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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


It isn't often that we get shots this perfect. At least not with the two of us. At home either one of the kids is jostling for attention, Dhruv wants to be in the frame, he's still 3, you see, Aneesha fretting and frowning about being asked to be part of the frame, she's 6, so you know... So we usually end up with an eye here or a frown there kind of shot.

This was different though. For a start there was Kingfisher, that brought out that wide smile on Bala's face. He was also photographed by the Kingfisher men, solo, though I reckon it wouldn't make it to the famous calender coz as we all know a suit just can't match a swim suit or shall I say a Speedo.

Enough of that, the occasion of this shot also marked our little search for the formula of happiness. No, we didn't derive our own happiness quotient, but were soon to watch the theatrical opening of the 'New Zealand, New Thinking Festival.' Thanks to the kindness of all the wonderful Kiwis I have met in the last one and a half year, this invite was a treasured one.

I had heard tons about New Zealand's Indian ink Theatre Company and this was a clearly an opening not to be missed.

After all they were back with 'The Candlestickmaker' together with 'Krishnan's Dairy' - both of which have smashed box office records in both New Zealand and the UK. To date, over 140,000 people across the world have watched these plays, a response that has even taken the Indian ink pioneers - the remarkable Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis by surprise.

It isn't everyday that ideas are born with a 'serious laugh', but that was pretty much how the story of their theatre group began. They wanted to use humour to help people lighten up and then slip in something serious. And the seriousness sure does come in 'masked' with a lot of fun and adventure. By combining Western theatrical traditions with Indian flavours, their plays set out to narrate stories that cut across cultures to touch just about everyone in the audience.

That's precisely what 'The Candlestickmaker' did that night. It was a discovery of black holes, a tribute to the Nobel prize winning astrophysicist Subramanyam Chandrashekhar. Then there is the young New Zealand student, Lonely Planet in hand, who sets off to discover India but ends up unravelling some mysteries of the universe instead. And it is through some of those mysteries, that the sheer joys of life unfold.

'The Candlestickmaker' packed profound messages and while everyone played their part to perfection both on and off stage, the evening clearly belonged to the immensely talented Jacob Rajan, who flitted through the many characters in a way that only the best actors can.

If you haven't already heard it - Indian ink's shows are certainly not to be missed. So if they do head to a theatre near you, you know exactly what to do.

Of course, there's also a cinematic version of 'Krishnan's Dairy' in the works, but then nothing beats the sheer pleasure of theatre - with or without the Kingfisher.