It is Thespo time again. A very special time for me since Thespo was conceived on my carpet. And like one’s own offspring, I have seen it grow and taken pride in its evolution and development.
And this year I have given up my own shows of Vagina Monologues on Dec. 18 and 19, to be at the Thespo Awards.
Started when all of the organizers of Thespo were 19-years-old or thereabouts, for all participants under 25 years of age, I have seen the commitment and dedication of the original gang of Christopher Samuel, Nadir Khan, Toral Shah, Karl Alphonso, Arghya Lahiri, and of course Quasar.
While each one of them has grown in stature becoming corporate honchos and radio jockeys, and film and theatre directors – and Karl has gone on to become a Stage Manager in Oregon -- Thespo remains their priority.
I remember Christopher helping me edit the Brochure 2000 for the Films Division Documentary Film festival. His PR process began then I would like to think. He was so efficient and successful in dealing with the Films Division Babus…and we even received an award for the Brochure.
Karl is an everyday presence as his silhouette in a 2003 play MINORITIES adorns my balcony curtain.
Arghya is the best director I have worked with in my advancing years. He directed me as Meg in 'The Birthday Party' – 26 years after I play sexy Lulu in the same play directed my Alyque Padamsee.
Toral is the brick that all of us have depended upon, and built our foundations on her single minded focused clear-headed support at all times. She keeps them all bonded – never forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, heartbreaks and separations, and stardom like for Anand Tiwari, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Amrita Puri.
Quasar has this favourite story of how I would not recognize one from the other. And it is true. One night I came home to find someone quietly working at the dining table. Presuming him to be Karl I walked through my tiny home and returned inquiring “where is Quasar”.
Thespo has grown – not only away from my carpet. No more do I spot my clothing and furniture on stage. It is true. There were so many of them staying over and working on theatre projects and Thespo at my home that I often mistook one for the other. Now I am accused of not remembering the hundreds who have joined the Thespo gang. There are so many Shwetas, Priyas, Vidhishas, Prernas, Poojas – and they are all young and lovely – flitting in and out of Thespo headquarters in Versova – that I often fail to put an exact name to them. To me they are Thespo children, and I love them.