Thursday, May 03, 2012

Still We Are Saints

Of interest mainly to those in Bangalore, this post is an unpaid ad for a play -- Still We Are Saints -- to be staged this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Seva Sadan, Malleswaram. It's the third play by the Header and Footer Club, a student group at IISc, after Safar and 52. [Disclosure: I'm the group's faculty advisor].

I'm reproducing the mail I received from Vyasa Sastry, the writer-director of We Are Still Friends.

The Header and Footer Club have an annual fundraiser where we hold an event for charity. Last year, we collected over 1 lakh INR in just under a week for the Shri Shankara cancer foundation. This year, we plan to do the same for the cause of Seva Sadan Malleshwaram on May 5th, where we will be premiering our new English comedy play at Seva Sadan "Still we are saints". The trailers have generated quite a buzz (we've accumulated more than 1000 views for our 2 videos in less than a week!): Trailer, and Leaked footage.

We're grateful to our sponsors- Navrathan Jewelers & Corporation Bank and our partners- Shoppers Stop, Radio One, Indianstage and bookmyshow for their support.

For tickets, they could call +91 96119 48969 / +91 93428 35852.


Politics is probably the most politically correct substitute word for a lot of negative human qualities. In India, exploiting every loophole is seen as a way of life- converting to another religion to legitimize a marriage, running out a fellow batsman who is playing slowly or maybe even remembering to give a dose of amnesia to a lead character in a soap opera to revive rating points. In short, no duty is dubbed too holy and no law is unbreakable in a case where private wisdom causes public tomfoolery. An alternate way to look at the politics is to call it the triumph of instinct of survival amidst challenging conditions and limited resources at disposal. When conflicting individuals fuelled by ambitions and ideas cross paths, it makes for entertaining viewing, to say the least. In a setup like a university which is a cradle for tomorrow’s leaders and a hotbed for avenues to be noticed early, one can only expect to see the desire to win at any cost, as history, is partial to winners.

The play

SWAS is story of two antipodal characters who are in pursuit of a common goal- a happy ending and a gateway to a great future. The comedy play is set in a backdrop of an engineering college campus (that the today’s adolescents throng for employable courses). The environment, full of students with kindling ambition, serves as a precursor to the way the bad world functions, although in a pre pubescent, Walt Disney way. The lead characters learn the ways of politics, rhetoric and one-upmanship en route to the top of the college food chain. Like any self respecting car manufacturer (looking for a way to the heart of the Indian consumer), they are overly concerned with mileage and image building with the perfect riposte.

The story unfolds in intriguing fashion through the eyes of a starry- eyed junior who describes the chain of events as he gets initiated to college life. The narrative is laced with satires on college going fundas, frequent monologues, pop culture parodies, ad jingles, impersonations, farcical, surreal vignettes and dialogue laden with repartee juxtaposed with everyday conversation. Five actors play the role of over a hundred characters with aplomb in the space of eighty minutes to bring the reminiscences of college in front of the audience. The number of characters was deliberately limited to less than 140 for the keeping in mind the attention spans of the twitter generation!

Running time: 80 minutes (no interval)