The Great Indian Blogologues [Digitally yours Madras]



Prologue
I still couldn’t believe it when I got the mail from Stray Factory saying one of my posts got selected for the Great Indian Blogologues. I thought it was a hoax until Director Rajiv called me up. From then on it was a mad dash for tickets(last minute obviously) with the blocking and booking and the subsequent confusion between the two.

The Site
Stray Factory had set up a page on their site with my name on it and that was pretty much enough to impress my friends. I mean, it was the first time my name appeared on a website that wasn’t the FBI database. Then they went on to create a whole site for the event – www.blogologues.in. With our individual photos and everything. That increased the hits to my blog many fold. Those who are too lazy to check the site out now, here’s a rough idea.

Don't worry, the post gets more serious from this point on.

31st October 2010 (D-Day)
The Gathering
I put on my Pirate hat and gathered my battalion of people (whom I bribed to make noise for me) and went for the event . I saw some of the bloggers, from a distance that is. They had 2 tickets worth Rs.500 each for the bloggers absolutely free. That is the highest anyone has estimated my net worth, Rs.1000. I know, I AM awesome! I expected someone to come up and say “hey...are you...Vinay Menon?”. Sadly, that never happened as no one gave a damn . Having no possible idea about the media coverage or what’s going to happen(or ‘gonna happen’ for the literarily challenged), our group entered Shivagami Petachi auditorium.

The Event
Show started with Mathivanan(who’s so badass he didn’t even need a mic) giving an intro of the whole thing and of the bloggers. The lights were strategically dimmed during the latter so that they didn’t look like they were socializing with nerds and/or idiots. If I triggered some insecurity in any of the selected 9 bloggers reading this, let it be known the lights were completely off for moi. 
Everything about the first show can be found here -> ‘The Great Indian Blogologues – A Review’ by Rindo Ramankutty. That’s pretty much the only good complete review out there. He’s said 90% of what I wanted to say. Yeah yeah, remaining 10% coming up, be patient.

The Aftermath
Generally, theatre has this stereotype of being drab and archaic (read : Shakespeare). But anyone who has/hasn’t seen theatre before were floored. The highlights being Inspector Sathya, Mathi the terrorist, Aswath the love struck boy and the Mime troupe. The next 2 weeks were filled with facebook publicity and celebration. Metro did an article on the event talking about how they were kinda stupid and didn’t get all the jokes or something, plus an interview with the only celebrity in our midst. Some people who attended said “Besides the technical errors, the show was perfect”. To them I say – try running a show on stage for 90 minutes perfectly and then talk you whiney bitches! You could’ve at least credited the actor who improvised on stage for the technical errors.


13th NOVEMBER 2010 (encore)
The Gathering
This time around came with just a few friends and parents quite decently. I knew Giri Vijaykumar was there somewhere since he had bought the Blogologues T-shirt before me(his name was on the list) and I ran into Zaid Mohd. Besides that, the remaining bloggers were too busy saving the world from a meteorite and couldn’t make it. If your real reason tops a broken toe, then I’d agree with you. Else, you know you’re conceited if you can’t come for your own show.

The Event

ACT 1 : Judy finds ‘the one’ by Mathivanan Rajendran

·         This part is mainly monologue, so keeping it interesting by itself was a challenge. A challenge well accomplished by the director.
·         Hawt girl in frame ends the opening monologue with extra emphasis on the statement “I’m a blogger, and I pollute cyberspace”. That was not really funny and completely untrue. With cyberspace full of uncensored violence, snuff, gay porn, Arudhathi Roy and what not, bloggers merely clutter cyberspace, not pollute it.
·         Starting off with ‘Letter to the one’ by Judy Balan. Aiswarya Mahesh did the theatrical incarnation of the bold Judy. Aiswarya brought out a more poetic version of that, ending every sentence with a flourish.
Eg:- I like the idea of going go...UP.........on my toes...when I kiss...
I feel during both shows, the audience didn’t give her enough applause when they should’ve, thus earning Aiswarya the coveted title of ‘Unsung hero of Act 1’.
 

"Dear you...."
          The play then seamlessly flows into a mix of ‘The F factor’ and ‘Definitely the heights’, both by Teenu Terrance. Judy’s Mom on screen is both a ‘tyrant’ but still likable.
·         After his entrance and a brief chat with Judy, Mathi begins his own monologue based on ‘Why not be a terrorist’ by Charan, and he totally ‘pwned’ it. This was my favourite post under Mathi’s direction but the stage performance was even better. My favourite part being the infamous ‘pink slip’. It seemed like a stand up act routine, if nothing else.


Multiple passports beeyotch!

         Mathi's line - "They should be tied to a post and tickled to death" - heights of passive aggressiveness.
·         Meanwhile, Hawt girl in frame didn't just sit there being brain dead. She herself was enjoying the show put on my Aiswarya and Mathi.
·         Aiswarya's line - "....a psycho that should be put away in da looony biiiin" - a nod to insults in the 50s
·         In the post ‘Useless friends and loola family’ again by Judy Balan, what stole the show in this one was the Stoned photographer friend. “WAAAAAAAAZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
·         The Terrorist's growing frustration as he calls up Judy's contacts, eventually leading him to 'act out' -  "Avinash the superman..nyeh!"
·         The final part of the play includes ‘Dead woman partying’ yet again by Judy Balan and then ‘15 reasons to marry a female blogger’ by Pradeep Kumar. This original blog of the latter had made me cringe since I disagree with the entire post and each of the points(twice). But the on stage duo limited it to just enough to keep the audience interested before ending on a romantic note. (Yes! Judy did find the one, HALLELUJAH!).
·         "Nothing fits like a Gucci" - Product placement or Capitalist conspiracy? You be the judge!


ACT 2 : Vigilante v/s Vigilante by Hariher Balasubramanian
·         A sci fi act based on ‘Transference’ and ‘Heist’ by Giri Vijaykumar. I still have no clue as to why the name for the act. Now this play being based on the blogs means it roughly adopts the concept of one of them and uses the name of the other in a passing conversation. Only the clone would be a common factor in both the blog and act, the rest were new characters.
·         But even at the very start, the audiences’ collective minds were blown away so much that they were cleaning up the brain matter and sanitising the auditorium for days. The reason? INSPECTOR SATHYA portrayed by Joel Nigli. If this act was Inglourious Basterds, then Inspector Sathya was Colonel Hans Landa. Kudos to whoever wrote this breakthrough character in. Anyone gonna brag and take credit for that? No? Moving on. Hereare all the lines of Inspector Sathya through out the play that I can recollect.

·         One change of cast was for the gay cop Ravikrishna. He was a more menacing homosexual in the first performance. But many(including my friends) didn’t get it. So this time around, he was substituted for a more stereotypical and disturbing homosexual (“Saar! He is lika lillipop”).



L to R : Inspector Sathya, Clone, Ravikrishna the gay cop


·         I liked the character of Loansharkji, the bitch aunty/gang boss who is so badass that she talks to her ‘clients’ only through her lieutenant even if they’re standing next to her. Director Hariher Balasubramanian plays the role of Barbie (seriously??!!), the lieutenant.
·         One really funny line by Loansharkij had changed slightly over the 2 performances as far as pauses go.
1st performance : Does it look................like I give...................a flying............FUCK??!!
2nd performance : Does it look.....like I give a flying fuck??!!
 This line was noted because of the varied reactions it should’ve received.
Previous Generation : Shiva Shiva! Profanity!! Chee!
GenXer 1 : Nope, I don’t think she’d give a flying fuck.
GenXer 2 : I agree with you, even if she had a dozen flying fucks, she wouldn’t give any of them.
GenXer 1 : Yup, no flying fucks to be received from her. Wanna go smoke grasses?
GenXer 2 : Totally!
·         The next few scenes are a flurry  of Loansharkji quoting Shakespeare(foreshadowing), scientist chicks being both funny(the Chubby one) and annoying(the other one) and Inspector Sathya figuring out the entire plot was based on Transference with a few added twists. The epiphany scene was better done than last performance and this time around  the audience actually got what was going on.


No Barbie! Loansharkji said to slap the other one
·         The main character(Naren Weiss) seems to have gone unnoticed under Inspector Sathya’s shadow. He played the role of confused/seemingly innocent victim well, being bullied by the Inspector. His disturbing enactment of his nail being pulled out turned my focus away from Loansharkji’s lines from Shakespeare. And finally quoting Shakespeare’s relatively unknown lines with a menacing tone was a great ending. Congrats! You have won the coveted title of ‘Unsung hero of Act 2’.


 
ACT 3 : Confessions of a Shattered Mind by Rajiv Rajaram
·         This consists of 4 distinct skits loosely integrated in the name of science or something.
·         Starts off with Zaid Mohd’s ‘Traffic Jams’ post, which is basically the Bean Jar analogy on vehicles stuck in a Traffic Jam. The post by itself kinda drags but Naveen George Thomas explains it well as a Scientific Mind complete with technical jargon.
·         Cameo by Director Rajiv as Director Rajiv and the subsequent dialogue – “What yaar?” “Help yaar” “GO yaar!”
·         What really blows you away is the musical Naveen himself sings and the Mime troupe enacting out Chennai traffic scenes including Vehicles, traffic signals, the dastardly traffic police, accidents and ensuing chaos. Thus Naveen gets the coveted title of ‘Sung hero of Act 3’, since he got to sing et al.

The full blown musical

jlk·         The icing on the cake being the line “It is BEANS ladies and gentlemen.....the ‘S’ is silent”.
·         Lisping nerdy Lalit Modi does his thing and becomes a money hungry bastard, but lovably so, in stark contrast with the real one.
·         Using the mime troupe to represent a group of people was a brilliant idea, especially for the ‘Tweet Tweet’ part of the Sashi Jingle and the ‘Local piece’ enactment.
·         One of the BYEST lines in the play was “To unite the upper class ....middle class ....and lower class ”. That was just too good.
·         Sashi’s line “Do not worry my fellow lesser man...” was a complete miss. GRRRR!
·         He’s a Witch....BURN HIM!”
·         The references to Gabriella Demetriades and Sreesanth were lost on the audience. In fact the whole anti-IPL message was also lost I guess.

How Sashi went from zero to...uh...negative?

·         Ashwath Nair and his crush had a newly added opening duet dream sequence.
·         Truth Stranger than fiction’ by Anuraag Seshadri is a lengthy post with a story that can be fit into 5 lines – (1)Guy likes girl (2)Guy PROFESSES love to girl (3)Girl gets angry (4) Guy has humorous conversation with friends (5) Girl accepts guy as friend. Considering this, the stage performance was a vague adaptation of the shadow of the compressed-made-in-Taiwan version of the distant relative of the original post.

Lessons on how (NOT) to PROFESS your love
 ·         This time around, there were no technical glitches and we got to see Humphrey Bogart fully. But Ashwath did have the chance to improvise when one of his would be stalkers yelled out ‘Nice ass!’.

HUMPHREY BOGART!!!
 ·         EVIL THAI MAMA! BUAHAHAHAHAAA!!
·         I had met this guy before and he behaves pretty much the same on stage. So I never felt it was put on or anything. In short, the Other scientist chick from the previous act can take a few lessons on how to over act and still look good.
·         “I love you” “WHAT?” “ok.......” – CLASSIC!
·         The final part was completely in Tamil and not based on anything I had ever read. But the show put on by Amzad Khan, RJ Ma Ka Pa Anand and especially Sharavan Raghavan(whom my friends called cute) was enough to make you listen to the pointless story about the ‘Mallika Sharawath polle oru pambu’

Get that snake!

 ·         The new closing act? Inspector Sathya makes a re entrance to show them rowdies who’s Da Boss.

Ey you rowdies! Give the message da!


Misc
·         The legendary Krish Ashok wasn’t available since he’s just too awesome to mingle with us mortals. Wouldn’t you agree?
·         The Mime troupe involved were the MacTrics.
·         At the very end, Hiphop Tamizha did a longer performance than last time. Once again, we all liked the beat box guy.
·         Stay tuned for Jerome Bixby’s Man from Earth by Stray Factory!!!

L to R : Directors Hari, Mathi and Rajiv with everyone


The Aftermath
The crowd pretty much loved the performance but still left the auditorium the second Mathi said ‘Thank you’, possibly to discuss about it outside. On stage, everyone was hugging and doing back flips from the excitement of doing, not one, but TWO shows successfully. All credit goes to the Monkey. They made us look cool, and for that, we salute them!
Epilogue
I heard something about Mathi having to travel around the world in less than 80 days while still in make-up (no, he wasn’t made the Prime Minister of England, that’s just a myth). Besides that, the missing bloggers successfully saved the earth from the killer meteorite the best way they could – by making their fans write negative comments about the meteorite in support of them.


3 comments:

  1. Yes dude. I got the t-shirt. Not the white blogologues one, but the "I 'M' Madras" in black.

    Good review covering the minutest details for all three acts!

    I am pretty certain your line--I'll make this turban guy bitch slap the hell outta that show off dancer--got into Hariher's head when he was building up the Shakespeare spewing 'Sornaakka' a.k.a. Loansharkji character :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heh heh, you're just pissed you didn't get too much real estate on the promo site.

    A boob job might work. :P

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ Rindo : Now we know y ur still single...

    ReplyDelete

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