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   I have been having an overdose of cultural activities. (April 12, 1990)

I have been having an overdose of cultural activities. On Sunday, I went (was taken) to the Tata Theatre to see Mr. Kabir Bedi emoting as Othello.

The Tata Theatre itself is an architectural masterpiece, the finest building constructed in the country on the last 40 years, where even the most amateurish and achoolgirlish of Shakespeare plays gets transformed into a performance of the Royal Sheakespeare Company.

Though it was the eighth or tenth performance, the audience was still quite impressive, suitably turned out, most of them in costumes as rich as those of the performers on the stage, gently applauding between scenes, and even more gently coughing between scenes. The Munna Mithas were sitting behind me, they are members of the NCPA. I would have never guessed. Mr. Mitha asked me whether I was seeing the play for the third time or the fourth time, which I though was rather touching.

Yes, the play: If you blanked out the stage, the props, the costumes, spotlights, the surrealist shadows of Othello eing cast on the backdrop, if you closed you eyes and listend, it sounded like old Professor Mendonca at the St. Xavier’s college taking a Shakespeare class of 150 students.

During the interval (the coffe costs Rs. 10, the chutney sandwich costs another Rs. 10), I noticed the audience was divided into three halves. One half (Dnyaneshwar Nadkarni) said it was a superb production, the other half made a face.

The tempo increased after the interval; shorter scenes, greater applause, and everytime some actor refferred to “honest Iago”, the audience sniggered. You see, the audience knew he was not honest.

At the end, the cast stood on the stage and bowed, and Alygue Padamsee came out of Block D, Row G, trotted on to the stage and took a bigger bow. I think he enjoys that part the most, I also do. If I had hair on my hands, they would stand on end.

The following evening, meaning yesterday, I went (was taken) to the Oberoi to hear the Vienna Mozart Quartet play Menuet out of the symphony in E-flat major in three movements: Allegro, Romance Andante and Allegretto. I liked the costumes of the quartet, with the yellow wigs, which looked like those worn by courties in French and Prussian courts I old 20th Century Fox films.

I also enjoyed the sparking Austrian wines, the smoked duck and the apple struddle that were served during the interval at the Malabar Lounge. Though after gour glasses of the sparking wine, the interval was over, and a man went around sounding a deep bell, which meant we had to listen to more music and gather more culture.

This time I heard mi lagnero tacendo nutturno for two soprano voices, bass and two clarinets in G-major.

 
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