The "JANTAR" story...
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, 2009.
It was 1:30 at night and after a tiring KHEL session, I was sitting with Sambit at the Faculty lounge talking about a play which my friends in my graduation college (MBICEM) had performed. I had written and titled it 'YANTRA', but I was sad that I could not see it. Nishtha Paliwal had directed it with some friends and I was sure that it would have been nice, but I always wanted to see my upcoming 'PRODUCT' live.
That silent spring night, Sambit, like a good listener asked me what was the play about. So, I narrated the whole idea of the play and he liked it and the first reaction he gave was that as it was a rural story, and it should be called 'YANTAR', and not yantra, which was a pure form of the Sanskrit word. I liked it and with those thoughts we entered the NID NIGHT-MESS and had chai.
With time, I came up with more plays and films and other assignments and as I moved ahead, the play was shelved but I knew that like most of my interesting projects, it had to come back sometime, but I did not know when. As I got busy with other projects and cities, the play continued to be in my 'SHELF'.
As time went on, my career took a turn and so did my life and I happily traveled the way it took me to.
Meanwhile, I did not know that my health was also changing, that too without my knowledge. It was falling down and I thought otherwise. But I was happy to have a collection of ideas in my bag which I was always proud of, and they kept me going.
As I took time to wrap up my shelved ideas and my big fight with my disease (BRAIN HEMORRHAGE) continued, I realized that I had this play which was not worked upon. It attracted attention which it needed.
Times had changed since I wrote the first draft of 'Yantra'. I, as a person, had also changed. And a new thing which had entered was the issue of 'Hyderabadi' or 'Dakhani Urdu'.
So, I wrote and in the process, 'YANTRA' changed to 'JANTAR'.
So, after lots of issues of casting and re-writing the original, we recently performed at Akshara Theatre, New Delhi. Here is a glimpse of the evening we had...