It also happens to be the month of Ramzan, which is a month of self-restraint, self-reflection and charity. It would serve both occasions well if we could just retreat into ourselves for a minute or two everyday this month and think about what we want, what we say and do, and what we wish we could do - for our own lives and for our country.
Some people clearly have been doing all of the above and the result is Project S.T.R.I.P. It is one of the few productions I've watched recently that is totally plugged into our times and the souls of the principal actors in situations of conflict in modern India. Often, we read about or watch events unfolding that leave us feeling stunned, or helpless, or both. And when this happens too often, it seems as if there is no longer any language or creative tools left to use against ourselves. But this project does precisely that - looks around itself with empathy, honesty and humour and then just tells an engaging story.
I wish it were on somewhere on Independence Day, but I think it will be staged again next weekend. Do watch it if you get a chance.
On another note, I got the following message on email. I trust you all will do what you can:
"I was barely nine when my dear father committed suicide. My mother has worked really hard to send my brother, sister & me to school. She is still working hard to make our two ends meet... all she wants is ONE OLD MAGAZINE from you all, so she can make paper envelopes to earn & save environment... dear uncles & aunties, please-please do send us one old magazine every month to support us, so that we can go to better schools and live our lives with dignity and less suffering. My mother and other widow mothers like her will not hesitate to work hard to earn for us while saving the environment for the nation... I will be waiting with great expectations dear uncles & aunties for ONE OLD MAGAZINE from each one of you every month... If each one of you send one, it will become so many for my mother and other widow mothers to work hard to earn some amount every month... A very BIG THANK YOU from my brother, sister, my mother and me..."
SHEETAL RAMJI BARDE
Support 4 suicide farmers families
House No: 200
Opp: Dr. Harne's Hospital