“I’ve a lot time. I don’t know what to do with it,” says Manav Kaul. The author, actor, director who straddles mediums like a consummate trapeze artist, packs a lot in life that he provides each inventive soul a fancy. “I’m a traveller too,” he says, revealing his versatile persona.
He was in Delhi in his stage-avatar to launch the upcoming IHC Theatre Pageant along with his newest manufacturing Tumhare Baare Mein, a potent, poetic tackle modern-day relationships the place males need to be penguins and ladies dream of turning into a hen who can fly. It’s concerning the cages males create for ladies and the centuries of patriarchy and self-denial that ladies battle to interrupt free from. Provocative and poignant with dollops of sharp humour, the story revolves round a couple sitting in a restaurant interacting with their previous and future variations.
Manav says Delhi has a “style for theatre” and each time he writes a brand new play, he’s anxious for a response from the Capital’s viewers. “Greater than my recognition as an actor, individuals come to my performs due to my books. I really feel the social media fad will finally move and kids will return to literature.” Earlier than he flies off to Himachal Pradesh for yet one more two-month journey and writing stint, we meet up with him backstage to speak about his craft and considerations.
The play has a distinctly feminist voice. How did it take form?
I don’t know why however of late, I’ve been solely studying feminine writers. I discover them complicated, stunning, and manner forward of latest male writers. I not too long ago learn The Beekeeper of Aleppo. It captures the harrowing expertise of a Syrian refugee, Nuri, who’s attempting to achieve London. After I completed the e book, I felt I ought to learn extra books by the writer and discovered that Christy Lefteri is a lady. I stated thank god she gave me this gentle in order that I can even strategy writing from a gender-neutral perspective. Whereas musing over what made her write, I began conceiving this play.
It’s also influenced by the ladies in my life, notably my mom. They had been amazingly proficient however couldn’t do something substantial. The second I believed I used to be writing for my mom, every part fell into place. She was a proficient particular person caught in the midst of nowhere. After all, our shifting from Kashmir to her father’s residence in Hoshangabad had a task nevertheless it was extra about how my father was and the way in a patriarchal society a lady can solely fly inside the partitions of the home.
When males reminisce about their moms solely due to the style of their dal that they miss, it reveals that now we have diminished the ladies in our lives to the kitchen. I’ve seen grandmothers who haven’t felt the solar for weeks. The patriarchy is in my DNA and I used to be like different males after I was in my small city and used to assume that is the way in which society runs. So it’s a form of apology letter.
So, you practise what you say within the play…
These are clever actors they usually gained’t let me do that if I don’t practise it. They argue about every part. I put myself of their scenario. In a manner, the three girls within the play inform my story. How I used to be caged on the opposite facet. It’s the two sides of the identical coin.
You’re a author, director, and actor and you might have saved two separate Instagram accounts to interact with followers of your literary and cinematic pursuits
They complement one another with out having a corrupting affect on each other. In case you see my course on stage, it comes from cinema. I’ve a keenness for cinematic course and in contrast to the favored notion, I strongly imagine that theatre is a director’s medium. My playwriting comes from literature. I don’t conceive a play after studying one other playwright’s work. Today I’m exploring how phrases can create a picture.
After not performing on stage for 12-13 years, after I was provided Kai Po Che, it was tough to think about myself as an actor. Earlier than that, each time I noticed a movie script, I’d begin discovering faults in it. However, steadily, I began discovering performing therapeutic and started to take pleasure in. I take a look at performing as remedy.
Trying again, I can say performing glad a financial requirement as effectively however, extra importantly, it proved to be a terrific vent. It’s nonetheless very tough for me to be directed on stage. In cinema, I utterly give up. I’m strict whereas directing so I need to be my director’s actor. Nevertheless, I proceed to be picky. I take lengthy breaks to journey and write books. That is how I may say no to damaging roles after Kai Po Che and Wazir and waited until I may break the mould in Tumhari Sulu.
Now in movies and OTT collection, you’re forged reverse robust feminine actors and nonetheless make your presence felt…
Sure, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Madhuri Dixit, and Shefali Shah! With such expertise, you simply have to face and act. I did my first play in 1993. If I don’t do issues of a sure customary, I higher go away (laughs).
Being a Kashmiri, whose household was compelled emigrate on the top of militancy within the late 1980s, how do you interact with your property State and the altering socio-political ecosystem?
I really feel blessed that I used to be born in Baramulla, grew up in Hoshangabad, did theatre in Bhopal, and expressed myself in Mumbai. It has made me an individual who can dwell wherever. In my head, my Kashmir and its perfume may be very totally different. I solely work together with my picture of Kashmir and it’s nonetheless stunningly stunning. I’ve expressed my engagement with Kashmir in my travelogue Rooh. I am going to Kashmir and work together with my buddies and other people at a person stage and they’re so giving. That’s how we’re surviving.
If you journey throughout the nation, you realise we’re so bizarrely totally different however nonetheless dwell collectively. There are numerous issues on this world that I don’t agree with however I can’t go and alter the world. I prefer to see the world as it’s. I’m right here for a brief interval and need to inject solely love and peace by means of my work.
I’m doing the title function in one of many craziest Netflix collection. It’s extra industrial and funnier than something I’ve executed previously. I often don’t audition however right here I provided myself to be examined earlier than taking the plunge. Then there’s a movie written by Twinkle Khanna. I’ve executed all of the heavy lifting with my writing, I need to dance now!
The competition options 12 performs, a e book dialogue, a 35mm screening of a movie on Indian theatre, workshops, and interactions.
A double-bill of performs by Ranga Shankara’s AHA!, EE Gida, AA Mara (This plant, That plant), and Chippi, The Chipkali
Akarsh Khurana’s The Verdict, Shikha Talsania and Prerna Chawla’s Dekh Behen 2, and Victor Thoudam and Bimal Subedi’s The Departed Daybreak.
Theatre veteran Makrand Deshpande’s Siachen and Jyoti Dogra’s Maas.
Faezeh Jalali’s Afterflies; Saurabh Nayyar’s Golden Jubilee, and Jabbar Patel’s Indian Theatre.
( On the India Habitat Centre, LodhiRoad; September 22 to October 1; 7 pm each day)