Updates- clips to the play-
Go watch it if it’s not too late. It is every dollar- paisa wasool.
I have never been much of a play person. Or maybe I never moved in the right play circles. But curiosity, Friday evening, and my friend acting here made me decide to go to the play.
Set in the San Francisco bay area in Dec. 2004-Jan.2005, this comic satire beautifully portrays the nuances of human emotions like rivalry, competitiveness, the need to feel important, and the urge to outsmart others. Dr.Sunil Ahuja is the president of the Indian Association who has been betrayed by Panjawani, the vice-president, who starts his own parallel desi group called the Indian Council and many members of the IA flock to IC, much to the dismay of Dr.Ahuja. Wanting to do better than the Republic Day Parade organized by the IC (rumored to have invited Amitabh Bachchan as the celebrity of the event), IA decides to organize a fund raising concert for the Tsunami victims (remember, it is set in Dec., 2004).
Ahuja leaves no stone unturned to make the concert more successful than the republic day parade. Jindal, his right hand and another surviving member of the IA, tries to invite every celebrity from Lata Mangeshkar to Sonu Nigam. Unfortunately, this far exceeds their budget. They think of bringing some lesser known singer, one of the winners of Sa Re Ga Ma at a much cheaper rate. However at the end, they make it into a local talent show with their own children performing (and his daughter Pinky winning the first prize in Piano as well). A very ambitious plan to actually bring a tsunami survivor on stage actually ends up in Sushma ji, another surviving member of the IA, giving a condolence speech. She is portrayed as the survivor who has suffered a deep trauma because 40 years ago, they had South Indian neighbors in Delhi and though she has no contacts with them, she assumes that the neighbors are dead or are victims of the tsunami. She thus deeply mourns the loss of the neighbors.
Oh, by the way, they take quite a while to argue over the name of the concert till they change it from Tsunami Hungama (hungama?) to Tsunami 2005. Eh, why not Tsunami Bumper Dhamaka then?
I loved the little touches here and there, like how Indu (Dr.Ahuja’swife) runs a women’s organization called Patita (alleged by Dr.Ahuja to consist of husband-hater women), the way his elder daughter Aarti from Stanford brings out a calendar of nude men and women with her friends to raise money for the victims, and how the pundit says that no one died in the tsunami because what we perceive as death is merely the soul changing bodies just like the body changes clothes (interesting !). When the newspaper reporter arrives, everyone forgets the cause and all are in their own worlds trying to gain publicity with their stories and wanting to be in the limelight of the group picture.
Panjawani finally arrives at the end, coaxing Dr.Ahuja to jointly form the Association of Indian Council (AIC) and together they pledge over whiskey that they will organize a Tsunami-concert every year, like Tsunami 2006, Tsunami 2007.
But will there be a tsunami next year?, Dr.Ahuja asks with whatever wisdom he has.
Arre tsunami nahin to kya hua, India mein har saal kuch na kuch to hota hi rehta hai. Based on that, we shall make the concert a huge success every year.
And thus they join hands once again. Who cares about raising money for the tsunami victims? It is the position of the president and all the publicity that comes along with it that drove these two men.
Beer before whisky? Very risky.
Whisky before beer? No fear.
I loved these lines of the play. Along with many more.
I know it wouldn’t make much sense unless you have seen it. But in case you get a chance, GO WATCH IT !!!
Great job everyone !!! And yeah, non-Seattleites, just watch out for the link posted here if the play comes up on youtube :).