I had been a fiddle-footed gadabout especially with regards to my thoughtful sojourns in social gatherings and events but this Fais-dodo of excitement was different. I had been pulled, lured, cajoled and sculpted to make my first stage appearance in the past forty years.
On that cold winter evening when the mercury had stooped so low and refuse to travel upwards, refused to budge from the immediacy of zero. Did I just say ‘stooped’ and not dropped? Well, then stooped it is, otherwise, what reason could be ascribed for the temperature to remain so cold and wind so chilly? Didn’t they know that the stars and budding stars will be performing out in the open? Anyways, let’s leave their preposterous treachery aside.
Let’s continue with my fanciful journey as an insider into the colourful corridors of Euphoria infinite and Navras presentation.
I rushed through the venue entrance with the bag of props in my hand- blood, ball and balloon (don’t worry, not important…), rushed through the smiley faces of children playing in the lawn, through the decorated row of stalls selling artefacts and games, rushed through the dressing rooms of various participants: jokers, Princess, Regina, रूडली , dancers and fighters, all in their half baked avatars.
My search for the partners of my crime ( pun intended) ends with my entry into the green room behind the stage to be a part of the devil’s incarnation. I stood anxiously for my turn, waiting behind the man was about to undergo a divine metamorphosis from his previous avatar of Shivji to a cannibal now.
My external demeanour said little about the jittery waves gushing up my spine and I was wondering whether it was the chilling cold or I was actually trembling with nervousness. I decided to have a stroll outside to ease off.
Outside, it was an ambience of craic and joyance, a picture of chats and chatters, of raising a toast to bid farewell to the ending year and the clamant of bustling pilsner glasses. And a few recognisable faces approaching at me wearing exciting or perhaps amusing smiles, ” Hey man!…you are in this too!….which Ras?…. what are you doing”. No, this avoiding tactic won’t help reduce my tension, I went back.
Back in the green room, I sat in the dressing chair, my sculptor bent upon my face as her deft fingers moved smoothly to paint the lines of my face. I couldn’t help myself admiring her dedication as also her enthusiasm when she took intermittent breaks to rush backstage ” I want to see Adbhut entry… tell them to show their final makeup before hitting the stage…”. These intermittent breaks allowed the rainbow of my emotions–fear, nervousness anxiety, excitement- all to have donnybrook affair within themselves. I rehearsed mentally with my props for the 100th time… blood ball I’ll keep in my right pocket… the food for my predator in my left…skin to be torn …I have already adjusted and secured at its proper place…will this polythene experiment do?….and blabla..bla.
Before I had the chance to feel anything further, I found myself on the stage having a द्वन्द with Him and preparing for the fights.
Oh My God! …how can I?…they are so respected and saintly…and then the voice over in my mind started, Parth’s voice….ARJUN YOU DAMN FOOL ITS YOUR KARMA… OH!, I MEAN ITS JUST ACTING… GO DO IT.
The fight started, the scene progressed with ostentatious smoothness but guess what? I fumbled with the props and slipped falling onto my left rather than the right causing a small bruise on my left elbow as also on my confidence. I fell on the ground a modicum of time earlier than intended. I thought of looking at my wife, my co-star, for some solace( or to ask if I have committed a blunder) but how can dead body move?… I just lay there. Luckily no one seemed to notice the fumble, not even my director.
The next recollection I have is of my otherworldly psyche… what do you call it …Oh hell, what’s the world…maybe… why maybe? sure as hell, its called EUPHORIA INFINITE
A big thank you to all the organisers for a spellbinding event and to all my teammates and choreographer and especially to Sundeep sir and Seema ma’am for encouraging and believing in me. Thanks to ever supporting Shalabh sir, to most caring Manisha ma’am and Savita ma’am. And how can not mention dearest Honey for bearing with me.
a special thanks to Sankalp as well for working with my voice and making it sound presentable.
Wait, I am not signing off, how can I? before leaving some glimpses of the fond memories and the making of the event and if you haven’t got bored to death already, reading this nonsense, down here I am showcasing the unedited versions of the three poems written by yours truly for this event.
सुनो चित्रकार इस बार इक
चाँद सा चेहरा बनाना, मेरे यार सा ।
बादलों से घुमड़ते गेसु ,
दो स्याह आँखें, हवा सी शोख़ अड़ाएँ।
और, मदमस्त लहराता आँचल ।
क्या तुम भगवान हो
क्या तुम भगवान हो?
ये धरती, ये नादिया, ये चाँद सितारे ये बदल वादल सब…. तुमने बनाए हैं ?
रहने दो , छोड़ो
ये चोर, ये लूटेरे, ये बलात्कारी, ये दरिंदे वरिंदे सब…मैंने बनाएँ हैं ।
तुम्हारे हर कृत्य को विभत्स करने का बीड़ा मैंने उठाया है ।।
मस्जिदों की ऊँची अजान अब कौन सुनता है ?
ज़ुबान ख़ंजर कर दी मैंने, दिलों से राखियाँ अब कौन बाँधता है ?
क्या कहा तुम भगवान हो?…रहने दो ।
तुम तो अब कोर्ट कचहरी करो, तुम्हारी हुकूमत अब कौन मानता है ?
सदियाँ लगा दी तुमने, इंसान को इंसान बनाए में ।
जिसे जब चाहा, उसे शैतान मैंने बनाया है ।
तुम हरे हर कृत्य को वभत्स करने का बीड़ा मैंने उठात्या है ।।
बसंती पथ विभत्स पड़ा है
व्याकुल मन मलँग, जीवन मध्य समर में खड़ा है ।
जीवन लघु और संघर्ष बड़ा है ।।
प्रेम की लालसा, प्राप्ति की अभिलाषा।
मुक्ति की कामना, सत्य से सामना ।
काल का शिशिर शेष है बसंती पथ विभत्स पड़ा है ।।
रौंद कर रूप तेरा, कर अस्त्र विहीन तुझे ।
अंग अंग विषाक्त किया ।
शीश कहीं विक्छिपत तो, धड़ कहीं रक्तरंजित पड़ा है ।
काल का शिशिर सेश है बसंती पथ विभत्स पड़ा है ।।
सृष्टि तुम, सृजन तुम,
व्याकुल मन की व्यथा तुम ।
अमिट हूँ मैं और नश्वर हो तुम ।
मन मंदिर के द्वार खोलो, इसमें बसा हूँ मैं, और बसे हो तुम ।।
करुण हो तुम और रौद्र भी तुम,
श्रींगार तुम, अहंकार तुम ,
भयंकर और विभत्स भी तुम,
मत हो इतने विवश तुम,
पढ़ अग्निपत्र करो शपथ तुम,
रहे शांत धारा करो प्रेम का संचार तुम ।
राजा तुम, प्रजा तुम, करता तुम, कर्म तुम ।
सृष्टि तुम, सृजन तुम,
मन मंदिर के द्वार खोलो इसमें बसा हूँ मैं, इसमें बसे हो तुम।।
Very well summarised as usual.You were like a vetrran rather than a newbie onstage.Sorry for the bruise you suffered but it left deep mark in our hearts &conscience
Thanks a lot, Ma’am. That’s the quality of an encourager and motivator like you…to make newbies feel like veterans. Thanks again
Sir, your writing has amazed me ,so wonderfully written ..touched the heart
Thank you so much
Stepping outside your comfort zone….into the big bad scary world of Vibhats Ras. James Gordon’s priceless words reverberated in my ears ” It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t…….. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” This trying -something -new change will surely work wonders for you .
Kudos to you on your maiden power-packed performance!!!!!!
Conceptualising and writing anything for this most veired ras that exists, was a difficult task and the entire team did their best to put up a show…it gave many of us, sleepless nights.
I’ll quote myself which said while recording for this show…
एक सवाल जो ज़हन में था पर उस रोज़ पूंछ नहीं पाया
उसे पूछना था, भगवान से..
तूने ये वीभत्स रस क्यों बनाया?
Dr Mala Sharma
Your much awaited write up on Euphoria Infinite couldn’t recieve an immediate response from my side, because first of all I was outwitted by your vocab and style of writing ( though not for the first time), and secondly (of course ) some words needed a thorough search in the pages of ‘The Oxford English Dictionary’ .Your writings reveal your highly sensitive, inquisitive and creative nature with a tendency for silent drift into the subtle( certainly the attribute of the genius and the blessed).
As I go through the pledge at the conclusion, I am strongly reminded of the Swaroop of the Supreme power i. e. being virtuous and devoid of all virtue simultaneously; also left with an echo- कलानिधान बंधुरः, shriyam जगद्धुरांधराह!(Shiva Tandav Strota)
So, keep writing and keep posting food for thought for the hungry ones!
Hats off to you Dr Shishir!
Let me start with this candid confession that it took me a while to respond back not only because I was taken in awe by your erdite and highly knowledgeable comment but also because I was searching, in vain of course, for the two references you have made i.e. Kalanidhan and Shiv Tandav. My inquisitive mind as you put it, has not been sensitive enough, fortunate enough to have been pulled towards them till date so kindly elaborate. A winter’s reward lies in the appreciation by an equally sensitive and aware reader so thank you for that.