Alpaviram

Breezy autumn evening, mosquito coils, tabla beats resonating in the air amidst sound check - 1,2,3, guitar man chewing a gum most audaciously (was he bored? can he get bored?he was melancholic, methinks).Chairs getting arranged, tickets guesstimated and sold, everyone getting ready and most arriving late - our lady in nice shimmering saree with neck tilted to one side and all her hair falling on one side of her shoulder revealing her milky white arms and lovely back.Seats negotiated, some want it in front, you know the feel-important look and act-pricey bit.Organisers accommodating and obliging, visual distraction with a tch-tch.Annoying audience, especially the one seated immediately behind us, bad leg manners.Some corporate rookie with a very pronounced tee exclaiming dude-ness in rudeness.Nevermind.May his legs hurt.

The show began before time, from the mike testing. The Audience didn't know if something began.Maybe, they did. They stopped expecting the ceremonial hello, good evening wala introduction.I knew the show began when the dried leaves showered almost, naturally.The skies didn't open up, thank god!

A flautist, a percussionist, tablas and guitars - sheer magic that even tone deaf people sat up and kept quiet.The compositions were short, lively and arresting.

7 Zoozoos and their 1 director Zoozoo without the eggheads just ransacked the stage randomly without any punctuation.Lost in music and rhythm, not able to get their beat. They looked a little unsettled, they insist they are just the way they are - no holds barred, please did you come looking for something? Delivery of most ad-punch lines, abrupt and deafening. Again, a disclaimer. It's just the way they are.Reminded me of the premise of the Theater of the Absurd, randomness as a plot, if there was any.The sub-plots are interesting with the expanded 4-dimensional exaggeration, very much needed.Use of props, excellent. Improvisation it was!Background music was not required even for extended effect, dialogues were lost sometimes because of it.A very A-rated evening generous and replete with 'Pardon my French' stuff. Acting, each one was a class apart.Situational comic relief, awesome.The Audience laughed even at tragic moments.The emotions represented by each Number -profound!Love, Anger, Acceptance, Memory, Peace, Fear - one thread of randomness. Some sections were visibly disturbing and dragging - the abortion-foetus scene, the prostitute mother-son pain.Fear was the best. Peace was natural, effervescent and peppered with messages. The Director gave his heart and soul, pretty evident. The sweat of his toil is Alpaviram. Standing ovation. The MC did not have to fish  for compliments. The rain clap did not have to be taught. It rained claps. We enjoyed it thoroughly.

The audience.Sigh!Outrageous mobile phone etiquette - we just could not care less. The annoying buzz of not-so muted conversations to race towards demonstration of gray matter and how they can connect and identify.The media - defiant and noisy, they always do us favours by perching the cameras and expecting goodies.A piqued gentleman rebuked them, deservedly so.

There was this permanent breathing prop on stage, a clayed girl - the idol. The sutradhar. She breaks free. Brought memories of Rekha Bharadwaj's Tere Ishq Mein - how the heavens and the mountains move in the spirit of love.

Crescendo!
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