On a bleak Thursday in office when I got a call from my friend, Suruchi, asking me if I would want to come for her play on Saturday morning, little did she know that she had made my day (and the forthcoming weekend). Because it was no small play. It was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
I had been stalking the play’s developments since April. One fine day when I saw Suruchi’s facebook post regarding her becoming a part of the play’s cast, I was really excited and happy for her. After all it was (Disney’s) maiden attempt to recreate the magic of Broadway in India.
19th December was finally the day when all my wishes (wrt to watching Beauty and the Beast!) came true. Here I was at Thyagaraj Stadium with passes arranged by Suruchi for my mom, school friends and me! (The added advantage was my mother’s presence, who had decided to pay a visit for year-end vacations.)
Did it live upto expectations? Well the answer is a resounding yes. From the very first moment when Cogsworth and Lumiere request the audience to switch off that gadget-which-has-not-been-invented-yet, the mood is set for 150 minutes of entertainment. The spectacular opening scene (which had Amitabh Bachchan’s narration to make it more spectacular) gave us goosebumps. The opulent sets, the amazing acting, the brilliant choreography and the live singing: it left the audience spellbound. The play was an ethereal experience that must not be missed at any cost.
The rest is not about Beauty and the Beast. People who are acquainted with my past would know that I have a very special connection with the title of this play! The remainder is regarding that connect and its consequences. After the play we all went towards the front stage to meet Suruchi. Amidst the conversation I got lost in a world of my own. I had lost touch with most of my school friends while I was in college. I still do not know what had happened to me. The good part is that on account of a shock that I received at the beginning of this year I decided that it was time to make amends.
For most people, friends are the people they hang out with, they go drinking with, they smoke-up with, people who have their back…All of that is true, with another one added to it in my case: Friends are the people who are only too eager to fill the void that someone else leaves. It took just ten minutes of being lost in my own world to remember the sequence of events that happened, my friends’ reaction to them and the way I changed (completely in accordance with Newton’s Third Law!).
Within those ten minutes I remembered the Stephens friends who would come all the way to find out the gossip and trivialise everything to make me get over things; the ISI friends who made my last semester in ISI so memorable and of course the special ch****a friends who are such big pests in my life that they overshadow every other problem. Their antics include calling at 3 am and saying “Arrey Madam! So gayi” and after a shower of the choicest expletives I either hang up on them or talk to them in my sleep (without remembering anything next morning!). I then remembered the travel buddies I go wandering with. That long-term friend from childhood, that friend you love baking a cake for, the “bro” friends, the friends who keep your hope alive, they all followed one another in the train of thoughts. Finally it came to rest on those that I had not stayed in touch with but have received me into their lives with amazing warmth.
It was a whatsapp message that brought me back to reality, looking at the whatsapp chat and the people around me, I felt glad to be back!