I thought of a dozen excuses for not writing this article. I even thought of telling them the truth. There are many true reasons, most of which have to do with me being insanely short of time. Imagine a buffet, of high pressure jobs. And imagine a man with a large appetite, who clearly fills his plate to the brim, but realizes the task ahead only when he his plate is full. The sheer sight of the things on his plate makes him drool. But the sheer effort he will have to make to wade through them not only exhausts him, but almost loses him his appetite. And the stress makes his sugar low, and he’s now dying to have something sweet, but dessert is a very long wait away. I’m that man. And this article is the cherry on that plate.
Recently, on Facebook, I posted my misery –
“Akarsh Akvarious Khurana has done 32 shows from January to April this year, and has 22 lined up in May alone. In a particularly cruel summer. Seems a little impractically skewed.”
Strangely, people (or friends, as Facebook would have me refer to them) congratulated me, wished me luck, complained about not performing additional shows in their cities, seemed excited, and somewhat encouraging. They clearly misunderstood (or chose to ignore) my attempt at self flagellation. Anyhow, May has begun. It’s going to be a hot, humid, tough month. But more on that next time, if my fingers aren’t too burnt to type by then. For now, let’s think of easier days.
April began with All Fools Day, but most of the fools were sitting in the audience of a corporate show I did, talking nonstop through the performance, despite being the organizers. When I reminded them that it was, in fact, their event, which they were, in fact, paying me for, realization dawned and they choked on their starters.
Soon after, we did one of our children’s plays for a birthday celebration. The kids went wild (though they behaved better than the people mentioned above), the male cast members realized that young mothers can be rather attractive, and we were all given scrumptious cup cakes.
Another production that I was a part of had a resurrection of sorts. After some strongly mixed responses at Prithvi, we took stock, tightened things and unleashed ourselves on the NCPA audience, who loved every minute of it. We didn’t recover too much though, besides our self esteem. The producer now feels that the play must move to St. Andrew’s. The lines between optimism and masochism sometimes get blurred in a producer’s mind. I should know. I’ve been there. And I whine like a schoolgirl on occasion, but I love it.
We then went back to NCPA to close the Mudra Dance Week with a new production – a dance drama. The evolution of the project is interesting. It began as a solo dance recital. Then two dancers joined the team, followed by four more. Actors danced, and dancers acted, but we were short. More people joined the team. Suddenly the piece had a canvas. So eight young men were sourced to contribute to background action. As I watched, trunks full of clothes, eccentric prop requirements, an army of tailors, musical accompanists and helpful relatives appeared. And planned budgets disappeared. We were now designing an epic production to be staged for free at the Little Theatre, true to its name. The show, as it must, went on and was surprisingly good. Feedback was great. The line between optimism and masochism blurred. Given the blood, sweat, tears and corns (on-the-feet kind) that went into the production, I do think it deserves more shows. Do watch this space.
So, that was April. This is May. They say June will come. I don’t trust them. We’ll just have to wait and watch. And do an unholy amount of work while we wait.