Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bhageerathi Narayan

What's a few words about a Handsome Lady worth – when they come several moments after she is no longer with us…
What's idle reminiscing, when the moments have already slipped us by, while the lady has had her's, and left us to bring down the lights and tip the attenders…
What's the Show going to be like now when the Diva herself has called it a Wrap!
Really, what's the show going to be like, Bhagyam?

The bare facts are these from what I gather- Bhageerathi was young, she studied, she got married and had a child, she was a lawyer, and she was silly enough to answer a casting call by Madras’s premier English Amateur Theatre group…..simple!
She was also good at her work, a great mother, intelligent, witty, intense, a fantastic actress and later on… all this culminated in making her the most gifted director in the city – Simpler still!

And In this process,
Many of us got to say hi to her and introduce ourselves, Less than many of us worked with her and saw her evolve into a beauty, Some of us worked under her and learnt Life a bit, Fewer of us got to be her close Friends, only One got to marry her and stayed married so, and another still luckier one got her for a mother -
But everybody, all of us, remained admirers and fans and the loyal fawning public of her majesty, the Queen of Dignity and all that’s almost right with the world….

And then two days back… she left!

Some said she did it in style, well scripted, with a clean and dramatic ending – lone spot and all… she directed it perfectly. The funny thing is, that knowing her, she would have confessed to not having gotten it quite right yet, and there could have been so much more that remained doing….

I guess she saw perfection the way Picasso saw it, in her next work of Art….
We always saw perfection in the way she did it….the day before, yesterday and yeah upto that point that she kept doing – we saw perfection in the way she was.

Thereby Overall, the consensus is thus – Bhagyam went too soon.
She went when we all were still trying to catch up with her. She went when she had taught us the steps and we were still finding our footing. She left before we could answer her in detail, the question she so grandly asked ‘Whats Happening Ma?? Ennamma Pannrae?’. All in all, she went to soon, and had it her way.

To sum it all up, if there is any such thing, I must keep going back to the short description that I have quite often espoused in my short span of awakened living – a simple term which was a desperate effort to describe the Lady to anybody who didn’t have the joy of getting to know her….
‘Bhagyam Rocks!’
– sorry for falling back on slang and simplicity – but that makes the most sense to me…
and If you knew her, even a slight bit, you would be smiling in recognition of how gorgeously those two words capture the essence of the Lady!
And if you didn’t know her…. Too bad for you- Really, too bad for you!

To my guide who I promise to thank at my Oscar Speech, to the philosopher who gave me a direction and showed me the way, to the friend who showed me her beautiful mind, to my teacher, to Life……La Chaim!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

evam Bhagyam-makes an exit

1999: Karthik and me meet at MICA, Ahmedabad and are searching for a play to do in college- Bhagyam told KK “You have to do this play and it will change your life”.

We were not sure but still went ahead with the performance of “evam Indrajit”-the play in 1999 in Ahmedabad

The play rocked;our minds.

...rocked enough to inspire us to jump. We left our jobs to start “evam”-the company in Chennai in 2003.

That’s what Bhagyam means to us.

She is a stud- that’s how I would describe her … a beautiful woman., sorry-a strong willed beautiful woman,a brilliant actor/director ,a person with the warmth of my mother , inquisitiveness of my nephew and 'bonding quotient' of my friends. Her age? Never did matter—she was the youngest in the team when it came to energy ,enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, always ready to question ,debate and seek answers- you could see the sparkle in her eyes so often-no wonder she was so alive! Think of her- and you will always have a smile on you.

Never happy with her work- she is willing to go all the way to seek “perfection”. At evam – whenever we do a play we would always wonder ” what would bhagyam's verdict be when she sees it?” and when she would tell us - we would realise yet again that it will take a long time before she gives us a “pass” -leave alone ”merit”-making us resolve to work harder…

So much to learn from this tower of strength- that when we decided to request someone to direct a play for us this year and that too "evam indrajit"- the first obvious person was Bhagyam and her obvious modesty ”why me?”. She has been working with team evam over the past 2 months very closely as director for “evam indrajit” to happen in June. She insisted on working with youngsters- and design the play in a manner which will communicate to them –after knowing their perspective. Her objective- to translate this 1960's play in the language of today's youth- her method-we held workshops after workshops with youngsters till she finally came up with a design. She did casting and then..made her dramatic exit.

Technology and finance – she never was comfortable handling- but was willing to use and manage for the end objective- good story telling.

Team evam is still waiting for her to turn up today evening at office to block the next scene… still hoping its only a dramatc twist in the tale and not an exit for our bhagyam.

“what drama is there in our lives mate?”- she would repeat from the play-”indrajit”.... and the way she exited from stage .. on stage...performing- I know she wouldn’t have been happy– leaving halfway was not her style.

as for "evam indrajit"- we know you are watching..and we promise to do justice to your vision..

if my grammer keeps punctuating from “is “ to “ was” – don’t blame me bhagyam I promise to rehearse more.

Love you bhagyam- no grammatical error there!
evam will miss you. hope someday our play will get a “pass” from you.