Nataka, A Chaitra in itself!


True vigor, sacrifices, Thought process, Hardwork, bringing a team together; Theatre is so much more than acting, Theatre is bringing another parallel universe on stage! for some strange reason every time Theatre happens anywhere in the world, Passions soars high! Each show becomes a part of ones life and every actor becomes a family member. Ask anyone the reason behind the passion? the reply is always an automatic smile, a hope and a satisfaction of showing something extremely good to always a limited set of audience.

Every region has their own unique specialty in bringing a best out of Theatre, Every region has its flair and every country where Theatre happens always has something unique to offer but ‘The desire to do stage’ always remains the same and one such desire is Nataka Chaitra! Away from home people here have created a world which resonated so much of home!

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‘Theatre has no barrier’, A lesson I learnt in my 18 days of work at Nataka Chaitra, there is nothing that cannot be achieved and there is always a way only if you want to create one, Pursuing dreams of doing Theatre amidst the most hectic schedules with absolutely no backbone of society support in a land which is just known to outsource is a hard fact to digest. Hard is just a metaphor, a word in the dictionary which has been comfortably discarded here!  Running miles, Eating Together, Discovering each other through a journey of rehearsing a play to make those characters alive on stage by sacrificing a character within you marked my days, spent here. The roots of Theatre goes back to fact that the art form was meant to bring people together to build a better and bigger community and I believe any Theatre work which bridges people together is successful in its efforts, staging a show is just a small nuance of theatre, what matters is the journey to that show! I remember the very first day I stepped into the rehearsal hall of Magadi Days to see the excitement roaring among the people, their goal was set and was largely seen in their eyes, a show which people should remember, a show which should justify my travel to California, more importantly show which makes people believe in Theatre.

Rehearsals are always the place where you explore yourself! I remember the instance where one of the actor asked me on the second day “What is getting into character?” my brain seized to answer at that point of time but the question kept on pestering me all through the night! The next day the same actor, post the rehearsals came up to me and asked me “If he was in Character throughout?” I sprang onto the floor dragged him to the side and replied him “Your perseverance to make yourself believe that you are that written character is getting into character” he smiled at me, I smiled back, perhaps we both knew that we had found our own answers! That day I found a new meaning to my own perception on Theatre! Working with team of Nataka Chaitra made me realize that the process of rehearsal is a way to find answers to your own questions.

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Feb 8th, Wednesday 4 days prior to the show I got up to sense a feeling of joy, I came down to find the founders ready to lead a team of production, call it the most thankless, selfless job of Theatre, With a blink of eye there were sea of people at the auditorium trying to help each other, support each other and pat each other! I remember the day of tech rehearsals at the back stage, as the actors were running across to get things done one final time, one of the actor slipped only to be held from falling by another person next to him! the actor quickly got his balance smiled at the person and thanked him, the person shrugged his shoulders and replied “Its just my duty!” the phrase just echoed in my ears for next 3 days to come, “Duty” Who assigned it? Who is monitoring it? Who is managing it? Who is paying for it? There can be several questions and frankly no one is bothered about the answers, its just their “Duty”.

Saturday, the first day of the shows were wrapped, the Director and Co-Founders started thanking every person who helped them on stage, I was at the side wing enjoying the sense of satisfaction and smile on each and every one’s face, as the list went on some of them did not even step on stage! their eyes just reflected a humble answer “We just did our job!” A job that was never created may be, A job that never paid may be, A job that never had any appraisals for sure, A job that just gave them happiness and satisfaction.

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Today As I sit down to write my memoir on the days I spent in California, my hands freezes on every ‘Past tense’ with a hope that if it can be turned down to ‘Present tense’, Sitting in the light room one of the American Technician was laughing at an actor’s performance, he could not understand the language nor the meaning, I saw him enjoying; I asked him “Did you understand?” he replied “Yes! I understand his expression”

I leaned at the console with a satisfaction and looked at the stage as the actors took their final bow! That was the moment I realized that

“Nataka is a Chaitra in itself..”

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I walked out of the stage on Sunday at the end of all the shows with a very few words, I knew my blog was waiting for me! The Uhauls, the sweat, the drills, the nails, the coffee, the bajjis, the cold, the rain, the tension, the struggle, the dinners, the discussions and so on.. It was worth it! A Dream come true, A story of my life that I wished not to write a climax..

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Thank you Ashok, Sharmila, Archana, Kiran, Sowjanya, Vikram, The lovely actors of Magadi days, the amazing actors of Maledanda, The volunteers of NC, The front lobby volunteers, Sreenath Kalahasti, Ravi Shekar for superb photography, The Back stage fighters, The ticketing vounteers and lastly the audience; Together you all scripted a new chapter in my life, A chapter which will be book marked by me for ever…

Abhishek Iyengar

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