Le Mashale

 

Ojas S V performs Le Mashale, a play on Irom Sharmila and the struggle in Manipur against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, in Mumbai, on Dec 10, 2010 on World Human Rights Day. 

12.02.2011 Watched a one woman performance by a Maharashtrian theatre person today in Spaces. She spoke and told us the stories of Manipur, the Indian Army’s atrocities in that land and the story of Irom Sharmila – a person I idolize. I have come back with many questions streaming in my head. What am I doing? What should I be doing? What can I do? and What am I willing to do?

I took up directing and theatre as a direction – a vague one nevertheless – in my life. And for the next two months I have assurance of at least two plays hitting the stage. For many reasons the issues discussed in these plays – meaning of life and why do we lie – have been already chosen. But, today I am sitting flustered as to if I am choosing to speak about the right things. Over the past few days, I have been extensively studying the methods of theatre directors, writers and activists, and I still haven’t narrowed down enough to find out by working in theatre what I ultimately want to do.

Yes, I am doing it out of my one steadfast belief that dialogue is key to sort out any problem. And that dialogue is powerful when it is the less heard that take the stage. However, I am still caught in a city where we will lie back and wait and watch, because I have the luxury.

I know maybe I have too many economical responsibilities now and cannot probably take the paths of those like Irom Sharmila or Binayak Sen. It is a complete disappointment for me that I do not have the strength to do this now. But, I know that the time for it is not too far away – there will come this day very soon when I will pack my bags and get rid of myself to join this land, its people and their struggle. Because, I realise that in this world, this country, with our governments even for those with thousand advantages, like me – freedom is an illusion.

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