Friday, December 18, 2009

One Hell of Acting Class

“Talk through your nose and breathe from your heart,” Mr. Pankaj commanded. “Dorji, you are not serious with exercise,” he said with his piercing look which tend to burn me alive. “hell with your vocal exercise,’’ I cursed under breath.

“Okay now, Sa Ra Ga Ma…follow me,’’ he went on playing his 100 years old piano. I mean piano which looked like it had been used for hundred years. We followed in chorus like kindergarten children practising nursery rhyme. After 30 minutes of drying our throat due to shrill shoutings with high key music, I needed a cup of coffee badly. “Sir, can I go to washroom?’’ I asked lifting my little finger.

Mr. Pankaj looked at his watch. “There is still half and hour left. We can do dialogue exercise. After that you can go.” “We do direct exercise in direction class also sir,’’ I protested. Classmates also chorused supporting my statement. ‘he is right, sir.” “Dorji, thik keh hai tey hai.’’ “itna hi nahi sir, hum script writing class meybi karta hai(not only in directing class, we even do in screen writing class),’’ one boy said. Apparently, no one was interested to be in the class. Mr. Pankaj sighed and spoke in typical Gabbar Singh’s accent in Sholay, “ in directing class, you learn how to direct actors, in screen writing class, you learn to write dialogues for visuals but in acting class, you will learn how to say dialogue.’’ With these words, he looked around and found out none of us are offering debate. So he smiled jubilantly.

“Okay guys, lets do ‘crying exercise’,’’ he suggested though everybody know it is an order. Meanwhile I increased creases in my face as if I really needed to visit washroom. “Okay, empty your mind and think of saddest thing happened to you. Don’t let go off your emotion.keep on thinking about one incident over another,’’ he continued.

“Sir, I can’t hold back anymore,’’ I pleaded clutching my belly. Every students laughed instead of crying. “How much did you eat?’’Mr. Pankaj asked me with tease in his voice. “Sir, it is emergency,’’ I pleaded again as class roared with laughter once again. “Go and unload your extra food,’’ he permitted.

I ran from class in hurry as if I was shitting in pant. After door is closed, I walked casually to canteen to have my cup of coffee which was must after shoutings.After class one boy asked me if I had become alright. I just answered, “I needed my coffee badly.’’ That was end of my acting class.

A Scene in my class today

Fades in to the classroom scene; I am sitting here bored to death Sleep seizes my system five second before my lecturer entered.I am trying hard not to fall asleep. I am searching means and ways to defeat intangible warrior called Sleep. I wish I had brought match stick like Mr. Bean (Romcom show) to strectch my eyelids so that I can keep my eyes open.

Cut to my lecturer: he stands there with one hand in his baggy pant pocket. He talks licking his upper lips like kitten licking his jaw after stealing butter. With another hand, he scratches his skull trying to seem wise. He looks so comical with spectacles parked on his funny long nose. He looks at me and finds me nodding.Probably, he thinks, I nod my head in understanding his lectures whereas I was nodding in half-sleep.

Cut to other classmates: the noisy class has become unusually quiet. This is sign that everybody is bored with his verbose lecture. I shake my head and looks around. Manyof them are fighting sleep just like me. An one and half hour period seems like eon.

Cut away of my table: I take out my note bad and write ‘I am bored to death.” The guy near me read the note and whispers in hindi, “ koi parishan hai?’’ I am surprised and shakes my head in negative.

“pher kyun marna chahata hai,’’ he asks me reading my note. “who says I am going to die?’’ I asks him. He looks at me incredulously and points at my note pad. “Hahi to kyun ‘bored to death lektai hai?’’ he counter asked again. Suddenly, I feel stupid as my insufficiency in hindi words could find right words to explain the word, “bored to death.” I smiled with stupidity.

“Kasam khaki tuo aisa kuch nahi karenge,’’ he takes my head on his forehead. “Kasam,’’ I oddly put my hand on his forehead for no reason. He smiles with satisfaction, “trust me as your dost, malab friend,’’ he says, “you don’t talk much. Why?’’ “I have nothing to talk,’’I inform him.

Just then Lecturer squints at me from his oversized spectacles asking, “what are different types and characteristics of quantitative research?’’

It is now my turn to scratch my skull as scene fades out.