(Here's the Chronicle Newsletter article in its unabridged form. Another related article, 'Back Flash - A Theatre Recount' is a few posts below this one. )
Once upon a time, there was a…uhmm…err…wait, this is not how this story should start. This story has no ‘once upon a time’, because this is a story in making.
The story, like all good stories, starts in a picturesque location (Banaras Hindu University, that is), moves on to some more picturesque locations inside the University (G-11, BBC, Swatantrata Bhavan, VT Vishraamshaala, Rampur Lawns, and DG Corner too), involves some of the craziest yet sensitive artistic talent to stage one act after another of riveting drama, and one fine day, the day that comes after 4 years of roller-coaster ride, seems to be close to its ending. New characters, waiting on the sidelines, raise their hands in anticipation of taking the centrestage, and old-characters, having toiled for 4-years, raise their hands in anticipation of catching some last fire flies of this glittering arena.
But then, the beauty of the story is – it never ends. It always seems like ‘about to’, but it never does. And in this age of One-click Pizza and 2-click Air-tickets (second click is for the return journey!), it never will.
So much for the introduction, welcome to the real thing! The online version of IT-BHU Theatre Community (http://groups.yahoo.com/group
Over the span of last 2 years, the group has had Theatre stories from Varanasi to Delhi to Mumbai to LA to Chile, and then some more. Theatre and book reviews, performance uploads, IT-BHU Theatre news, fund raising for Theatre events at IT-BHU (Abhivyakti – The Theatre Festival has been a trendsetter of sorts with 3 big budget and highly appreciated plays staged in last 2 years) , and ‘personal milestones’ announcement of the members are some of the activities the group has been a part of.
But then, like every layered human-drama, the biggest advantages of the group are the ones which are toughest to describe. For most of the alumni on the group, it’s a feeling of being ‘born-again’, or an ‘after-life’, the sense that all is not over. The interaction is still there, the connection is not lost, and in fact, it’s being strengthened because of the great medium internet is. So, the batch of 2007 still knows something about the kind of theatre the batch of 2002 did, and vice versa. In a way, the G-11 stage has suddenly got boundary less, a virtual, worldwide extension has been granted and the only ticket inside is your will and love for theatre.
The community has (only) 29 members (alas!) and the small number could be owed to the fact that internet in hostels is a recent development and hence, this academic year should see the numbers soar, pardon the pun, dramatically. But yes, 29 Active members do count for a lot and the role played by the group in re-bridging the emotional gap can not be undermined.