable together. The narrator (played by David Benito Garcia) is vibrant and full of energy. 

I should consider myself lucky to catch this play today. The audience, as is the norm at Ranga Shankara is generous in their applause for a good show. Today, we gave a standing ovation to the cast and crew when it was curtains time. I was very tempted to catch the 7.30 show also! 
As a theater buff, I sincerely appreciate the effort. The hard work behind the scenes showed. 

More info - 

Complete Cast: Coordt Linke, David Benito Garcia, Konarak Reddy, MD Pallavi, Nikolai Jegorow, Shrunga BV and Simone Oswald
Music: Coordt Linke, Konarak Reddy and MD Pallavi
Youtube - 
Schnawwl theater - 
Theater Partnership - Do I know You blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011

TCS World 10K Marathon

Shiny black and smooth, her hair kept getting tossed about by the breeze as she had a pattern that was in sync with her every she slowed down, her hair would slowly and gently come to rest and as she picked up speed, it would try and keep pace, throwing tantrums and getting unruly like a young child who is woken up from a slumber he has just experienced! I admired this rhythm for a while and by the time I came to my own, realized that I had lost sight of a fellow Boschler who was running beside me.

TCS World 10K Marathon, organized on the World Environment day, was an event that I was looking forward to, ever since I registered. It did not disappoint. I got up quite early for a sunday morning and entered the Kanteerva indoor stadium in time to see the 10K runners starting their sprint.

Colorfully decked up people from all walks of life - kids, senior citizens, quite a good number of foreigners, television crews, volunteers - made for a motley and eclectic bunch to run alongside. As we waited, the excitement in the crowd was tangible...I overheard this: A girl to her boyfriend: "Click good pictures and delete the bad ones. You are not uploading anything on Face-book without asking me". Though it was said in a tone that was a little reprimanding and endearing at the same time, I could not help but ruminate on the state of the poor guy...

The weather was just perfect for running - a gentle breeze and a cloudy sky with no trace of the Sun. Along the way, lost in the multitude, I felt as if I am being swept forward by a strong tide. Without struggle, I gave in and let myself be swept. Occasionally the spell was broken by somebody brushing past me, otherwise, its hold was complete. 

I am again thankful to a friend who once said, "Happiness comes in tiny packages" She was spot on. Today's package would remain fresh in my memory for some time to come. Thank you Bangalore and all fellow Bangaloreans who participated!