Mid-September, I attended a performance of Raavan Aaya, directed by Neel Sengupta and performed by the Aagaz Theatre Trust at Downstairs S47, in Panchsheel Park.
Raavan Aaya is socio-political eye-opener. The Nizamuddin based troupe has put together a power packed performance shedding light on the actions of an administration towards a foe. With India and Pakistan teetering on the edge of another war, this play is a must watch.
The almost comical opening scene shows Ayodhya’s King in Exile, Ram, and his court thrown into a panic as Ram is startled awake by visions of Raavan approaching. Speculation ensues as to what will happen when the terrible King of Lanka arrives with his army. Soon enough, a messenger rushes in, and fearfully announces that Raavan is indeed approaching. Ram and his ministers control the now terror stricken crowd and send the General of the Vaanar Sena into battle, with Ram’s brother Laxman following suit with the express permission of his King.
The comedy is soon forgotten as the play takes a turn to showing the reality of internal politics in the climate of war. It emphasizes on the various public mindsets and the administrations methods to control them, under the table dealings with outside parties, to list a few. The highlight however comes from the fact that Raavan is never actually seen during the play, but in a Macbeth like scene, the Monkey General describes the battle using Ram to play the role of Raavan. What happens there, is best experienced by watching the play at its next performance.
For ‘Not Just green’, we spent a while exploring bio-technology as an element of our artwork.
This involved a trip to G.K.V.K.’s Department of Horticulture, where Dr. Sathyanarayana showed us around his Tissue Culture Laboratory. In fact, the garden outside his laboratory building also contains several sculptures based on Nature and Technology
…as we sat in the grass discussing what we had learnt about Plant Tissue Culture that day, someone spotted this little brown frog hopping around.
During a Botanical Art project for the course, Not just Green, led by Swedish artist Leslie Johnson, six of us students visited Auroville for research and inspiration.
We visited the Auroville Botanical Sanctuary, looking at their landscape art, like the pond at their entrane, a tall hedge maze and a large variety of tropical plants and trees., and sampled food at the famous Auroville Bakery.
These Spirals are used to develop the reels used in analog photography.
In a dark room, the reels are put into these spirals which are then put into black boxes. All this is done in near to absolute darkness to protect the film from getting damaged by light.
The developing chemicals, stoppers and fixers are poured into this box. After developing, while the negatives are drying, the equipment is put into wash. Thence came this photograph.