Monday, December 15, 2008

got to have a drink for this one...

Gnatak in the US

Never before in the last several years have I had the opportunity to meet with so many Gnatak guys in the US.

Madan was here yesterday - was in Dallas and dropped in. It was wonderful, though we did nothing spectacular. After all he was here for all of about 24 hours. Great to see the old boy in person.

During the last several weeks I have had occasion to speak with Girish, the elder Ms. Rao, Kaps, Jayanth - and that is saying quite something. Hope some of you other folks drop in sometime.

Houston is still warm, though we did have an unusual snowfall last week. I hope it gets colder - a warm December is kind of boring.

Here is wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Drink one chotta peg for me... or just sniff one ... that is often enough to get me high.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Distressed Dad of A Dog who"s not a He, He's a She.

Hi Guys.

Guys I've got a problem , I think the Gnatak Blog should start off one of these "Agony Aunt" kind of columns (I learned this word form the New Indian Express Saturday Page) to help out people like me who have a problem.

My problem is a cell phone - My Dog wants one. My Daughter wanted one but then it was easy I didn't buy her one The School has banned cell phones and any one carrying one is punished (parents are exempted I think or may be because no one studying in std.8 is a parent, Parents are allowed phones) Then the Kerala Government put a ban on any school going student carrying phones. So my Job was easy I refused to buy my daughter a phone and she was happy. She didn't fret or nibble at people or their pockets carrying cell phones.

Now my Dog he's gone crazy the last few weeks , he desperately need a cell phone. He needs it so bad that he starts whining when ever he hears a phone ring , Jumps on people making phone calls, Sniffs out phones of people hiding phones in their pockets bags or where ever, and starts nibbling at the phone, which can cause embarrassment, especially when women keep their phones in their back pockets, or front pockets or shirt pockets.

It happened the other day I was walking the dog in the park and a woman with a phone in her back pocket walked by , the dog nibbled and I got slapped. To save my self from further embarrassment I want to buy my Dog a cell phone. Yeah I forgot to tell you I did this experiment to find out if he really needs a phone. My wife Betty held a biscuit in one hand and a phone in the other and offered both to him and he went for the phone. I starve him for a day and Wife offers him a piece of meat and the phone he still goes for the phone.

I am convinced that he really needs a phone. I don't know what model phone I should get him. I thought I'd get him one on which he can take pictures and send mails, but his vocabulary is limited to just two words "Bow" and "Wow". So I'm not sure what kind of mail he can send. I must confess That I'd been to the beach last Sunday the tourist season has started and I did use the second word of his vocabulary on and off (no I didnt get slapped , I just got stared at by my wife).

Any way guys please help me what kind of a phone should I get my dog. The problem is that, this guy, the dog isn't even a he I mean he's a she, just about passed adolescence and wants a phone. In fact he, shit not he , SHE ran away with my cell phone a few days ago luckily they didn't get married and live happily ever after. My Phone got chewed badly before that and decided against the marriage, I found him badly chewed up all broken down before things got too bad I put him all together sold him and bought a new phone.

Guys I am in a mess please help me, tell me what to do, what phone should I get my Dog?
Distressed Dad of A Dog who"s not a He, He's a She.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A few more images from Varkala...

Met Khomi the other night and celebrated her birthday. Happy Birthday Khomi.!!! Also got more pictures from our Trivandrum/Varkalatrip which we had taken with her camera. Here are a few.

Anu, Khomi and Uma on the beach.

Harvey with the girls...

I think I'll join them...

And my favourite! After a long swim, Mike decides to head back.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Photographs & Memories...

Yippee!! I've got new clothes for the play!

Must remember to remove the price tags next time I leave home...

Hi Guys!!
I'm back from Goa!
Now let's get this show on the road...

Room No. 3 at the Trivandrum Club.
If you want to stay there, you'll have to get past me...

The gang at Blooming Bay, Varkala.

The huts at the edge of the cliff at the resort.

Here's my recipe for a perfect afternoon there...

First, a generous sip of Martell Fine Cognac!
Then, look to your right...

Another sip of cognac, and look to your left.
Smile, and say thank you!!

Harvey with the girls on our very own private beach.

Uma take one last look at the sunset...

Goodnight all...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Hindu - Saturday, Oct 13, 2007.

Gnatak stages ‘Sizwe Bansi is Dead’
Gnatak was born in 1979 in Bangalore when a group of friends came together to perform. It’s been a long and winding road. Last year, after a gap of almost 10 years, Gnatak took to the stage once again and performed Yazmina Reza’s ‘ Art’ to rave reviews in Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. On October 19, the group is premiering ‘Sizwe Bansi is Dead’ at the Soorya festival in the city.
‘Sizwe Bansi Is Dead’ is a play about the survival of the South African black within the strictures of apartheid. Written by Athol Fugard, South Africa’s leading white playwright, and the play’s original actors, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, who are credited as writing collaborators with Fugard, the play retains an improvisational air. Kani and Ntshona were put into solitary confinement for 15 days when they performed the piece in their own country in 1976, after jointly receiving a Tony Award for their performances on Broadway. Fugard is also known as “the conscience of his country” for his plays, which focus on the victims of apartheid.
The cast includes Prakash Aswani, Michael Joseph, and K.T. Abraham. The play, directed by Prakash Aswani And Michael Joseph, will be staged at 7 p.m. at Co-bank Towers Auditorium.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

We are family...

Hi guys

I will in Bangalore on vacation with children. Hope to meet you guys.
I have attached a latest family picture.



Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kerala calling....anybody home?

Hi All

In response to our performance at the Soorya Festival in Trivandrum last year we’ve been invited again to perform at this years festival. I am being bamboozled by these 1000 phone calls asking us to perform. The festival is scheduled from October 11th to October 20th. The problem is that we don’t have a play and we are to confirm our participation by 12th June.

Does any one have any ideas? I think this gives us an opportunity to look at a new play. A few shows in Kerala would fund the play. The Yacht Club and Asianet are perpetual sponsors.

Does any one have a script we can have a look at? Rohit can you get the script of Blood Knot? Do you think its do able.

Anyway guys scratch your brains out and let’s get a script and do it for the Soorya Festival.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Khomi invites us all to her new home...

We are moving into our new home...

Please join us for a housewarming party
28th of May 2007
Donata Ecstasy
Apt #001
35, Davis Road,
Cooke Town,
Bangalore – 560 084

6 pm

Dhanama, Khomi, Jahnavi & Aiko

Call or SMS +91 9845262709

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Postcards From Kochi

these are a few pictures i took with my phone on our recent trip to trichur and kochi. all of these, except the last one, were taken at the kochi yacht club where we performed on 31st march 2007.

this first one was taken at about 11 am. some of the boys had gone "shopping". yes, that’s right!! apparently avara knew this place where you could get some great clothes really cheap, so off went avara, harvery and loki to grab some bargains.

the club is built on the banks of the backwaters, which flow in and out of the ocean, which is very close. great great place!! absolutely spectacular.

a railway bridge is built over the water very close to the club and trains pass by quite often. they are loud and make quite a racket. a train actually went by during the performance and while we waited, mike looked at his watch and said something like “that must be the 8 o’clock”. that cracked us all up. smart move old boy!!

mike and rohit were cooling off in the swimming pool upstairs and i was downstairs admiring the fabulous view and watching our stage take shape. I found myself a comfortable table and ordered a fresh lime soda. The day had started very well…

halfway through my soda, the manager of the club came up to me. he looked disapprovingly at me. even a little sad. “don’t you drink beer” he asked. sheepishly i nodded my head. He looked relieved and summoned a waiter, and asked him to bring me a beer. The first of many, i must admit.

Three beers down. The stage is ready. Let’s get this show on the road.

this one was taken during the show at about 9 pm. harvey, loki and me were watching from the last row where we had set up the light mixer.

loki takes one last look at the very traditional and ethnic facade of the kochi airport before we all fly back home.
lots of ice cream and cake in the departure lounge, and then it’s home sweet home.
what a trip!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

....and now, the weather report from Anuradha Abraham.

Hello there,

Hope all of you are feeling good in body mind and soul . The weather is so masth one is feeling good and appreciative of Bengalooru ever so much more. I have been reading news about the most recent shows in Kerala and getting updated on infro from KT in K.pally, Hilarious stuff. He is itching to do some more plays so watch out . Tommy whre are the scripts. Buck up ............):):):

Some news on the international front. Sheila Nagraj is visiting US of A soon. Jayantho is comming to India and is there for a nephews wedding and has no time to see anyone this time.

Yes let us meet up soon at Dewaars yaaaaaars. Take care,


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Avara on the Trichur Show and H O D's gone mad.

We done this show of ART in Trichur and I've been telling every one that this show definately deserves a space in this Gnatak blog.Yeah this is how it started.

A certian Mr Vasudevan Pillai reknpwnwd critic and theatre personality of Kerala who was also the ex H O D of the School Of Drama- Trichur saw our show at Trinvandrum and felt that we deserved to perform at the School of Drama. Yes I was very Impressed. So when the oppturnity came Trough the reccomendation Of this reknowned gentleman we are invited to perform fat the School Of Drama as a part of their World Theatre Day celeberations. Very impressed again.

We reach Trichur on the day of the show take an auto and start searching for the school of drama. After a reasonably long search we suddenly see this guy - It wasn't the Blue and Yellow and Black pyjama he was wearing that made him look different from the normal mentally deranged person that you see on the road, nor was his blue velvet shiet with red frills nor was the bell on his hands and legs nor the Dark glasses the bandana and cap but it was the Camcoder in one had and the gutiar in the other that set him apart.

We find our way to the School of Drama and we find this Man there He comes up to me and says " So your Abraham I've been reading the mail you been sending us" and I'm confused. So was Mike and Harvey and Loki. So we make it to the canteen for the usal Chai and cigerette and this guy is there so we make discreet enquires and find out that this guy is the H O D of the School. Very Impressed.

Any way we move to the space where we are to perform and begin to set up and we are told that the H O D is retiring and was being formally send off with all honours a University would send off a H O d and our performance was a part of this formal send off. Ver very impressed and touched.So we ask for the stage and lights to be set up and we leave for lunch get back to the hall at 5 for our 7 Oclock performance.

We come in and on the stage are these dignatories Departments heads Old students and who ever deserves to be on the Dias to send of a H O D. There are these solemn send off speaches and this huge heavy solemn air during these send off when suddenly there is this shout of "Rage" from the dias which is echoed by shouts from the audience soon these shouts become more and more frequent and soon there is this shouting match between this well dressed man with a gutiar on the dias and the audience - I dont Know who won. But most of the other solemn speaches were reduced to a " Mr H O d is a good man wish him well and Good bye".

Many shouting matches later students start singing praises to the H O D. They go ga ga over the fact that this Mr. H O D had managed to do away with what ever little disipline the department had. Until one moment when the H O D realised that the women hadn't spoken so he asks a few words from the women. One girl comes up with this sentimental story of her first visit to the school and that she'd seen the H O d and she thought he was strange she went home and her father told her that the H O d was his friend and Died. Ever since she has this soft corner for the H O D. H O D is moved and immediately breaks into song he plucks his guitar as well as any 2 year old and sings "You are my unborn daughter" we are all moved.

When another girl stands up and says that alls not well because when this H O D or the other male lecturers teach they prefer to look at womens breasts rather than their faces. The guys in the hall are unimpressed and show their displeasure by throwing chairs. Soon there are two groups slanging pushing throwing chairs and a few punches into the air. Mr H O D breaks into song again " Fight Fight" He plays his gutiar - he actually cant play a gutiar and on occiations runs back stage to tell us so. to tell you the truth we had realised much earlier that he cant play the gutiar.

Any way thats that and many fights later we find a mango tree otside stripped of its leaves. I've been told that during the fight guys ran out of the hall climbed this tree and started biting off its leaves and ran back inside straight into the fight. Soon it was 8 O clock and we were to perform at 7 so we call some guys from the midst of the fight to set up our lights for us. we start setting up the fight disappears> H O D appears and wants to Know why there are no women in the play. Tommy has a hard time telling him why and we perform. 180 of the 200 odd people who would have seen the show went back home the fight was enough drama for them. Yes and we perform.

Personally I feel it was a good show. I'm not sure if Tommy agrees and I'm sure all the guys would be honoured if we were to be called to perform for the world theatre day celeberation at the School of Drama again. especially if the H O D is being send off.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Avara writes about the Cochin show & after.

Hi All.

OK guys the response for the Kochi shows have been tremendous. I was told that the Club was flooded with call enquiring about us. I'd met Sejoe from the entertainment committee and I'll tell you that Gnatak has a permanent venue at the Yacht Club when ever we do a show.

And now the bad news Mike's sister and her husband liked the show so much they asked if we could perform for the Rotary Club for their fund raising event. A sum of about 50,000 + expenses were mentioned but we have to confirm amongst ourselves first. Can we consider a new play if this amount is being paid to us.

But here’s just a thought I think the actors and the director and the crew have worked on this play for over a year I think we got Gnatak a bank balance. Why don’t we do a show or two to pay our selves? I think we deserve it so why not consider the show offered to us?

May be we can do one more show in Trichur. But we might have to wait for the leaves to grow back on the mango tree there. My cousin told me that during the fight suddenly guys ran out of the hall and started biting off leaves from the mango tree and when they had enough the ran back straight into the fight.

Any way here’s a thought seriously why don’t we do a show to pay ourselves? I'm sure we could all use the money.

So let’s get on the road again guys.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Deccan Herald Review - Friday, February 17, 2006.

Dynamics of relationship canvassed in ‘Art’

By Savitha G R

Day two of the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival had the audience laughing, clapping, even hooting. ‘Art’ by theatre troupe Gnatak, directed by Prakash Aswani, is the tale of three friends. One of them, Serge buys a piece of ‘art’, a white canvas, which sets off a debate between his friends, Yvan and Marc. There are extreme positions taken on art, modernity and classicism, apart from introspection into the very nature of friendship between the trio.

The play, written by Yasmina Reza, was ‘discovered’ by actor Sean Connery, and was translated into English by Christopher Hampton. ‘Art’ poses quite a challenge to the director in portraying the dynamics of relationships and the contradictions between friends. The actors, Michael Joseph who plays Marc, Rohit Dave, who plays Serge and K T Abraham, who plays Yvan play their parts well. The audience takes to Yvan “the fool” particularly well. But one wonders if, in the midst of all the humour, the pathos that Yvan portrays is lost. Yvan wants to conform, be Mr Nice Guy to both his friends, and play conciliator. He cannot have a strong opinion, an amoeba in the words of his friend Marc, and he knows it. It saddens him, but does it move the audience, one wonders.

The set design by Gerard Sequeira is stark and simple, in keeping with the theme.

There is a certain whiteness everywhere, even in the metaphor that Marc uses towards the end of the play (a man skiing down a white mountain with a white cloud in the background) and that was very much in keeping with the central theme, the white canvas too.

The way the spotlight (Lights by Sudhir Boury) keeps shifting on the three characters when they talk to the audience is interesting.

But at the end of the play, one cannot but wonder if this play had more to do with Yvan and less to do with the tensions between the characters.

The image of Yvan with a punched jaw, writhing in pain, lingers.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Indian Express Review of the show at The Cochin Yacht Club

Tuesday April 3 2007

Theatre Spells Magic

Kochi got a feel of the English Theatre when a translated version of Art - a French play by Yasmine Reza, a French playwright - was staged by Gnatak at the Cochin Yacht Club on Saturday. Gnatak is a theatre group from Bangalore.

The play, basically about the nature of male friendship, brought forth three contrasting characters who debate on a piece of art (a totally white picture worth 200,000 French Francs) bought by one of them.

Directed by Prakash Aswani, Art was enacted by K.T. Abraham, Michael and Rohit.

According to Aswani who works as a RJ for Radio Indigo, Bangalore, it is all about the sad, treacherous and comical dynamics of friendship.

‘‘Art debuted in France in 1994 and went on to win top theatre awards in both Britain and the US, including the 1998 Tony Award for Best play. It raises questions about the nature of art and friendship,’’ Aswani said.

Gnatak had staged this 90-minute play in Trivandrum - at the annual Surya festival last year - to a very inspiring gathering.

On Saturday, the Yacht Club was also witness to a motley crowd. And the actors, with an uncanny ability for dialogue-rendering, kept the viewers on their toes each time they held forth.

‘‘The way the play was appreciated went on to show people’s interest in genuine humour rather than usual slap stick comedy,’’ Aswani said.

Aswani and his team look forward to perform more of such intellectual dramas in the near future. ‘‘We hope to be back in Kochi soon. The audience here are amazing,’’ he said.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

On The Road Again - Harvey Lopez

Hi All,

I have booked confirmed tickets to and fro by train.

We leave on Thursday 29th March 2007 @ 17.15 hrs and reach Trichur @ 02.30 hrs on 30th morning. So we can catch a few winks in a hotel and head for the show. (Tickets are for Avira, Mike, Rohit Loki and myself)

Avira, please ask your contacts to book us into a fairly decent lodge so we can get some good rest and freshen up.

We can then leave from Trichur for Ernakulam either late on Friday evening or early morning of Saturday and reach the Yacht club as early as possible, so we could recce the place get some rest and get ready for the show in the evening.

We leave on Sunday 1st April from Ernakulam South Station @18.40 hrs and reach Bangalore Cantt. @7.00 hrs on Monday 2nd April. (Tickets back are for Mike, Rohit, Loki and myself).

Anu was unable to reach Basavaraj last week as he was out so she will contact him on Tuesday and try to get the APD hall from 24th evening for rehearsals.

I will collect the props from anu and keep it with me so all we need is to get the costumes - I assume the actors will handle that.

Avira, I have sent over the images by email to trichur for their brochure. check if thats what they need.

so lets have a good show

Cheers all its Saturday Night and Iron Maiden playing in town - so much for nostalgia.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Start Yor Engines....

Hi everybody. I have started a Gnatak Blog. It will be easy to put up all the news and stuff about what's happening with everybody.

So all you people, write, comment, keep it alive. Cheers.