Wednesday, November 27, 2013

CSB Promotion - Pandora's Box

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[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: CSB Promotion - Pandora's Box

It’s not that often we get to see plays touching upon gay theme. But a group of young budding amateur artists will be showcasing their latest play - ‘Pandora’s Box’, this Saturday in Mumbai, which aims to present the universal theme of love from a queer perspective. This young team calls themselves Metamorphosis to express art in different forms but with a meaning and perspective, and to deconstruct the stereotypes and norms. Pandora’s Box is the team’s second outing after the success of their debut play - Quest, which had run to packed audience.

The plot of Pandora’s Box revolves around the randomness of life and exploring different forms of love – the one that is innocent, the one that is a fairy tale, the one that has a thought behind, the one that vacillates between friendship and commitment, and the one that results out of loneliness and seclusion. The protagonist spends a particular night contemplating and reminiscing about the days long gone by. And as he looks back into his past, the letters, calendars, pictures and posters all come to life making him recall the good and the bad.
[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: CSB Promotion - Pandora's Box

Omkar Bhatkar who has written, directed and also acted in Pandora’s Box feels that he is taking a risk by venturing into a topic that could be palatable to only a few. He says, “To even think of writing Pandora’s Box was very challenging. Already the audience who watches theatre plays is niche and then you write a play from a queer perspective. So how many would really like to invest that kind of time, effort and money to watch such plays? But I believe it’s an important story that needs to be told even if there are only few people willing to witness it.”

The team staged a raw version of Pandora’s Box at auditions for Thespo, an annual youth theatre festival and they were pleasantly surprised to see that it had moved several members of the audience to tears. Judging from the reviews received, the cast and crew realized that this play was meant for everyone. “Eventually it’s a universal theme of love. It can be presented from a queer perspective, but also can be easily identified from any perspective,” Omkar opines.

The team Metamorphosis comprises of medical students, engineers, architects, models as well as theatre actors. But what brings these people of different occupations and backgrounds is their passion for acting and theatre.

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: CSB Promotion - Pandora's Box

Pandora’s Box will be staged this Saturday, November 30th at Temperence, Next to Rizvi College of Hotel Management, Bandra West, Mumbai. 

The play performance is restricted to an adult audience. 

For Tickets: 
The tickets are priced at Rs. 200/- for 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. show.
You can call 09833587470, 09821173756, 09930936865 for tickets.
Tickets can also be collected from the venue till Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Check out these related posts too!
CSB Promotion - Chennai Rainbow Festival 2013
CSB Promotion - KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013
CSB Promotion: Queer Ink Offer For CSB Readers!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Why It Is Important For Parents To Tell Their Kids To Be Gay Friendly

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One of my colleagues recently stated that gays are always sentimental, depressed and emotional; as if these conditions are natural if one is gay. But were we born with these conditions? No! They were inflicted upon us knowingly or unknowingly, which if we trace back to our childhood, will help us to understand.

I began to get confused about my sexuality when I was around 7. There was something that got me attracted to men at that very early age. And I didn't know there could be the remotest possibility that there are other guys who are experiencing the same. The visuals and texts around me suggested that a man is to be paired with a woman. The thought that I could be the sole person in this world to have such thoughts and not knowing where to seek help could be one of the early traumas I had to go through. I remember the numerous conversations I had in my mind talking to God, begging to throw some light. What I ended up receiving was more and more chaos. Why many gay men are prone to high level of anxieties and depression episodes? This chaos could have probably caused that. When we were kids, our tender mind was subjected to multiple levels of internal battle, more than it could handle. And we didn't know how to reach out to our parents for help, because we doubted whether they would understand us or the worst case, they could stop loving us.

Studies suggest that in the absence of a reliable caring adult, such intense trauma could lead to disturbing the neurochemical balance in the brain, decreased brain growth, and negatively impacting the neuronal pathways. The after-effect of these developments are long term which means they will be carried throughout a kid’s adulthood resulting in low self esteem, depression, anxiety, social and attention problems, behavioural disabilities etc. 

Such self-inflicted emotional abuse can be the most dangerous form of all abuses. It makes them weak within, not able to protect themselves, not able to stand up for themselves. This insecurity could in turn attract bullies and sexual predators seeing that they are an easy target, leaving them exposed to even more traumatic episodes. By the time, the kid attains adulthood, the mind is scarred beyond repair and the aforementioned after-effects keep haunting him. Add to that the social stigma, the pressure to lead a double life, the nagging of parents and relatives to get married - the world doesn't appear rosy at all for most of the homosexuals. 

These vicious series of events can be prevented to a large extent by the people whom the child searches for when he feels scared or threatened. The parents. 

At a time when parents are given the responsibility to give their children the first sex education (from the age of 3 onwards), it is utmost important that they discuss about sexuality and tell them to be gay friendly. The benefits of this approach can work out in two ways. 

One. If the child indeed turns out to be gay, he wouldn't have to go through the endless circle of emotional trauma. He knows where to reach out to when faced with perplexity. Knowing that his parents doesn't love him any less can give him the strength from within, the ability to face the world without any underlying turbulence, and lends him the emotional health equal to that of his straight peers. Not to forget that only when one is sound emotionally can he invest in deep love and healthy relationships. 

Two. If the child is straight, he has already got a clarity on gays from the people whom he considers as reliable source, leaving no room for misconceptions about homosexuality. The chances of him turning out to be homophobic would be minimal and would not face the mental block in accepting gays as equals. 

Therefore, as you see, the solution lies within the home. 

And now ponder upon how this solution is inherently present in the case of gay parents..

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Why It Is Important For Parents To Tell Their Kids To Be Gay Friendly
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka with their kids

Check out these related posts too!
My First March For Equality 
Bangalore Gay Pride March Montage By Amar Mitra 
The Great Indian Mainstreaming Of Homosexuality

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