It had been a year since our group Kamaan had performed a 'Stage' play or a proscenium form of theatre. We had been doing a lot of street plays covering a major part of North India travelling and exploring area we would go to.
As Kamaan (my theatre troupe) went on performing, I went on recovering from my long-let's-forget-it-illness.
And he were all set, all fresh to begin a new play. In the time I spent, my liking for writing turned to sheer love for it or may be more.
This is the time when my 15 minute play 'Dustbin' slowly and gradually turned into a one and half hour play.
I was discharged from the hospital. Though I was loaded with all the terrible/terrific (!) pills, but I was extremely happy to be back on the stage I was not in touch with.
I was happy to be back with Kamaan.
I started doing what I love the most. I started directing the play.
This is a process which gives me immense pleasure. The thrill you get when you see characters in action...Characters which I had created on my hospital bed were there right in front of me, waiting for my instructions. I was loving every bit of the whole process of debating and creating characters with my actors.
I was loving the stupid jokes we were coming up with and laughing at our own stupidity, in a way more serious than anything.
We took the risk of getting the biggest hall we had seen booked for the show. I just wanted to throw everything that was inside me out on that stage.
So in three months and with a new cast, we could see how 'Dustbin' had happily changed into 'KACHRA'.
We were in the Green room of the Kamani auditorium, which is believed to be one of the biggest in India for a live theatre performance. What gave me goosebumps was the fact that just a month before us, Om Puri had performed on it and I was standing on the stage getting the lights set as I wanted for the play.
What gave me happiness was the fact that six months ago...
I could not even stand up straight after sleeping for a while and walk to the loo.
There speculations whether I would be normal ever again.
There were speculations whether I would remember things.
There were speculations whether I would LIVE.
I saw my parents and Tushar go through which I would like to forget.
And here I was, getting the lights fixed for a play I had written and directed. God tests you and when you pass it with a smile, he gives you a gift. May be this was my gift... of waiting for the audience to enter the auditorium and be seated and wait for the play to begin.
I was getting the lights fixed for MY play.
It was a huge auditorium. We had performed in a 100 seat auditorium. We had done a play in a 200 seat audience. But this auditorium of 650 seats.
More than thrice the size of our last stage performance.
We stood in a huddle. I hugged every actor before leaving the green room. I could literally feel all the heart beats in every hug...tensed heart beats... Nervous heartbeats... relieved heartbeats... but to my surprise ...they were happy heart beats.
My own heart beats.
We did a 'Ho-Kamaan' round about and I left for the director's console to see the light and sound arrangement. I could not see the audience as it was all dark. I welcomed everyone with the mic in my hand and I heard the applause.
And the next one and a half hours were pure meditation. I was so lost in the play that I loved my work. They say one should not fall in love with one's own work of art as it leaves no scope of improvement. But I was in love with the effort with which people years younger than me took charge of the stage and they created magic on stage.
Now when I look back I have loads of things I can tell you hear which we could have been better at and I am working on the next project rectifying my direction mistakes.
But what was a miracle was the applause I heard when I took a bow and did a formal 'Namaste'.
We have areas where I have to improve, where we need to work on, but as the curtains went down, I felt that I was back on feet, all fit and fine.
Kamaan has started working on it's next show... but I guess I still can't forget the images which I can never describe in words.