Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I like giving "gyan", as one may put it. Long personal lectures where I talk about practically everything under the sun. Some juniors have been at the receiving end of the gyan, but they aren't the only ones. Even some of my batchmates have had me giving them gyan on various things.
Avilash Pahi in particular has long suffered this at my hands. I know the poor soul since he first started debating, and ever since that time at various stages I have lectured and discoursed on various topics. One thing I noticed about my gyan is that I vary the tonality and the language of it depending on who I'm talking to. This habit of mine is the sort of thing that old men and grandfathers often hand out to the younger generations but is never taken seriously by those subject to it. I suppose that way, my gyan is more effective because I do belong to the same age group. Sumeru Chatterjee, Rohan Sawalka, Vedant Singhania, Debdeep Nath etc, they have all been at the receiving end of these lectures. Most of the time when people give gyan, it is quite a one way street as one person keeps talking and the other person feigns listening to him. However, my gyans (if it can be used as the correct term) does not progress like that. I welcome inputs, and although I do speak the majority of the time, others do give in their personal views on the matter.
I had supervision in Class 9 A not too long back, and in the absence of anything to do, I gave them a very generalised lecture on various topics. Over the course of 45 minutes of the period, I spoke to them about Satanic symbols, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the National Anthem, Syd Barrett, Milford Hennessy, John Mason etc etc. You can make out that there was no central theme of what I was talking to them about but it was a sort of a gyan session as they listened quite intently to what I was saying. (As a side note, in those 45 minutes, I managed to do what quite a lot of teachers are still not able to - keep the class quiet and listening intently)
Today itself I was talking to the Interactors regarding stuff around school. It wasn't proper gyan, but I was the only one speaking and I was sort of lecturing them in a very informal, laid back way.
Saurav Mehta has also been subject to this lecturing on a number of occasions, and most often I give him gyan about theatre and acting. Particularly after a good play, we have these extensive discourses, and I end up giving him gyan about acting. I will not pretend that these sessions helped him in any way whatsoever, but I personally think it did help in shaping his internal creative processes as an actor. Jamshed has been lectured by me, but somehow never on acting (maybe because he's a fine actor already).
Eternal love for giving gyan indeed.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I like watching plays at Academy of Fine Arts. Not only is it a proper proscenium theatre space, it also has this intellectual feel about it. You can almost sense the quiet contemplation in the air as you enter the Academy, and the people there are typical Bengali intellectuals.
I don't really look much like the regular audience you'll find at the Academy, because somehow I always turn up at the Academy looking as if I'd be better off at any of the city's multiplexes. Truth be told I am sort of an unorthodox mixture of the old and the new, a rebellious Bengali youth who at the same time is cultured and reflective. One who listens to Mohiner Ghoraguli and Linkin Park almost consecutively. This, however, is a mixed blessing. Although I can drift in and out of both worlds...I find it hard to fit into any one of them for too long.
Well, today I went to the Academy of Fine Arts after quite a period of time, and was rewarded with an extremely brilliant play. For quite a long time, I have wanted to see the play "Aguner Barnamala", but somehow I never managed to get around to seeing it. Today I decided to go for it almost on impulse, and I'm glad I did decide to go. "Aguner Barnamala" struck a chord with me, and I could almost identify with the characters being portrayed on stage. It effectively brought out our human frailties and traits, although presented in a fantastical manner. The lead actor, Debshankar Haldar, was excellent in the role of the psychiatrist Anirban, and even the actor portraying Kushal was really good. Good acting is not enough, though, and the script was fantastic. The way it delved into the recesses of the human mind, questioning whether there really is a neurotic in all of us was simply breathtaking. There were parts I really wished I could write that well.
This has inspired me to work on my play further and try to bring it to a whole new level. Perhaps one day someone else will say "I wish I could write like that" with regard to my work. As Aerosmith say, Dream On till your dreams come true.