Bangalore Love Story Diaries:# 3

Lekha Naidu

A Love Story is like
a large sheet of cellophane wrapping ones being. Mummifying a part of you
forever... keeping chips of heart together... One can’t tell how tightly
wrapped you are. It’s transparent, you see...

Mine is tinged with a bit of green, grey and red... it is tinged with a bit
of Bangalore.

I find most people share this tinged cellophane with me...

This is what binds the BLS team together... a ream of cellophane stories
running into each other. Overlapping. Superimposed. Becoming one.

After two weekends at the farm, I see us owning each other’s stories. We
don’t necessarily have to have shared it but we know that everyone is here
for the same exact reason you are here; to tell a story of Love, to give off

The second workshop saw people joining us anew, who couldn’t make it the
first week. The ease with which they melded in with the “actors’ workshop”
veterans was amazing. Jyo and Bree burst into the scene with such elegance
and tenderness it made one weep. Mr.Handsome quietly brings an innocent
honesty that makes one want to tug at his cheeks like one would do to a

One can tell we are all here with the right kind of heart. The same kind of
heart. We are going to be a great team.

“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of its trouble, attempts what is above
its strength, pleads no excuse for impossibility, for it thinks all things
are lawful for itself and all things are possible.”- Thomas Kemp.

Loads of Love,


Bangalore Love Story Diaries:# 2

Charithra Ballal

Amjad Prawej
You have a special chapter in your life with a special person. Happy, sad, funny and painful moments are still lingering in the form of memories. Years have passed and you get an opportunity to relive the experience all over again. Everything is exactly the same except that special one.
Our Bangalore Love Story workshop #2 was all about reconstructing those moments. In the course of reconstructing the events, I realise how at times the scene is so different from my memory. It is such a fascinating experience. A word, a look, a sigh or a touch, anything from my co-actor is capable of changing the entire scene. As the scenes are played, I am also forced to reflect on my past actions. Could things have been different?
How different? Why did I say a particular thing? Why did I do that? If similar events were to happen in my life now, would I react the same way I did years ago? Probably not or maybe yes. In all these years I have definitely changed. And so has my reasoning. This workshop is a great experience to compare and learn about my past self and my present being. Thanks a lot Kirtana, Kuki and Tom for this wonderful opportunity. 
By the way I now know for sure who plays my girl in the film. Thanks a lot Charitra for being so patient and supportive. And yes, the murder mystery still remains unsolved!!
Jyotsna B. Rao
I am preoccupied with the beauty of the work and space and the generosity of the entire team. Great to be on board with all of you. Thank you Kirtana, Tom, Cookie, Zui, Dogs, Food, Actors and the limitless sky :)
Thank you again
Ashvin Mathew
It all began with a film workshop with Tom Cowan where we wrote a script, shot it, edited and screened it in 2days. I felt i had learnt more things than i did in 2 years at Uni. After the workshop you suggested the idea of workshopping real love stories from Bangalore, create a script with the actors through Improv and then make the film, "bangalore lovestories".
I loved the energy we developed while working with cookie and the others on the Bald Soprano and with that came the trust that what ever we come up with at the end would be worth the time and energy.
We started the workshops last weekend with 4 stories and 8 actors. and we were given scenes and asked to play.
Strraight away the questions flew, How do i know her? whats my relationship with him? do i Like him? and How can i make this man real?
The answer to these questions were, "lets find out".
Over the period of 6 days, we have laughed, smiled, fallen in love, watched others in love, fall out of love, we were served imaginary coffee by 'suresh' who never got the orders right, we fought, we learnt, we took loans we can never pay back and at night we ate like Kings.
As for me, in the proicess of bringing Varghese Mathai to life, i realised its not just one thing that makes a character, He cant just be bad, for he loves love stories too. He lends money on a high interest and borders on asking for a pound of flesh in return and yet he would give away money to someone whose father was very ill. He would dream of a big empire and yet would drink coffee in the company of prostitutes and strangers looking for branded underwear. He would want the good life and yet he would sleep hungry. All this and more i learnt and when Tom asked me to savour the words that came out of Mathais mouth, it hit me. This man Mathai is also in love! he loves his journey, he loves his misery and he loves Bangalore, the city thats made him more than just his fathers son.
Irealised that when you leave your Inhibitions at the door and truly let go, then the sky is the limit and the world becomes your playground and whatever your character speaks the mountains will take chorus and most of all i learnt in these 6 days that ,talent in absence of inspiration more often than not will produce only mediocre art.
thank you for this opportunity, thank you for the love and thank you for believeing in me and most of all i thank, you, cookie and Tom for the inspiration.
Jyotsna B. Rao 
The 3 days spent at the farm and bringing stories together has been a good experience viewing and also rediscovering and revisiting episodes from my life.
Some thoughts that came to my mind during the workshop:
"Love travels beyond distance". 
"It does not affect you until it happens to you".
"When love leaves, everything leaves".
I was on a journey of self discovery and was weaving a story with the other 2 actors and It was easy to replay incidents from real life somehow and absolutely liked the way unexpected meanings emerged from the improvisations.
On a different note I state an observation, which is: Improvs make me less creative when repeated and it would help if actors involved in a particular scene could do an exercise of some sorts.
( theatre/ dance) to help find connections easily and find ourselves on the same boat.


BLS Diaries: Infinite Souls by Harris Backer

From WALDEN by Henry David Thoreau


    This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense,
and imbibes delight through every pore.  I go and come with a
strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself.  As I walk along the
stony shore of the pond in my shirt-sleeves, though it is cool as
well as cloudy and windy, and I see nothing special to attract me,
all the elements are unusually congenial to me.  The bullfrogs trump
to usher in the night, and the note of the whip-poor-will is borne
on the rippling wind from over the water.  

Rain on the Bottlebrush

Charitra by the pond

Sympathy with the
fluttering alder and poplar leaves almost takes away my breath; yet,
like the lake, my serenity is rippled but not ruffled.  These small
waves raised by the evening wind are as remote from storm as the
smooth reflecting surface.  

Ripples in the Sky

Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain-storms in
the spring or fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon
as well as the forenoon, soothed by their ceaseless roar and
pelting; when an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which
many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves. 

Pond Bioeme



I am no more lonely
than the loon in the pond that laughs so loud, or than Walden Pond
itself.  What company has that lonely lake, I pray?  And yet it has
not the blue devils, but the blue angels in it, in the azure tint of
its waters. 


Bangalore Love Story Diaries: #1

10 actors plus 3 of us (Tom, Konarak, Kirtana) ... all in pursuit of those good moments on film.
Friday morning, everyone heads out. As soon as we are settled we meet at the large rehearsal space to warm up and prepare. Some diary notes from the first BLS workshop.

Anmol Mothi
"Banglore love story. Workshop no:1. 'Realities, Illutions, thoughts, action, fun, imotions, laugh..... All come. Together... journey starts.."

Tom Cowan Workshop 30 - 2nd Fri - Sun
"One wonderful aspect of the first workshop was the location. That the actors were so relaxed and spontaneous was most encouraging and was helped by the farm/workshop set-up. So we all got off to a flying start and characters and stories are forming already. There are some superb improvisations to draw from. Today we'll review the video and see where we need to go with the movie.
So far so good."

Lekha Naidu
"Workshop 1: raining brilliance in improvs and one liners... Everyone's begun discovering... And Amjad is confused!"

Amjad Prawej
"The auditions are over. I have managed to get myself shortlisted to act in “Bangalore Love Stories”. I am happy. This is the first time ever I have been selected for being honest, sincere and true to myself. This is what I love the most about BLS. I get to be me. There is a slight problem though – seven years of theatre has turned me into a compulsive 'actor'; I can't help but act when on stage or in front of camera.
This is where the intervention was needed. And it came in the form of workshops at the most beautiful and amazing 'Infinite Souls'. The cast and crew of BLS were there last weekend discovering themselves and  interacting and creating 'moments' with other characters in the film (Honestly – Having blast all the way). Tom, Kirtana and Konark knew exactly what they wanted and seemed quite relaxed (I cant be sure though; they are good actors!). Some of us were a little confused at times (Honestly – I think it was only I) regarding the stories. At one point, I mistook one character as two different beings. The other was about someone's death(I am still confused about this one). The funniest one was not knowing who was going to be my girl, for sure. For quite some time I thought she was married to my friend(Now that could be a bollywood twist). 
Well, to keep it short, I did manage torediscover myself and  find some connections with other characters(Thanks to Aswin, Satish, Romal, Lekha, Divya, Moti, Zui and Vineet. You all rock!) The intervention is working fine too and I am learning not to act. Can't wait for the next workshop - I will probably know who dies(I hope its not me!) and finally have my girl, for sure ;)"
"It was an experience of a life time. Interesting. Had much to learn from the artists working with the film. Looking forward to the days where the film will evolve into a charming baby."

Laishram Romal M. Singh

"I was a bit worried about the what and how of the story, especially because the story was so close to my being, but then watching it wonderfully melt into so many other stories, equally important and equally Bangalorean, I breathed a sigh of relief.
It's often good, they say to let go of memories that mean so much and look at them from a new perspective and the first installment of my workshops with the team, only left me startled at my ability to disassociate and my willingness to share and make this love story, a love story of everyone's.
I look forward to the next few workshops, with eagerness that I cannot even begin to describe." 

Vineet M.Vincent
"I had a blast this time around!! THE FOOD!!! what can i say....muuuah!!

I was a little angry at first that you put me in a spot but slowly found it easier to deal with, i guess one must confront ones demons to overcome them, not saying that i have though.........yet at-least!! I used to love performing for children when I was with rafiki, but there is some kinda block right now and I'm finding it very difficult to overcome.
Looking forward to staying on the farm and learning more from you and kuki.
Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity."