I was speechless, excited, enthralled and spellbound on seeing puppets come to life in front of my eyes at the opening show of the Ishara International Puppet festival “Bollywood Brandwagon”. Truly a mesmerizing experience that cannot be described in words, can only be felt and understood. Staged at Stein Auditorium at IHC on 27th January, 2010, the show was attended by who’s who of the puppet family.
As is percieved by aam junta...puppetry is all about traditional rajasthani string puppet form....the picture of a ghaghra clad putli with stings attached to it comes to mind as one utters the word puppet. "Bollywood Brandwagon" was absolutely nothing about what is mentioned above. It had everything that a typical masala bollywood movie contains...swagrvasi maa, rahees pitaji, do bhai (one a brat and other an ideal son),sundar susheel ladki (suit clad bhartiya naari), villain and a super sexy steaming hot middle-aged vamp (who will make you remember prem chopra, ajit, pran, Helen.... mmmmm.....don't remember names!!.. i know you understood what m saying).
Story revolved around bollywood's favourite mantra - LOVE... Love triangle to be precise... between?...brothers and a girl..who else? A film about love and family, revenge and sacrifice...which clicks with every Indian (if you sacrifice and adjust... you are considered to be a good member of the family.... beta uske jaisa bano..kuch seekho usse.. tagline given to you by the society).
Apart from the plot, what mesmerimised me the most was the PERFORMANCE... while watching show, sitting on the comfortable seat of dark auditorium.. was thinking how freaky the practice sessions would have been, the kind and amount of hard work that goes in making and manipulating puppets is super difficult and tiring. While manipulating (each puppet was manipulated by 2 puppeteers)... they were acting ..there was music..original songs...sound effects...lighting..all done so nicely that i could not move my eyes from the screen...technical and crazy!... APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE .. puppeeters and the team!
After the show ended, me and my 3 Idiots went upto meet 'sir' (one of the puppeters who asked us to come and watch the show,,,, first professional puppet show of our lives ... he is also credited with making us learn making and manipulating puppets.... to which most of us terribly failed/... but yeah.. learned to appreciate the ancient art and respect for those who are taking it forward)...My first words were "Thanku sir...for calling us here" to which he modestly replied "Thanks to you guys for coming"... sign of a true performer! One of my idiots asked "how do you mainpulate the puppets?" ... i interupted "What are these puppets called?"... he smiled and informed "it's a mix of Baraku and string puppet form" ...hmmmmm.....( i think i understood but i know i have no clue how difficult it is nor do my idiots...)
After a brief thank you session... we made our way to home.. it was 8 pm..evening time but in delhi it is crime time..agrhhh....we smart metro girls do not pay attention to all this as everyone thinks 'aisa humare saath nahi ho sakta' but somewhere in our hearts we all are AFRAID and SCARED...."All good girls should reach home before it gets dark".....my dadi used to say me when i used to get late..these words were coming to my mind when i was siting in an auto to go to Central Secratariat metro station with two others who i know were thinking the same (of explanations, descriptions and details of where were we? what we did? was the performance compulsory? how many people were there in the audi? etc etc etc)....
My phone rang..as expected from mom...who else will call me?.. MOM -"beta kahan hai?.. ME -"auto mei hu....metro station ja rahe hain". ..MOM - "kaun kaun hai tere saath"...ME -"gitika aur apoorva"...MOM- "achaa dhyaan se aana.. station pahunch ke fone kar dena... rajiv chowk pe aur rajori pe fone kardio... ok bye!"
Are all moms same or is it mine? God knows.. but whatever it is my family and friends are best people in the world...as was the perfromance...will be remembered forever... i vow - will make my kids watch puppet shows and appreciate the art... if they choose it as a profession...go ahead from my side....Its live and so much fun! Looking forward for the open air performances in february...hope they too will be splendid and beautiful.