One of my friend today called to ask me if I’m ready to do a short play for kids and prisoners out if Mumbai. After initial inquiry I said ‘ok’, and ending the conversation my friend said me with expression of relief in his voice, ‘Dhanyawad’ (thanks). It was shocking for me because we are friends, has been doing theatre in our group, and ‘thanks’ for saying ‘ok’ ?? I asked ‘why?’ And he replied ‘you are so suspicious, unpredictable, I can’t guess what I would get reply from your side’ I couldn’t stop my laugh and asked ‘why? Why are you saying this?’ And he told me ‘See, I said what I feel’ and after some formal talks we finished the conversation.
I’m very easy to understand that my friends don’t know. I’m an Atheist, Rational, Progressive. I believe in Love, Social-&-Gender Equality, Peace, Justice and I have Faith in Truth. My daily-life can be compared with ‘Four Noble Truths’ and ‘Existentialism’ (Sartre) though I’m not following any creed, and it’s all just by coincidence. My political view is closed to ‘Democratic Anarchist’ and I support the concept of ‘Prabuddh Swahit’ that we should help each other without any governing body.
How I lost trusts among my Friends:
1- I was invited to join a pooja for a mythological character, I refused clearly saying ‘you know I don’t have faith in such characters of mythological stories, I’m not interested’. I was said to come as it was a social event and join them, but my reply was, ‘if it’s social event then let’s meet for social reason not religious one’. And they cut the call.
2- We were preparing for a show and I found most of friends were not punctual, not serious about rehearsals and I was getting fed up of it. I refused to join rehearsal for two days rather I went to watch plays in Dadar, and I didn’t hide it from the group.
For me, I have no problem with playing mythological characters, any contemporary character belongs to anr religion or community, even I used to play Rama for ‘Laxman Rekha’ in Nutan Kala Niketan. I never refrain to do plays under any religious organization. After all, I’m an actor, and an actor must be ready to perform, no matter what it is for and where. Actor is free from religion, casteless, beyond of social-cultural-linguistic-limitations. An actor is a person has no personal identity of self. I’m really very much impressed by Ashraf Barhom for his words:
“When we attach ourselves to national identities, then we enter into a cycle of conflict. I didn’t choose where I was born or who to be or what people would call me. I’m a hybrid, from a cultural perspective, but I don’t think in these terms. I’m more simple than that. I’m a mammal who will live 70 years more or less, who believes in God and likes his life.”