ITF Not The Drama Seminar: Exhibition - Samik Bandyopadhyay & Shanta Gokhale
Duration: 00:45:59; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 21.635; Saturation: 0.112; Lightness: 0.334; Volume: 0.226; Cuts per Minute: 1.000; Words per Minute: 101.305
Organised 50 years after the original Drama Seminar in 1957, the Not the Drama Seminar (NTDS) brought together theatre practitioners from all across the country to convene at Ninasam, Heggodu in March 2008. This seminar meditated on the nature of theatre in India today, on how we got to where we are. The attempt was to understand 'Indian Theatre' in all its multiplicity and diversity, bringing these several faces of Indian theatre face to face, and problemetize the issues that arise therein. These ideas were exchanged through a series of presentations and discussions over five days, and each day ended with a performance.
(casual, inaudible chit chat amongst many, before the presentation begins)
(??): ...we're supposed to sign. ...No no...everybody is supposed to sign...
Pravin: Respondents...Chandradasan can you come to the dias?
Samik: Ya I can sit here?
Pravin: OK. (laughs) ..and I'd like Kaushik Sen and Sanjay ...because they are respondents as well.
Pravin KP: I'll do a very brief introduction- Samik Bandyopadhyay is a leading editor, scholar and critic of the arts. Samikda has been member of the academic council of the NSD, Viswa Bharati, and Shanti Niketan, and is a visiting lecturer at the Culture Course here (at Ninasam) for the last 12 years. Shanta Ghokale is a writer and critic. She has been Arts Editor of The Times of India. She has written a book on Marathi theatre called ' The Playwright at the Centre' and she has also written 3 plays. And our respondents,- Koushik Sen, who is at the far end there, is a theatre director and actor with Swapnasandhani in Kolkata. Sanjay Upadhyay is a director and music director with Nirman Kala Manch in Patna. Channakeshava is a director, and designer of Deshakala, a Kannada quarterly.
Pravin KP: To give you a brief outlay of the subjects we are talking about – Locales or Mapping Indian Theatre – we're trying to basically figure out how we can make sense of the bewildering variety that Indian Theatre displays. Considering the various regions and languages in which theatre is practiced in India is already mind boggling – but wheres pecifically does theatre happen? In what kind of locales does theatre-making, theatre-going become a need, a habit? Where does theatre matter? This session will focus on the macro situation, the dynamics of different kinds of theatre. The roles of amateur, commercial and professional theatre- if such a thing exists. It will also look at theatre in the specific setting of Maharashtra, in an effort to contextualise the particular situations and problems faced. Now I call upon Samikda to talk on why theatre has to be region-specific and has to be local.
Samik Bandyopadhyay: There was a time when we were thinking a lot about a single Indian theatre, and how the different regional idioms could contribute to the Indian theatre. I think that agenda has been toppled over in the last few years, and fresh attempts are being made to reconstitute that old agenda - bring it back under a different guise, under different pretensions. More and more, with performances travelling from one part of the country to another, performances travelling abroad, there seems to be a case that is slowly building up that India should have a single theatre that becomes more easily understandable. So if there is a certain pattern of theatre, a certain kind of theatre, that will get audiences – the same kind of audience, the same class of audience, the same taste coming from the audiences in all the different cities of India and also abroad – that wouldbe fine.
SB: In fact, our friend Sadanand has been reminding us again and again of the newsituation where there is the National Knowledge Commission, and the National Knowledge Commission's proposal to bring in something called Creative Industries under Tourism rather than Cultural Performance. So, Cultural Performance has beenthrust aside from the knowledge system, from the knowledge agenda, and instead of performance, we have Creative Industry, which comes under Tourism. If we have to send things abroad, or bring people down to watch things, it should be easily understandable to an international clientele. A standardised clientele. Let them have something called 'Indian'. Now more and more, as this pressure grows, it becomes important to take the stand that every region, however small it may be ... it's not a question of just Bengali or Marathi or Gujarati or Manipuri, but even within the Bengali, within the Marathi, within the Gujarati, within the Manipuri, there would be different performance cultures.
SB: I'm very deliberately not using the word 'idiom' because in the earlier scenario, 'idioms' added upto one single 'Indian' theatre language. That was the pattern. So very deliberately I'm trying to avoid the word 'idiom'- I'm talking of performance cultures. And the performance cultures are not necessarily growing out of the performance and its practice, but growing from a larger cultural field. A larger field of cultural experience and cultural protection.
SB: Particularly because ...(Break in recording).... unity is what I called a historied body. Now, just to give instances ... we don't have time to do a kind of an encyclopaedic thing, and I don't believe in any single encyclopaedic venture into the entire Indian performative experience. It's too daunting and too daring and I would never dare it. But even if you go into instances, into local instances,- think of...I'll talk a little bit, at length, about the two experiences that I have known or studied closely enough – the Bengali experience and the Manipuri experience – just as instances, and because I know these 2 experiences somewwhat.
SB: Now think of the Bengali experience, where there has been a long tradition, at one level, of a strong radical political stand. During the nationalist movement there was a strong divide between the national mainstream politics – the national mainstream attitude to the national movement; and the trend, the direction that it took in Bengal. And Bengal could identify at the same time with Maharashtra. So there came a period when Bengal and Maharashtra could combine on the famous triad of Lal, Bal, Pal. Lala Lajpat Rai from Punjab, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Pal- which was a kind of a radical slant, a radical identification, which becomes part of Bengal's take on national politics- staying away from the mainstream which is dominated by the North. And this is an attitude. It is not aquestion any longer of an anti-north stand as it is happening in Maharashtra. But trying to take that radical difference - being different, standing apart - with whatever limitations, whatever problems ... and more problems are cropping up every day. The fact that for more than 30 years West Bengal has had a Left Government - that is a factor. That is a factor in the cultural body, in the thought body, of the community. That has to be taken into account. Its only one layer maybe.
SB: At another layer – think of 1905. Before Delhi had become the capital of India, when Calcutta was still the capital of India. When the British Government took the decision of partitioning Bengal, there was a protest movement. But what was the form the protest movement takes? It's led by a popular poet who composes a song for the occasion. And people come down on the streets in a rally. It is a political rally. It is a political congregation, protesting against the decision of the partition of the state, but singing a song composed for the occasion, where it talks about the unity of Bengal, the unity of the various religious denominations of Bengal. But, the form is the song. Not shouting slogans, not any brickbats or anything, but choosing the rakhi, which Hindus put on the hands of the Muslims, the Muslims put on the hands of the Hindus. So it becomes a secular act of fraternisation. Fraternisation through the gesture of the colourful rakhis and the song. This has a strong political content and a political message. So when this form is assumed ... and this is not an exception- there have been other political movements also where these forms have come into play. Cultural forms, cultural manifestations.
SB: In Bengal, again in terms of history, there has been the history of famine - a famine in 1876, a famine in 1943, the Partition, the displacement- these have also gone into the making of the cultural sensitivity of the people. And from there, a concern, often even a strong sense of helplessness, utter helplessness, from the enormity of the situation. So many thousands of people who have been victims of these situations. What can we do about that? When all these things go into the cultural body of a community, and that comes out inplays, plays come to have a strong concern for suffering people, very often verging on...call it sentimentality, call it melodrama, call it somebody raising his hand,... clenching his fist - these become theatrical gestures, but gestures that are not merely gestures, they grew from the history of the body. They become part of the cultural body. Now, an outsider who comes to watch this, and measures all this experience in terms of some abstract, universal, global model of theatre - 'the good theatre', 'the best theatre', 'the ideal theatre', would find this sloppy, sentimental, crude, nostalgic, melodramatic, and would reject it.
SB: So something that grows out of the sensitivity of the community, something that a community nurtures and supports, somebody from outside experience can come in and be judgemental and reject it. Now this becomes a problem, particularlyin India.I don't know of any authoritative encyclopaedia on European theatre. There are cheapie Readers' Companions, Readers' Guides kinds of things. Not a single encyclopaedia of European theatre as such. There's something very old by Gassner, something on World Drama which has long been rejected; I think it has even gone out of print, happily. But,we have an encyclopaedia of Indian theatre. Once we try even to do these exercises,without an awareness, without a close knowledge and interaction with these different regional cultures, we are bound to end up with disastrous models. And further institutionalising that monolithic look, that monolithic view of Indian theatre.
SB: Think of Manipur. Just day before yesterday, in Kolkata, I was talking to Ratan Thiyam. And as we discussed his problems with theatre in Manipur, problems of survival, (break in recording
) "25 a day". So twenty-five actors, who come down early in the morning and work till night. They have to be given three full, nutritious meals. It's hard work, very hard work, rigorous exercise - the kind of work that these 25 actors do, they need good solid food, thrice a day. And this, Ratan has to provide.
SB: And even when I asked him, he is not even talking of an organisation, an institution called the (?) Theatre, which is very much there, which has done a lot of work. But when I ask him 'How many people do you feed?', he says 25. And I ask him, "what does the amount come to?" He says, "between 2 lakhs and a half and 3 lakhs every year." How does he raise the money? By performing abroad. And, at one point as we go on talking, he says, "that's where I have to bring in, in spite of myself, the element of chamak
. I have to sell the chamak so that I get the money to support my theatre. At the same time, in my last production I've used an actress who has been trained in the Maibi tradition – trained at several levels. Trained for 8 years at a stretch. Lived 2 years with a Maibi and trained. Then come to the Jawaharlal Nehru Dance Academy. Trained with a Maibi teacher, a practicing Maibi, who teaches at the school (I've attended one or two of her classes also). And after all that, she has had to work rigorously for 6 months from morning till night to do this particular role."
SB: So there is traditional lore, traditional practice, traditional performance modes, and bringing them all into modern theatre under a different regimen, under a different discipline. All this is happening. But there are these other terms of reference which is part of the larger cultural field. This is not how a director in Bengal would ever think. I wouldn't ever ask him, "how many actors do you feed every day?" The question doesn't arise, it's a different system altogether. So it's a Manipuri culture where, when a trainee goes to a guru, he has to be fed. He stays there, he lives there, and he trains under that system. That system is inbuilt in the method, in the practice of Ratan, who is a modern director. And this is not something that can just be supplanted by a grant or some different kind of system. Even this sentiment of the guru who feeds his shishya ... Ratan, fairly regularly –because throughout the year they have several festive occasions and ceremonies – he cooks. He cooks in the huge bowl, by himself, some of the delicacies. And that becomes an act of the performance. It is a community taking part in the performance and nurturing the performance.
SB: It is not easy to leave all these considerations out and think of one universal model of theatre experience. It is not easy to watch and appreciate and respond to the Manipuri theatre experience, and to say that it is so colourful, it is so grand, it is so demonstrative, and be judgemental. I feel more and more the need to explore these cultural specificities in terms of the community's body and the performer's bodies and how they relate, and to watch theatre from these different vantage points, rather than from one singular master point of view, master point of view, or master perception of theatre. The inability to do that is more and more looming on us and becoming quite a threat.
SB: I promised Pravin that I'd finish at my 20th minute. I've just come to my 19th minute. I'llclose with one instance of what happens when we try to bring in this kind of 'master' perception.
I'm reading out from a review in Calcutta, of a play that went from Bombay to Calcutta, which I liked immensely: 'Theatre Arpana's Cotton 56 Polyester 84'. I believe a lot of you have seen this play. The play takes off from a documentation of the collapse of the textile mill industry in Bombay, and with that the crisis of the working class, whichhad played a historic role in the history of the Indian trade union movement – the Girni Kamgar movement of Maharashtra, which is legendary. It is also a play about the great Shaheer singers, particularly Amar Sheikh – the story of the last day of Amar Sheikh'slife is mentioned right at the beginning of the play, and the story of the last day of Amar Sheikh's life.
SB: It spells magic for people who are 'sentimental', 'melodramatic', 'nostalgic'. So all those charges even worked on us when we watched it in Calcutta. But here is a review from Calcutta: "I had looked forward to Theatre Arpana's 'Cotton 56, Polyester 84' as it had won 3 Mahindra Excellence in Theatre awards, but it failed to meet expectations. With plenty of good intentions, Ramu Ramanathan researched the story of Girangaon textile mills upto the recent decline due to the nexus between owners, politicians and the underworld, revealing the laid-off labour as the backbone of Bombay's work ethic. Ramanathan connected this lost heritage ..."The lost heritage of the working class – the working class has now become a lost heritage! "Ramanathan connected this lost heritage with another extinct tradition, the Sangeet Natak
, by showing his two out-of-work heroes as great fans and even singers of that form." Those of you who know the play would be shocked at this, because these singers were not singing Sangeet Natak
. Anything but that. It is a completely different tradition. And very categorically, Amar Sheikh is mentioned right at the beginning. The play begins with that reference, the information is given to you. But still.
SB: "Also their socialism is contrasted with capitalistic Mumbai today. Unhappily translated into Hindi and Marathi by Chetan Datar, the dialogue sounds more like a history lesson than an art work, while the songs consume precious time without furthering the action, exactly like Sangeet Natak
. So acceptably retro, but only upto a point. Ramanathan's cardinal error is to regress into a typically filmy subplot where the son of one worker joins a gang to survive, gets involved with a white safari suited Godfather's sister and predictably meets his end in an encounter."
SB: Now look at this. Somebody who doesn't even care, in a country like India, to recognize a history- a different history. He is quite insulted and irritated if he's given a history lesson. He bloody well needs to take history lessons, the way he writes. And this review starts with the more pompous assertion - I hadn't given you the beginning of the review... "It appears the brains behind Odeon (who had organised this festival) either don't read this newspaper, or disregard constructive criticism. Last year we had lambasted them for bringing both outside productions from Mumbai, as if that city summed up national theatre. Continuing to labour under that delusion, Odeon again imported Mumbai plays to fill those two slots. With such a biased track record, by no means can it qualify as the esteemed theatre festival of the city."
SB: Now the most unfortunate thing about this, and I feel quite awkward and embarrassed to make that statement, is that this is signed 'Ananda Lal', who edited the Oxford Encyclopedia of Indian theatre! Thank You.
Pravin: Thank you Samikda. I now call upon Shanta Gokhale. Shanta Gokhale is not the speaker at Not The Drama Seminar. Her paper written on the (?) as well structured as she generally makes her papers and she will like to review her own paper after the seminar.
Shanta Gokhale: If the power fails during this exercise, I will just have to stop because my voice won't get through the way Samikda's did. And also I have to read my paper so I would have to go and fetch my torch.
SG: I'm going to go straight into the paper.
Where theatre happens is simple to make out. You go to a city or town, refer to the local form of communication, whatever it is - black boards placed at street corners, posters, hand bills distributed in the park, bills pasted on walls or messages scribbled on walls, with chalk sometimes, vehicles roaming the roads with megaphones, amplifiers. Whatever the form of communication, theatre has to announce its presence. At its most expensive, it advertises itself in newspapers. If you are an insider and wired, you are even better off. You receive emails upon emails informing you about new plays happening, old plays, revived plays, children's plays. When none of this happens, when no friends call you and say, 'there's this play on at such and such a place and you simply have to see it', then you know that you're in a place where no theatre happens. When I'm in Chennai, I know I'm in a place where no theatre happens. When I'm in Bangalore I know, today, I'm in a place where theatre happens - I shall come to the today later. When I'm in Imphal, I know I'm in a place where theatre happens. And when I'm in Nagpur, Sholapur, Kolhapur, Kankavli, again I know that theatre happens. And in Mumbai and Pune, you cannot escape theatre. It's happening all around and there are plenty of choices.
SG: Before I wrote my book I went to two places. Calcutta, where I saw a play everyday, because I wanted to get a sense of theatre in these two places before I launched on my book. In Bangalore I met Mr. Marulasidappa, scholar of theatre, who gave me his book on Kannada theatre, which I could not read. I asked him if I could see a play; he said there was nothing on. I met Mrs Prema Karanth, who spoke about her theatre. I asked her if I could see a play, she said there was nothing on. I met Prakash Belawadi and said, "You are a young man of theatre, show me sometheatre." He said, "we young people cannot still have theatre, because theatre here is still only Karnad, Kambar and B. Jayashree."
SG: Years later, I was at Mahesh Dattani's place in Bangalore. We were going to have a comfortable chatty evening when a friend called up. "What are you doing?" - "Just sitting around chatting." - "Why don't you come and see a play?"- I just shot out of my chair. A play in Bangalore, yeah, yeah yeah, whatever it is, I want to see it! So we hopped into an auto and sped down to a hall, which I seem to remember was a wedding hall. And this was pure serendipity, because it was a brilliant production. The space was unbrilliant, to put it mildly. But, there was an audience. And this happened to be Girish Karnad's translation of Mahesh Elkunchwar's Vasansi Jeernani
directed by K M Chaitanya.
SG: The question- the fact that there was this huge audience in this wedding hall suggested that there was an audience in Bangalore for theatre. So why was theatre not happening? This question was answered a few months after Ranga Shankara was inaugurated in 2004, when I began to receive regular monthly schedules. Every day was booked, mostly by Kannada plays. And I remember that during the inauguration one had heard murmurs - about Ranga Shankara being so far away,about whether theatre audiences would be there, would come. Was it going to work? One didn't obviously have to wait too long to find out, because theatre began to happen. Plays happened, people came. And in this case, how it happened was also a kind of lesson. Because the State, which normally should be kept at arms length from all cultural projects, had shown a lot of enlightenment in this case by giving a plot of land and then staying strictly off that plot of land. Hutch also came in to underwrite some costs. And so it was a happy coming together of these two powerful agencies - the corporate and the government - and one woman with a vision and the spirit to make this thing happen, aided by a whole lot of like-minded people.
SG: So now, I come to Maharashtra via Bangalore, and my very obvious proposition here is that, for theatre to happen - not sporadically, not because there are writers who are dying to write plays, not because there are actors who are dying to act, but in a sustained manner that results in theatre becoming part of the community life - then a dedicated space for theatre becomes essential. If such a dedicated space exists, theatre happens, but for such a dedicated space to be created, a need for theatre must exist in the community in the first place. The community demonstrates this need when it turns up in large numbers in crummy halls, which double up for weddings and thread ceremonies and even fashion shows, and then it takes its chance with whatever is offered. It shows its need when it is willing to make do with basic facilities, when it is willing to sit on floors, chairs, benches, anything; to twist, turn, crane its neck to catch the action on stage. When the need to see theatre is paralleled by the need to do theatre, where actors will even go out onto the roads and into parks to rehearse because there are no rehearsal spaces available, then one can say, the ground is fully ready for theatre to happen.
SG: There is an alternative of course to the fixed bricks and mortar indoor space. Theatre can happen and actors carry the stage on their backs, set it up wherever the community feels the need to see theatre and perform with available facilities. Tirugatha works that way; so does the Assamese mobile theatre, which is out on the roads for 9 months of the year. Achutlakar, its progenitor, saw that theatre had stagnated since the 60s, and decided to go to people's doorsteps with it. He built a stage of bamboo and wood that could be dismantled easily and began to roll through the countryside of Assam. In time, other companies decided to emulate him, and soon they were carrying stages the size of 3500 square feet along with them in trucks. 10,000 people became involved in this theatre movement and they covered something like 60 centres in Assam.The people loved this theatre; they went to it, come rain come shine. And the theatre they got, which according to the critics was not really theatre art and had no contributions to make to the aesthetics of theatre ... but it was the people's theatre.
SG: And they got plays about dinosaurs, they got the whole of the Titanic complete with the iconic pose of the lover on the prow of the ship. Along with that they also got Othello and they got problem plays like burning brides. So in this paper, I'm going to sidestep the third force of theatre, which is the playwrights, actors, directors, and concentrate on what makes a community feel the need for theatre, and what happens when it does not have a dedicated space for it to happen. Before I return to Maharashtra, I must make a note of a short conversation that I was part of,recently, in Calcutta. The participants were Priya Adarkar, who has translated four of Tendulkar's plays, and Gowri Ramnarayan who has translated two, apart from writing four of her own. Priya says to Gowri: "What is Tamil theatre like?" Gowri says, "There isn't any" Priya says, "How can that be? Theatre has to be there. It has to happen everywhere." Gowri says, "No. It doesn't in Tamil Nadu." So she said, "Why not?"
SG: And then, there was a half hour conversation when Priya, the staunch Marathi, would just not let go of Gowri, and suggested various ways and means in which theatre could be made to happen in Chennai. Finally Gowri said, "If you can make dance happen in Maharashtra, I can make theatre happen in Tamil Nadu."
SG: This was not just a case of one-upmanship, though it shut up Priya! We have to return to this thing about the need for a certain performing art in a community. In connection with this, I'd like to cite the fact that the Raja of Sangli, who was patron to the supposed first Marathi play, instructed his multi-talented courtier Vishnudas Bhave to create and present a refined version of the Bhagwad Mela performance which he had seen and been impressed by. The refinement comprised of eliminating the dance element in the original. So it is to be noted that some historians of Marathi theatre who have denied the position of first play to Bhave's Sita Swayamvar
and would rather press the claim for the plays written by the Maratha Rajas in Thanjavur, have failed to take note of the fact that the Thanjavur plays were full of dance and could never form a tradition in Maharashtra. Theatre in Maharashtra has followed the same trajectory from its folk traditional roots to the refined middle-class Brahmanic tradition, as Bharatnatyam and Odissi have followed in those parts of the country. Along the way its audience has changed drastically.
SG: So that, when I say that the Marathi community has demonstrated its need of theatre by the fact that the tradition of theatre has remained more or less unbroken over 165 years, I'm not talking about the same community at all. Like the philosopher's shoe, the theatre-needing and theatre-going community has changed bit by bit and the theatre spaces that it has occupied has been at least partly responsible for this change. So let's see how this has happened. Vishnudas Bhave's first play, Sita Swayamvar is performed for the Raja of Sangli and hiscourtiers in the Sangli court. His play isn't much different in its aesthetics or narrative content from the Dashavatar
or Bhagwad Mela
that are happening outside in public spaces. But, whereas the Dashavatar and Bhagwad Mela are tied to ritual and therefore to the temple precincts, Sita Swayamvar
, despite its mythological narrative, is secular in the sense that it occupies a secularspace. The Temple is all-inclusive, the court is all-exclusive.
(end of tape)
(end of tape at 00:45:59.700)
(Following is the transcript for the rest of the talk):
Thus the public feels no ownership towards this performance. 10 years later, Bhave is out on the streets with his troupe of players, looking for patronage. While he performs in the open courtyards of wadas in Pune and places like that, with the owners giving him whatever fees they think fit, when he visits Bombay he suddenly has a revelation. He discovers the proscenium stage and feels instantly fascinated and challenged by its possibilities. He presents his play Gopichand in the Grant Road Theatre inMumbai, in which, so goes the advertisement - 'the bundle of sticks on Machindra Nath's head will be shown floating above his head!' This play was seen by members of three communities -Hindus, Parsis and Muslims. This kind of gimmick might have not gone down well with a homogenous Marathi audience whose idea of theatre had always been bound to the edifying as against the spectacularly entertaining. But Bhave, the practical man of theatre, gives this newkind of audience in this new kind of theatre, a new kind of experience. The second result of Bhave's, and soon after that other playwrights' exposure to the proscenium stage is the idea of stage setting. The third is deployment of actors. When Bhave performed outdoors, it was on a natural or a built height with the audience sitting around. The movement of actors is governed by this arrangement, creating a direct dialogue between players and audience. The dialogue on the proscenium stage could not happen in quite the same way, but it then gave rise to the theatrical convention of frontality: the player always fronting the audience. And this is a convention from which Marathi theatre has still not liberated itself. In this connection I must recall the shocked gasp that went up in Ravindra Natya Mandir during the Moscow Art Theatre'sproduction of Uncle Vanya. At one point, Uncle Vanya walks away towards the back, backing the audience, and with a very deft gesture throws his wine glass over his shoulder. The convention of frontality, had become so ingrained in the audience that now, since it had nothing to do with theatrical validity, this particular gesture and his walk away from the audience was construed as a breaking of propriety. To turn your back on the audience was to insult it, and the gasp that went up was a response to that!
(Pravin tells Shanta she has 1 minute, so she goes over to last bit)
Twice during the history of Marathi theatre, the cry has gone up for a house for theatre. This is something Sudhanva referred to - I didn't realise that the cry had also gone up in Delhi duringthe Drama Seminar. But in Maharashtra, twice. Once during the 100th year of Marathi theatre at the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh, which celebrated this centenary in a huge way. That is when the organisation pledged that it would raise money and build an indoor space. And when it was built, it was like your favourite daughter's wedding happening, because there was all the fanfare, there was pomp, there was a kind of religious awe about this thing. And there were politicians on the stage. Politicians have never been too far from Marathi theatre, right from the start, from the time of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. And here, this auditorium was inaugurated by Yashwant Rao Chavan.
Lastly, underlining the relationship between theatre space and theatre dependent community, is now the state of disuse into which this same Sahitya Sangh has fallen, because the Marathi speaker, who once lived in Girgaon, no longer lives there. The Marathis have sold out their chawls, their tenements, to other communities and moved to the northern and eastern suburbs of Mumbai. The communities that have replaced them in Girgaon have no use for theatre spaces; they are more keen on places from where they can carry on their business. Last point which has to be made, and which could be an action point for the Forum - please note that there is no such animal as an architect specializing in theatre architecture. If you go into theatres that are built today, and find out that the toilet is next door to the performance space, and every time the flush is pulled the actor has to interrupt his lines, then you know why. So, I think really, we need to come down to the ground and decide that we have to have some way or the other, a course in theatre architecture in all the architectural schools in India so that we'll have better theatre spaces to work from. Thank you.