Monday, December 08, 2008

A Chorus Line of One


Singular Sensation.

Every little step she takes.

Being part of a musical these days means my head is filled with all the songs from the play. Songs I have heard so many times, I fall asleep with them ringing in my ear. I wake up with them stuck in my head and catch myself singing them in the shower. It gets annoying. I can't tell you the latest hit on the radio or who is topping the MTV playlists, but I do know all the words to "Mumbai Mac" and "Slum Girl". I can feel your jealousy coming at me from all directions.

In the play, tiled "Mahim Junction", I play a politician running for election in the slums of Mumbai. At one point, I have to deliver a speech to my constituency, which consists of exactly three people and in my cluelessness, I use a megaphone. My megaphone prop looks like the top of the head of the Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz". It is clinking, clanking and caliginous.

The other night during rehearsal, while I was in between scenes, I was listening to my iPod and practicing my blocking.  I am a master at multi-tasking. Right now we are doing rehearsals on the roof terrace of the director's house as it gives us a space larger than any place else we could be rehearsing right now, and as we are performing in an amphitheatre, it gets us used to being outside. We don't have to project our lines, we need to scream them.

Anyway, there are two separate terraces on the roof and I took my iPod and megaphone prop to the other side. And then the urge hit. I heard 1982 calling out to me. I tried to resist but it was futile. I knew it was there, lingering on my iPod. I had an appropriate prop and all that was needed was for me to press the button. I looked around to ensure I was alone. I looked across the other terraces to make sure I had no audience. India being India usually means there is always an audience, but the planets aligned, the stars converged and Jupiter was entering someone's house. It was a now or never situation.

I pressed play.

And then, using my Tin Man hat as a top hat, I performed "One" from "A Chorus Line".  I was a bit rusty, but I dare say I am sure I looked fabulous. Just me, on the terrace with a metal funnel thingy, mouthing the words as though I were belting it out to the balcony of the Winter Garden Theatre in New York. After all, I think all I have ever really needed was the music and the mirror and the chance to dance. And dance I did. I was one singular sensation if I do say so myself, all alone on a terrace in South Delhi, not another care in the world.

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