AK's Various Thoughts


I’m still recovering from the month that was. At the very mention of it, my shoulders sag and I get bleary eyed. It was a time of high stress, and we took some pretty big hits. But it was also a time of resilience, and we pulled off some good, solid theatre. Backs broke in Bangalore, two Thespo tryouts tumbled, finances floundered, and the pressure of the Pedro production was petrifying.

Writing about the entire experiences of Bangalore and the new play would take much patience, many days and a crate of Red Bull. As such, I’m going to try summarize them in a bunch of memorable quotes and antidotes.

About Thespo, what can I say? Two plays. One with a brooding new actor, two past winners, one META nominee, directed by a past Thespo finalist. The other with two gorgeous men holed up in a cabin, with much profanity. Foolproof formulae, one would think. Apparently not. Both were ruthlessly booted out. The QTP rep called me, said “Sorry, not good enough, loser”, and in the same breath asked “Article?”

Anyhow, moving on…

BANGALORE – Memorable Quotes

Voice on PA System: “The Udyan Express is delayed by 4 hours”

Attendant on Train: “Baarah ghanta late hai”

Passenger: “A dam burst. We’re rerouting. Longer route. What time’s your show?”

Akvarious Member: “7:30pm”

Passenger: (shakes head) “Won’t reach before 10”

Akvarious Member: “Nice”

Tea Vendor: “Hubli ke baad kuch n

ahi milega. Khaana nahi. Pani nahi. Taxi nahi.”

Akvarious Member: (seconds before he has to get off in the middle of nowhere to take a cab and try make it for the show) “I need to pee”

Akvarious Member: (for

the ninth time on the journey) “Let’s play Monopoly bitch”

Akvarious Member: (incredulous) “They stole our last packet of Kurkure!”

Local Co-ordinator: (ten minutes before show begins) “Sir, your cast has arrived”

Sign at Bangalore Station: (after a 38 hour train ride) “Life – A Journey”

Theatre Staff: “Welcome to Bangalore sir. You’ve come at a very bad time. Sales are slow for the last two months. Good you have a sponsor. Oh, wait. You don’t?”

Akvarious Member: (incredulous) “2 hours from the airport?”

Akvarious Member: (incredulous) “700 bucks for a taxi?”

Receptionist: “Tomorrow auto strike sir”

Website: “Trains delayed by 22 hours”

Akvarious Member: “Now?”

Proprietor: (with sad determination) “We’ll have to fly them all back”

Conversation at unfriendly restaurant venue:

Proprietor: “How many people in the audience?”

Staff Member: “13”

Proprietor: “That sucks. Our collections will be less than the taxi fare to get here. Well, you know, at least there’s the free lunch”

Moments later.

Organizer: “How many people in your crew?”

Proprietor: “16”

Organizer: “That sucks. I think you’ll have to pay for lunch”

Receptionist: (2 hours before flight, 1 hour before safe check in) “Sir, your taxis don’t seem to be coming. Cancelled“

As an overcrowded Tempo Traveller races towards airport, with 45 minutes to go for take off:

Akvarious Member: (on phone) “Sorry, what? Er… how? Er… OK” (off phone) “ Er… guys, the flight… it’s been preponed by twenty minutes…”

Collective gasp. Sound of nails being bitten.

AKVARIOUS PRODUCTION No. 21 – Memorable Quotes

Actress: “This is going to be a rather expensive production. Where’s the money coming from?”

Producer: “You know, honestly, I don’t know”

Actress: (pause) “Then why are you smiling?”

Akvarious Well Wisher: “Hey. How’s the play shaping up?”

Director: “It’s not”

Producer: “You’re in the play too? Nice. What you playing?”

Actress: “I’m the third understudy for Nun #4”

Set Designer: (three weeks before show) “Good news: the drawings are ready. Bad news: I’m

leaving for Spain tomorrow.”

Producer: (shell shocked)Spain eh? That’s where the play’s set”

Set Designer: “What a small world”

Producer: (5 days before show, looking for reassurance) “I’m very worried. I don’t think this set will be ready in time”

Fabricator: “Sab Allah ki marzi hai bhai. Hum toh sirf koshish kar sakte hai.”

Producer: “This is a huge set. A tempo won’t do. We’ll need a truck”

Akvarious Member in charge of Set: “No. We’ll need two. Plus one tempo for the smaller stuff. Two trucks and one tempo. Cruising down Marine Drive at night. Controlled by me. Isn’t that cool?”

Speechless, the producer shakes his head and reaches for his wallet and slowly counts his fast disappearing money.

Akvarious Member in charge of Set: (not noticing) In fact, I have a great idea. I could stand between the two trucks, like Ajay Devgan. Haan?