Meet Guddu, one of the busiest men at the festival. Guddu, along with his mother, Meena, has the responsibility of ironing costumes for all the performances that take place each day. Since at least five plays are scheduled daily, this could mean that Guddu and his mom are ironing almost one hundred garments each day. Bravo!
Raju Rao is a first year student at the National School of Drama while Chandan Saikia is a flute player from Assam who gave music in a play performed as part of the festival. “I’m impressed with the way the directors are experimenting with graphics,” says Rao. “I enjoyed my part in the play,” says the flautist. “The audi [auditorium] was full and people clapped.”
“Theater is boring. We folks [would] rather see films,” says Saurabh. He and his two classmates from a nearby college were coming out of the canteen at Shri Ram Center for Performing Arts. “We’d come for momos,” explains Digi. “There are no plans to watch any play.” The third friend, Neha, just smiled.
“Yesterday I saw a Naseeruddin Shah-directed play,” says Rishabh Kushwaha, a freelance actor, while having his lunch outside a Mandi House eatery. “These festivals are great learning experiences.” Kushwaha wants to be famous. Till then, he intends to sup on this Rs 20 meal that comes with daal, paneer and five rotis. “This thali is the best deal for strugglers such as me,” he jokes.