T r e a d Softly... YOU MIGHT TRIP ON TEXT

Monday, July 31, 2006

Saw a play at The School, KFI, last evening.
Risen From The Ashes, if I remember right. It was born out of a sandwiching and layering-on of serious issues, and built up painstakingly by the students themselves. Knowing the workings of the school, it isn't difficult to guess how much is the contribution of the Principal's wife and main inspirer, Sumitra. She takes them through fire to get the final product. I was impressed. Though there is raw energy and often unrefined emotion, it is wonderful to realise how much these kids know and how much they intuit and how strongly they can react.
Forget about my own schooldays when we thrived on drawing-room comedies drawn-in from the West. I think the times and the attitudes have started offering us a different brand of students. If they all get together seriously--not losing the Fun, of course--all that "impossible" talk of dreaming a dream where the youth of today can fashion a brave new world will turn slowly, miraculously Possible. Imagine a world where we see Globalisation in terms of getting to know each other rather than expanding our territory at the expense of whoever gets in the way. A kind of Grab-alisation, if you like.
Today's kids seem like they can do a bit of cleaning up.
If they don't get sidetracked by adults along the way, that is.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I come back after some hours and read what I'd written.
And find that the last post is almost identical--- most of the way--- to what I'd written a couple of posts earlier!
How's that!
Floating along on the wings of memory, you sometimes find yourself getting dropped!
There's writing and writing.
And the more you write, the more you discover that there's so much more to discover!
Right now I'm working on a film script. It was strange territory at first, but now it's going on as if I've been doing this all my life! It's probably because I've watched so many films in my life, all kinds, and in all kinds of moods--- analytical, nostalgic, mast-bhari enjoyment, etc. The script is based on the first play I ever wrote and which won a prize and was staged by the British Council. You can see its director's photo a couple of posts earlier, the one that begins : "I was told that there's some problem...." This script is for a friend whose first feature film is now being readied for release.
It's a bit of an eerie thing, this one that I'm writing, and it's great fun to get in there and imagine visually all that's going to happen. I guess that's how scripting really works. And after that, you sort of sit back and give it a fresh glance to see if the concept sits well on the action.
Or something like that!

Friday, July 21, 2006

My latest book is finally out! It's from Penguin, and I've got my author's copies, and hopefully we'll soon find them out in the bookstores. It's called DEVIL'S GARDEN: Tales Of Pappudom, and it's for children, 10 years upwards. I had great fun writing it, imagining myself in the thick of an eerie jungle, especially the days I spent locked up inside my room in a resort in Alleppey as rain and wind lashed against the windows. Which is a great way to write!

Pappudom is a normal run-of-the-mill village on the banks of the
Tarangam River—or so everyone thinks. But Pappu, a boy living in
the village, knows better. He visited the past once, with the ghost of
his great granduncle, Grand Pappu, after whom the village is named,
and together they had defeated the British army using the ‘Forces of
the Future’. But now, events are taking a turn for the worse.
In ancient times, the most horrific spirits known to man had been
sealed in Chekuthan Thodi, or Devil’s Garden, the forest adjoining
the village. A pact between the humans and the spirit world had ensured
a boundary between Pappudom and Devil’s Garden. But someone
from the village has violated the pact and ventured into the forest.
Now the spirits too want to break the pact and enter Pappudom,
which can only lead to havoc and destruction. And, to add to
everyone’s concern, a boy has gone missing…
Pappu goes into Devil’s Garden, looking for the lost boy. But there
are some ghastly shocks awaiting him there, and he finds himself
confronting armies of marching trees, a tapping spirit that will sap his
soul, and the crafty Transformer Spirit. Will Grand Pappu reach him
in time to save him? And how does Jolly Jones of the British army fit
into all of this? Can the Guard of the Bridge repair the breach, or is this
the beginning of the end . . .

Monday, July 17, 2006

i was told that there's some problem with accessing blogs, and that the government--or whoever--was blocking blogs.
so when surfing, i decided to check it out.
clicking on my blog, i drew a blank, so i thought it's true, they're blocking blogs, but then i came to the blogger site and signed in, and here i was. so i thought why not post an entry, even though i have absolutely nothing to write and i didn't want to take up valuable blogging space by writing on irrelevant things, so i think i will stop here except to say that i'm trying to work on a film script at the moment, a reworking of the story of the first play i ever wrote and which won that british council prize about 20 years ago. it's really interesting writing a script because you're seeing things happening, shots and expressions and close-ups and eerie lighting (since that's one of the things my story, especially the film version, has)---and when you visualize all that it's doubly exciting, and the excitement fuels the writing and hopefully livens up the script.
by the way, i ran into the director of my play after yes, 20 years, and that was a couple of months ago. like all unexpected events, he appeared, we spoke, and he left, promising to be back in the country soon. actually, i was speaking to a city club's book discussion group, and afterwards i get this call on my mobile, are you still here, i saw your name on the notice board. and i said, yes, i'm here, and he turns up, none the worse for 20 years and having directed my play! i've got his photo in here. a rather sad effort in the dimness of the club's restaurant with my mobile phone, but it gives an idea. his name's vinod anand.