The show must go on

Theatre is an art form that showcases freedom of speech and expression. It is made to suit the entertainment needs of the young and old alike through its content, narration and style. Themes for a theatre performance in India are usually borrowed from the epics such as Ramayana and Mahabaratha.

Yakshagana (Courtesy: Google Images)

Yakshagana (Courtesy: Google Images)

What is the status of theatre in urban India today? The scene is not so encouraging. As of now, theatre is seen as an alternative form of entertainment enjoyed largely by theatre aficionados. And, mostly contemporary theatre it is. Although traditional theatre forms such as yakshagana, dollu kunitha, bailata and so on originated here, they are on the brink of extinction while they are gaining popularity in the West. Movies, cable television, computer games and gizmos are seen to satisfy the penchant for entertainment.

The need of the hour is to keep theatre and its forms alive in India. One of the best ways to introduce theatre to the younger generation is by including it in the school curriculum – be in the private schools or the government schools. Exclusive time needs to be devoted to nurture theatre talents among individuals. Students who are not keen on pursuing academics may wish to pursue acting as a career and take up some training. Young minds when nourished with appropriate training and exposed to such theatre forms will help in upholding theatre – a dominant facet of Indian culture. Amateur theatre clubs should be given the required support. The government on its part should continue to acknowledge theatre artists by way of instituting various awards and offering promotional platforms. Any financial assistance will be greatly appreciated as well.

Theatre, after all, brings out myriad facets of human personality to the fore and it draws attention to certain subtle aspects of life. Qualities such as humour, wit, revolt, anger, sorrow, fear, surprise and so on are depicted in an artistic manner. Relationships are given new dimensions and life is looked upon through different lenses. Those colourful clothes and props, dialogues and stories – all are woven together to give a performance that magical aura and effect.  In fact, theatre brings out the best in individuals. It acts a stressbuster to both the actors and the audiences. Thus, the show must go on.

PS: Yours truly had written this piece for a recent edition of a college journal – The Write Angle. Your comments/views are welcome.

Advertisements

True essence of education

The hallmark of education is to unleash one’s true potential. Education, in this context, simply does not refer to a parochial type of formal training. It is the essence of being aware of oneself in the gamut of a metaphysical environment. Surroundings, upbringing, reading and social contacts add to the understanding of oneself. In all, these factors aid in defining one’s self-concept. 

Self-concept is the realization of one’s worth. When it is achieved, one begins to focus on one’s strengths and work on areas of improvement. This in turn leads to a refined personality where confidence and humility act in equal measure. Thereafter, one’s self-esteem, which is nothing but one’s estimation of oneself in comparison to others, shall be on a higher plane. 

Given this context, it is only apt that a child is made to understand both its strengths and its weaknesses. Of course, the strengths need to be highlighted more. A mentor or a teacher’s role is of paramount importance as the child grows, so that the child is moulded into a deserving rather than a desired shape, as
dictated by society. It is important that a child is made to think for itself, without being forced into acting in a particular fashion.

Fine-tuning and conditioning of the mind at a young age is of utmost importance. This is all the more true in an age where distractions abound, thanks to technology, which acts as a pawn in fulfilling a child’s desires. Materialistic pleasures seem to rule the roost for a child, who easily falls prey to them.

Understanding child psychology and its nuances/dimensions is very relevant. Innovativeness in teaching and learning is the need of the hour. Thus, this calls for sensitizing teachers to awaken young minds in a manner that brings out the best in them. Education, in a formal setup, has to be imparted using appropriate pedagogy. The pedagogy has to bring out the innate self of the child, which should manifest itself in showing appreciation for life and its simple pleasures.

The ultimate aim of education, in the words of Swami Vivekananda, “is the process by which character is formed, strength of the mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened, as a result of which one can stand on one’s own feet.”

PS: I had written this editorial piece for a recent edition of a college journal – The Write Angle. Your comments/views are welcome.