update: love, love and more love

I don’t mean to talk about love so much these days, but somehow it keeps coming up. I kinda swore off it when I was 14 and read one too many love novels. At the time my grandmother was in the habit of carting back a suitcase of Mills & Boons books for me with each trip to India, and I’d finished the books my aunts buried in the bottom of their drawers, the sorts with covers you strategically place your hands over when people enter the room. My idol Betty was still chasing Archie and I still hadn’t had my first kiss let alone gone on my first date, so love had become more like a tease than anything else. I remember reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables at 15, a novel about a young woman and the convict who protected her. I was so upset when, about 3/4 of the way into the book, an unnecessary love affair came out of nowhere and the whole storyline shifted drastically. Not this topic again, I muttered.

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Yes, talks of romance definitely piqued my appetite for love, because I wrote about it extensively in my teenage diaries and had tons of crushes of the classroom and celebrity persuasion, and to this day most of my songwriting and poetry surrounds love. At one point in my early 20s I even wrote a song about a love interest and how characters in books completely skewed my expectations of love. Not much has changed – I still don’t like reading about love affairs that are far from reality and I really don’t watch romantic comedies much. Yet, maybe because February, the month of love, has just passed and maybe because my own romantic life has brought me so much pleasure in the past year, I’ve been venturing more into the topic.

Playwriting with Alex Broun and writing The Break

In the fall I attended a playwriting course with Australian playwright Alex Broun where we wrote and workshopped our own 10-minute short plays over the course of a weekend. Finally, someone put me in a spot where I had to finish a play! Alex gave us a lot of good points on structure, style and theatric techniques we could try and we did some free thought exercises that helped get our ideas on paper. I had never written a play so I kept it really basic, though it still followed a story I had been meaning to write with a woman who gets out of a relationship and ends up distracting herself by traveling. She ends up meeting several people, all very interesting and reminders that there’s a whole other world out there besides love. I directed this with my friend Romita Maitra for Backstage Dubai at the third Wildcards show in the Short + Sweet Theatre Festival. I think we both felt pretty lucky because we ended up casting some of Dubai’s most talented actors.

The Break

 

Disha Thomas played Tina, the young woman who starts off lost and heartbroken, and shows a lot of growth and change over the course of ten minutes. The characters Tina encounters are imperative to her personal growth and were played by George Mitton, the beekeeper, Paurav Shah as the celebrity Farukh Shan, and Kuv Sharma as the dancer. The actors were openminded and curious about their characters, which I appreciated and which helped them embrace the quirky, passionate sides of their roles. Vikram Ahuja played the rather bland, confused and misled boyfriend, showing the transition from disinterest to desperation really well in a short time. I’m sure this was difficult for Vikram considering he is so satisfied with his love life and not likely to break up with his stunning real life girlfriend offstage. Wow, what a lucky guy! The play didn’t win any awards but I was happy with how it turned out and I hope I can make time to write more plays in the near future, perhaps even put some up onstage later this year. Next time I want to write something more cerebral and stylized, so let’s see what I come up with. Till then, if anyone wants to produce a short play about love from a woman’s perspective, feel free to reach out to me and I will send over a soft copy.

Dream about the man you want to fall in love with

I didn’t purposely write two pieces about love in one month. But I came across this while digging through old email and I decided to share it on Medium.com. I have always been a dreamer. I used to lie down and fantasize about EVERYTHING – landing acting roles, my future career, how I would decorate my home, making new friends who were more like me, traveling the world, long road trips, what I would cook for dinner, etc. And when I was young, as mentioned above, I dreamt about my ideal man. Eventually I stopped because I guess I became bitter in some way. Then, after a breakup in 2012, an old friend encouraged me to lie back and imagine the man I wanted to be with.

Dream about the man you want to fall in love with

dreaming about love

I highly encourage anyone who wants to fall in love with the right person do this – it’s so empowering and when you put things down on paper, they often come true. It’s like a vision board for love, in a way, in words.

And that, dear friends, is my message of love for February. Now it’s March, so let’s talk about women’s issues in my next piece! I’ve got some stuff comin’, don’t y’all stress. Women are the woodwork of every successful venture and I’m constantly learning from the ones around me.

 

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