17th February,2005 1:35 a.m.
"One last time lets rummage through that stage for Arun's cell ..."
I said . The very stage around which we had just spent two of the most beautiful hours in last 7 months at SPJain. We went beneath the stage , eyes were trying hard to stay open but yes they were wide open. "Check for the cell on the stage too" said Alok. We did. The cell was not to be found.
What this searching exercise did though was make Vivek sit on the edge of that beautiful rectangular 25X20 feet block for one last time this year. "What must he be thinking ? " I asked myself. And I heard a whistle from behind. Pretending not to notice I turned my neck in a quick detour. The whistle continued for a while and then I heard a voice that was similar to Shweta's ."Ah there she is .." "Jaaoo... its too late " . We knew it was .But something just pulled us back. Something was special about that stage .It made you feel stay back,not leave that place and not get up.I sat for a moment too.
Time to go back.And in your eyes picture whatever happened in the last 34 days.I hate the word 'Commitment' . I'd rather go by 'Desire'. A desire to excel and a Team to die for. Thats all I see looking back. I dont see grades ,I dont see cheating and I dont see cribbing.
I see Rajeev sending out mails to his Mob to gargle everyday and asking them to not let him down in front of the other 24 Gaspians.
I see KP responding with a voice that he himself can barely hear because its gone hoarse but yes we in the room can and so can our batchmates in the Group Work room and Girls Hostel.
I see KSP rushing after a workshop ending at 8 straight to the venue for practice and not getting out in between until we are all out at 1 a.m. the next morning.
I see Anish being dot at 8 p.m. everyday at the venue knowing that he could be the first to arrive and will have to wait for another 30 minutes before anything takes off.Oh yeah he was also the first to unleash the spirit of unadulterated passion of Gasp with his maddening first dialogue.
I see Ankush missing his lunch and nodding in a manner that would put a compass to shame. 360 degrees is no more the extent of convolution.His 'Nod' suggests there could be yet evidence that humans continue to challenge well established norms in Mathematics.
And I see Hari coming for practices extending for as long as five hours to speak 3 sentences because the Mob would not be complete without him .
I see Farhan and I see brilliance in method and madness. I see him worried not for himself but for me cos I could forget my next dialogue in the raucous and the play could come tumbling down.
I see Nikhil practice in the Audi,in the class and even when the dress rehearsal is on in the GASP room. I see him improvise to perfection and I bet he would still be wondering about ways to say that dialogue once again.
I see Natasha not going home on Wednesdays and sitting in a corner all alone remembering her dialogue.
I see Gitanjali cutting her calls midway . I see Gitanjali coming to practice on the day her aunt passed away and not make a mention about it to anyone.Just that some of us saw her sobbing midway through the practice.
I see Indu trying to get the best out of every character. I see her arguing for more practice hours and see her googling in class for that perfect design on the poster.
I see Anindita doing everything she has been asked to effortlessly and not cribbing about being asked to show different emotions on the same scene.
I see Megha waking up at 6 a.m. for being a volunteer for Placements and after doing a helter-skelter all throughout the day still coming at 8 p.m.for the practice sessions. I see her spread her infectious laughter all over the place and wreak havoc with her restlessness.
I see Alok giving up Basketball for 34 consecutive days and seeing his mobile balance dwindle by 200 bucks in a week.
I see Rekha scouting for that pen that I specifically ask for and the writing pad that Ramnik demands. I see her in the Bistro, in Dome I and back in GASP room in less than 30 seconds.
I see Parinaz bringing the prayer caps from a store called 'God Knows Where' and making the stage a place I wish Heaven could emulate.
I see Sachin frantic and going crazy because people were asking for extensions .I see him coming into my room at 3:30 a.m. and temme that we are running behind schedule and I see him sleep in every class that he attends cos his mails go out at 4:26 in the morning.
I see Aranyak,the freak just get what we wanted him to get.Crazy Sounds Beware. A simulation of someone tuning a radio on ???? Gimme a break! Oh the directors dint like it so you can change it? You can do it? What ?? You can do that too??
I see Sujith just come there and be a part of it . I see him make his own space.I see him in Lights, arranging chairs , getting e-mail id's.
I see Surabhi bring us a hoard of costumes and make up neatly piled and claiming. "Take your pick.. if you dont like it we have something else and if not this then that and that..."
I see Eashwari pepping us up and playing the caretaker for everyone.I see her to invoke a smile on my face and temme that "Yes GASP is fun!!!"
I see Anurag and ... need I say more..
I see Soundarya count every rupee, ask for every bill and sit for two hours in a cross legged position with a torch for three days in a row .I see her lose her cell too and yet make no fuss about it and go back to the hostel with a smile on her face.
I see Arun take prints one after the other. Rush out of the GASP room and come back in. And then rush out again.I see Arun telling me.. "We are the best man!! ".
I see Naina throwing water on her face after shes spend over an hour burning the edges of chart paper . I see her sweat and burn so that the cast is riding over a successful wave of publicity when it comes on stage.
I see Suchi write,write and write .Beautifully as ever . I see her telling me "No ..Issac I know I have nothing to do now but I just want to see you all practice".
I see Shweta bring us a Cake out of the blue . I see her smile when everything has just gone right and I see her smile even more when everything has just gone wrong and I see her make everyone feel special.
And I see again Vivek sit on that rectangular block of 25X20 feet and say to myself "What must he be thinking ? "
And I see myself hugging everyone and jumping like a madman after the play.
Its some fun being on the moon Huh? : )