Those heady moments

From childhood, I had nurtured the whim of playing a crucial character in a drama. But for some reason or the other, this dream of mine hadn’t attained fruition for a long time. I’d occasionally do some back stage art work, help with props and wistfully watch as the others performed. After school, I joined National College, Jayanagar for the PU course.
The intracollegiate drama fest was in vicinity. Our enterprising economics professor and class co-coordinator asked us who wanted to participate. I raised my hand impulsively. Sir nodded perspicaciously. The following day, he had the Kannada translation of Tennessee Williams’ play- ‘The Glass Menagerie’ ( Gaajina Gombe) and those of us who were zealous were assigned suitable roles. The play consisted of four major equally relevant characters. Having never had an opportunity to display histrionics before, I struggled with diction during rehearsals. I was advised to be diligent and to get thoroughly immersed in my character.

The ten days that we rehearsed were a mixed-blessing. We were alternately reprimanded and praised for our gestures, expressions, voice throw, dialogue delivery et al. We went through travails and toil. I also made many good friends during this period. Days and nights merged and we had very nearly forgotten our true identities and had metamorphosed into our respective characters mind, heart and soul.

The day our play was to be staged in H N Kalakshethra arrived. We were all excited. An expert make-up artiste had been appointed and in a matter of minutes he had transformed two lasses into presentable young men, one girl into a graceful elderly lady and yours truly into a very traditional girl with a thick long braid. We inhaled deeply, marched on to stage and did our job. At the end of the play there was dead silence for a minute. We tensed. Had we botched up? Then, much to our relief, thunderous applause followed.

Our play bagged the second prize. More importantly it received critical appreciation from the judges, lecturers, fellow students and other well-wishers. We were elated and humbled by the response we received. Recently, I located a friend who is currently working abroad, on a social networking site. We had enacted many scenes together in the show. The code I used in my personal message to her was - ‘Gaajina Gombe!’. Fond memories of the play apparently flooded her. Now we keep in touch everyday. Years have passed but it seems like yesterday when we used to rakishly hang about the NCJ campus.

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