The Voice Bhootha

'.....a bhootha has stolen the children's voices and taken them away in a bag'

Look, if nothing else, voice is what we have, as surely as opinion, possibility and desire. Voice is also what we can damned well choose to exercise or not. Our voice, that which we speak with, sing with, cry with, or...choke, is singular, for sure the only voice of its sort ever to be heard over aeons.  RESPECT may belong to Aretha, but ain't nobody gonna sing it like YOU. It figures, therefore, that voice, can be passive or active.

Children, largely, have active voices screaming to be heard, understood, loved, looked after. It takes an enormous amount of energy and social conniving to turn an active voice passive. But enough well-intentioned advice to shut up, pipe down and keep their opinions to themselves, in mitigating circumstances, can render even a child silent. We're hugely self-involved, us adults. Like KVK Murthy says...

Vanitas Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas

26th January 2013
The Theatre Lab kids are working with The Concerned for Working Children to shoot an episode for a a year-long program they are producing on Rights of the Child. Urban, middle class kids, my Theatre Lab, they're brought in all the wrong costumes. Anything Indian has now been turned into 'ethnic wear' so the langas and pyjamas that were 'normal wear' of yore have been turned into things of bling. 'No, no....' says Ashwathy the director as the Shiny and Glittery emerge from plastic bags. What happened to old faded cottons and mulmuls, I wonder, till Sharanya, a student at The Valley School, and thus well versed in soft and well work khadi, brings out some old kurtas. 'Oh...." mouths Sonakshi, slowly getting it.

Ashwathy making notes
Selecting costumes
Khadi kurtas always work
Santosh and Hemu setting up shots
They're staying at the farm from Feb 1st-3rd for the shoot. 

31st January 2013
Yesterday Hemu took the army-like provisions across - rice, dhal, sugar, oil, pasta. Enough for 10 children and 8 adults. He also went to the Bachanhatti and Motaganahalli panchayats to get permission to shoot around there. A film shot by young adults and featuring children. The story is called 'Swarabhootha' and was scripted by Nandana. It tells of a bhootha who has stolen the voices of children and how they go, led by a boy called Nagaraj (much like our own Nagaraj who built the cottages at Infinite Souls) to retrieve their voices from the bhootha's gunny sack. 

Nikhil Bharadwaj, who played Ganesha in our play - The Wedding Party - has joined the gang and will be playing a police constable. He will come straight to the farm after playing Inspector Bertozzo in Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist at Chowdiah for the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival. Love joining those dots...

In the spirit of what will go down this weekend, learn more about The Concerned for Working Children who were just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize -


And here's an interesting article about the longevity or lack, thereof, of instamatic pics - 


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