Long Walk Home

Quasar Thakore Padamsee,nominated for his first Mahindra theatre awards,tackles the Tibetan issue in his play So Many Socks.

Written by Dipanita Nath | Published:March 6, 2013 11:53 pm

Quasar Thakore Padamsee,nominated for his first Mahindra theatre awards,tackles the Tibetan issue in his play So Many Socks.

So Many Socks has been nominated in eight categories of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META). To be staged today,the play deals with a Tibetan family’s search for an identity amid a gnawing sense of homelessness. Director Quasar Thakore Padamsee adds to the layers by having the audience sit on the stage around a circle made of socks and other odds and ends

Play from a poem

Two years ago,Padamsee re-read Tibetan poet-activist Tenzin Tsundue’s book Kora and began thinking. “It was an interesting starting point for a play,” says the director. Members of Padamsee’s group,Q Theatre Productions spent a week exploring Tibetan themes,but it was only when playwright Annie Zaidi (nominated for Best Original Script) created a script that So Many Socks was truly born. “The play does not contain a recitation of Tsundue’s poems. We deal with themes such as rootlessness,homelessness and living with the question of what one’s own homeland is like,” says Padamsee.

Circle of Life

In Tibetan culture,the circle is an important motif — in temples,one moves from left to right,and during cultural performances in olden days,the audience sat in circles on the hillside. “As we began working on the play,the circle kept coming up. The action unfolds within a circle,with the audience seated around,” says Padamsee.

Family in a flux

The hour-and-a-half-long play revolves around three members of a family — the grandmother,mother and son — who deal with their “refugeeness” in different ways. Each character has a concept of home that’s different from reality and the tension is eating into their relationships with one another. “They find themselves in different corners of the same circle,” says Padamsee. He visited Dharmashala and was taken aback to see rows of houses that existed in “a permanent sense of temporariness,as if the residents were merely biding their time before returning home.”

Moves and movements

“I have two left feet and no sense of rhythm but we decided that this play should be a movement piece,” says Padamsee. This is where Amey Mehta (nominated for Best Choreographer) stepped in and created a show based on movements. “The movements are not Tibetan just as the play is not literally adapted from Tibetan culture. It is more psychological and derivative,” says Padamsee.

The play will be staged at Kamani today. Contact: http://www.buzzintown.com

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