Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where Dreams are Born

“I’ll teach you how to jump on the wind’s back- and if there are more winds than one they toss you about in the sky- they fling you miles and miles- but you always fall soft into another wind- and sometimes you go crashing through the tops of trees, and scaring the owls, and if you meet a boy’s kite in the air you shove your foot through it.
The stars are giving a party tonight. Oh Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me…”
“Oh, please teach us to fly!!!”
“You just think happy thoughts, and they lift you in the air”
            It was a play clearly meant for children, for it is they who believe…that anything and everything is possible, they who believe that “dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough”. Growing up is the reality of life, where one loses faith and trust in magic and guardian fairies, where we are so armed with certainty, and yet feel only lost in life’s infinite maze? We are caught in a prison within our own minds, believing we have lost the ability to believe. And that I believe was really the message J.M. Barrie was trying to leave beneath all the fantasies and magic in the air.
Yes, the set really looked like this
Peter Pan is a well known story, however the story has seldom been told as per Barrie’s most original script where the idea of an obstinately young boy and Neverland was born. More than 50 prose versions and several film versions have all brought different meanings to Peter Pan, and the concept behind the boy who never grew up. However, this play I watched was straight from Barrie’s diary and his original notes and dialogues. This play had a narrator who walks amidst frozen scenes and talks about the bigger picture behind the action and the complexities of thoughts lurking inside the characters. The idea behind the narrator evolved from the necessity to include Barrie’s notes in the margins of his work.
            The sets and costumes were outstanding…simple, elegant and outrageous. Every actor right from the most insignificant pirate to the silliest “lost boy”, every “animal” from Nana the dog(nanny) to Starky, the crocodile were perfectly adorable. I could find no complaints there. I loved the part when there was a kid flying 5 feet over my head and the clouds were all around me.(This was due to the fact that I had scooted into an empty gold circle seat once the play had started)The most praise-worthy aspect of the play however was the script. The dialogues were heartfelt, cute, thought provoking, and above all very witty. I have always been a fan of harmless sarcastic humor, and this play had plenty of it. Some wit I only understood a few seconds too late, but appreciated them more for that very reason. I wished I could have recorded the dialogues alone just to hear some of them again. Well, but I do not think I would do so, even if I could.
            My one complaint against this play was that it was too long. Neverland even with all its pirates, mermaids, lost boys, and Starky was getting a bit too much to humor as we were getting close to the two and a half hour mark. But, it might also be due to the fact that I had lost the ability to believe. I was one of the few who un-sportingly did not clap when Peter cries to the “people out there” to clap if they believed in fairies, for only then would the life of tinker, his fairy be revived. It mattered not…the spirit was felt.
“ I am youth, I’m joy, I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The constant in a Changing Equation

I search hungrily for every single news item I can find in every newspaper I can think of. The contents are all the same, the adulations similar, and yet each one only heightens a vague sense of euphoria.
The media does after all give us little to rejoice for these days. They revel in bad news, blow up bad news to make them terrible news, splatter papers with scandals, and in the midst of all this, wafts a familiar breath of ever-fresh air.
I am not by any means undermining our CWG victories or the rare Olympic medal, but after all, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has been the one constant in a country that has undergone unstoppable transformation in 21 years, and in a game that sees constant change. I have never known cricket without him and do not want to think of it without him. The sight of this man at the crease keeps the flame of hope alive. The knowledge that while he remains standing, not all is still lost… admiration and love for the man whose game remains as fresh and youthful as it ever did, are but few reasons why he is special to very cricket lover.
He is a source of inspiration not simply because of the way he plays the game, but the reason he plays so well, and the manner in which he has lived his life.
Immeasurable success, admiration and wealth seem not to be enough to make him arrogant or indifferent. Hearing him talk, it seems this is true because none of these coveted pleasures mean as much to him as his love for the game and his ever growing desire for improvement. This level of passion is by no means easy to attain. When one has played the game every day for 35 years, has been over-worked for over 20 years, has sustained repeated injuries to the body, has borne harsh unfair criticism in-spite of having given nothing but his best, and has borne valiantly the hopes and expectations of a billion people every time he has walked to the crease…here is a true warrior, still undamaged in spirit.
A champion of the game, a champion of the people, a good hearted honest and straight forward man…how can one not respect this young man?