Bombay has been a strange city. I watched another play tonight in what they have begun to call Sobo (South Bombay). We used to call it Town.
We took a drive on the Worli Sea Link, and I saw it for the first time.
At the theatre, I met a lovely couple. The audience was much younger than it used to be, or well, I've grown up. The chutney sandwiches were still the same. I said some awkward things. The play was interesting, funny and star studded. Needless to say, everyone looked crisp and freshly baked. I personally loved the script, and it overshadowed the performances. At times I forgot I was watching it because I was lost. Great soundtrack and effects.
I felt as if everyone was on a different frequency from me. I spent a good half an hour after the show, wanting to listen to myself- but you are never alone in Bombay. Much of what I said about the play has been true about my interactions with the people. Exciting, glossy, lively and yet something is always rotting on the innards. You know the feeling, when the packing is prettier than the gift.. There's craft and there's money, there's talent and entertainment and fun and a thick coating of self love, but something doesn't come through- something simple and honest and something doesn't feel right.
I don't know what it is, what it is that bothers me. I can't lay my finger on it. Perhaps its just me who is uncomfortable with this glossy picture. Perhaps it's the feeling of not belonging, the feeling of being an outsider in the very place I grew up. There could be more, to the play, to the performance, to the work, to the very foundation of the city and our motivation- why are we doing what we are doing. It was charming and fun and I enjoyed it but at the same time I expected more, I wanted more than what we already know. It was hence, an interesting exercise into myself - I realised I want to look into places we don't look into because they are far too painful or exciting. In places where our lives are unknowingly taking us and expose these wounds and places to the many people who come to the theatre. A performance is no less than a ceremony. A performance is no less than a ceremony.