No Beginning, No End ...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Threads, story telling, books with no pictures ...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Recently, I saw a play titled 'Arabian Night', by Silver Blue productions at the Alliance Francaise. The play unravels itself through five monologues, acted out by five people, sequentially yet simultaneously.

Each monologue represents five threads in the story. They are all part of the same story, progressing in their own line of existence. So each actor makes the mind follow the thread he or she owns, till their quanta of time expires and the mind has to stack it and shift to the next thread as it starts up from where it left off.

The threads do intertwine and the characters do interact. The playwright has nicely used time slice allocation to each thread for conveying this. When there is no interaction, each thread gets a large time slice, and takes me forward a large step through its story. When they are close together and are facing each other, the time slices get smaller, and smaller. Though the characters do talk to each other at these close encounters, the threads never completely lose their story teller posture. And at these times the mind goes to overdrive shifting between the threads, stacking and retrieving contexts that differ only minutely at present.

And there were very few props. So the entire setting is left to your imagination, even the physical separation or closeness between the characters and dimensions of the world in which they exist. I liked to be reminded that I used to like books without pictures better, when I was a kid.

One no-relation phrase that improbability drive brought into my mind as a result of this whole episode was the title of the final year project one of my seniors did, "communicating sequential processes."


Lightness of being ...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I call it the game of the eyes.

First it is tough to get her notice you. But somehow you've got to get there, a smile at an unexpected instant, a twitch and wobble of the nose, and maybe a 'wowed' mouth with bubbled eyes - now this one has to be done carefully so that any lesser mortals don't get a glimpse of this and deem you perpetually mad - might just work. So, you've got her attention, hold on to it for sometime. Now don't overdo it, she'll get bored and go away. Next thing is to look for a partial hiding place for your eyes. Well, but not a dungeon that her eyes can't reach without subverting laws of physics. Ok, now gently move your face into the hiding angle so that her eyes can't see your eyes. If you had had her interested enough, you can see she'll slowly move.

And there she is peeking out of the hiding angle and at your eyes! Make sure you smile.

Now you move to normal position. As per rules, she has to hide now and you'll seek. But rules are made to be bent, so you might have to hide again and again before she decides to do so.

If you see her smiling like a lotsa roses, the games a win-win :-)

Where do you belong ...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In Gladiator, the movie, the slave master Proximo says,

"So finally after five years of scratching a living in flea infested villages, we are finally going back to where we belong ... the Colosseum."

"Oh ... you should see the Colosseum! Spaniard,"

In my recent short trip home, I saw a small procession on the road. To do with continuous education and literacy campaign. And in front of that procession there was a group of 'chendakkar'. This suddenly made me remember this line from Gladiator. They looked kind of misfit in that setting, tarred road and banners, trying to make something, a living, out of their skill in percussion.

Would they feel a better sense of belonging if they are in 'Thaekkinkad Maithanam' instead, doing it for Thrissur pooram?

Where do I belong? ... :-)

Impact ...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

You are alone in the coupe, you have switched off the lights and opened the windows, you are lying with your legs stretched and a bent torso, looking out into the black night flying past outside, overlooked by a foggy half moon. The constant, rhythmic, fast paced, very fast paced, clamor of the night train is rattling in your ears, and in your head and in your heart.

Everything outside looks so dark, an occasional dim light of a street lamp, and huge vastness of barren land.

You can not hear the roar of the approaching train, until its near, very near, just a few meters away from your window. And the roar rises in an instant, to a deafening blow. A blazing column of light hits you. The blazing column of light is streaking past the window, leaving a partially paralyzed you. Only things you can make out in that are streaks of light and deafening noises.

And its over in an instant and the black night is back in sleep.