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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have known bhagyam as a theatre personality since 1999. Last month or so KK asked me to meet up with here to give my views on youth of today and how they would relate to an old play like evam indrajeet. That was the first time I met her.

One look at her, i felt i was in front of a teacher. When she made us read and analyze the play, i knew she loved spending time with young people and hearing their opinions. It took only couple of minutes and we all forgot that she was much older than any of us. She was one of us. She never used her experience to boss us. Instead she just listened to everyone one of our views.

I could also see that she loved the "PROCESS" of theatre. She would question everything about the upcoming play. Is it relevant? What is life? Why take risks? Should we be ordinary? Will the play suit the current generation? Then there were workshops after workshops. Discussions after discussions. She wanted it right.

I remember her laugh. Loud and happy.

When iswar and jimmy told me that she had passed away, i was stunned. When they told me that it occurred while she was on stage...i thought to myself..she is one of those few LUCKY ones who left the world doing what they loved doing. Thats BHAGYAM.

We will miss you.
See you at the play.
-Manoj Kumar

April 20, 2005 1:58 pm  
Blogger Kanishkaa said...

I formally met Bhagyam only this February and what struck me was her approachability.I was fortunate enough to be part of the initial readings of evam Indrajit and it was nice of her to acknowledge the various opinions on the script,its relevance and the interpretations.Moreover she insisted on hearing everybody's opinion instead of throwing it open to random comments.

I casually showed up for the casting call at the evam office though I wasn't a part of it.She was kind enough to let me know that I was free to drop in to rehersals in future.That was the last thing she ever said to me before I quietly slipped away.I was in complete shock and denial when I received the message the next day.I thought,"She can't be.I just saw her yesterday.What could possibly go wrong"?
At least I'm glad I saw her,however insignificant my presence was.

April 25, 2005 4:20 pm  

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