The Quarry
When : 20 Oct 2019  | Time: 7:00 PM
Where : Max Mueller Bhavan
About the Event

Multiple ventures of Perch

Let us begin with the manifesto of Perch: “All artistic creations emerge out of long and innumerable trials, but we often find support only for the end results and not the imperfect efforts. As Perch completed ten years, Take Flight began last year as our small attempt to support the messiness of these creative beginnings. Take Flight provides artists a grant that allows them to think about possible paths, try new things without pressure and change their mind as many times as they like – “ it is a workshop for making wings.”We continue this year with renewed enthusiasm and a new set of grantees.

In its second edition of Take Flight, curator Perch, a theatre collective operating out of Chennai, true to the manifesto cited above, had organized a series of work-in-progress projects that were “showcased” on October 19th and 20th, 2019 at Max Mueller Bhavan.

A look at some of them:

Quarry

What if you were made to live the life in a quarry, with its metal-impacting-stone sound into your ears! This was what one witnessed on the screen for just over 5 minutes with a prefaced and ending silence. And. The response was a thunderous applause from a considerate audience - all mostly youngsters by any standards.

Talking to Perch’s representative, the protagonist, Sri Saranraj took us further to narrate those chilling hidden stories that left the audience awe-struck. 

“Yes”, started Saranraj, “I got my inspiration in a day”. He had left his village Karadipatti in Madurai (மதுர பக்கம்  கரடிப்பட்டி) in 2013 and never went back.  The quarry he took us through in the documentary was a few kilometers from his village. Actually he wanted do some research on the working class and that was the motive behind his recent visit to the village. When he set his foot there, he faced the horror of his life. This village which had around to 300 to 400 families had barely 10 now. There was none of the metal-colliding-stone “nadham” that was sweet-sound to his ears. It was conspicuous by its absence. (பேரிரைச்சலுக்கு எதிராக அமைதி) This alarming silence gave him a sense of fear. He remembers those days as a child where the same quarry was his playing field till he got a chance to be at school. They used to play seven stones that caused him to present a photograph that captured this very game. (On display at the auditorium). His parents could afford only “a rupee as pocket money” whereas the ball used for this game could be anything between 8 to 10 bucks. They had to perforce get-going with damaged or split balls. He recalls poignantly the saying “Every day you will have to break stones if you want to keep the kitchen going” (அன்னாடம் கல் உடைத்தால் தான் அடுப்பு எரியும்) He quickly adds, “Days on which the kitchen was not available we used the arrangement of three stones and lit the fire for the kitchen to function”. He has also designed a room right here at the auditorium that had three stones with lit-lamps placed adjacent to them. Here the stones themselves were deified. Even their temples, he says, would have the stone as its God. In this particular room he had spread broken pieces of stone of uneven sizes. If you walked on it with bare feet, you would experience what the workmen in a quarry would have gone through during their entire life.

Even as he began this conversation he thanked Perch that encouraged him to go ahead with this idea. Otherwise it would have been a dream as good as gone dead.

s.sivakumar


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Sabhash.com is the one-stop destination for the latest news and information on the performing arts of India - classical music and dance, theatre, bhajans, discourses, folk performances, and other lesser known art forms. Institutions that revolve around the performing arts have exploded in numbers, and thanks to the Internet which has made information easily accessible, the number of rasikas has grown too. Corporate patronage has played a big part in increasing the world-wide reach of the Indian arts. Sabhash wishes to be a platform for inclusive growth giving an equal opportunity and recognition to not only the main performer but also the artistes who accompany them on stage, and the people who work backstage and play the role of unsung heroes.