Through Cindy’s Eyes

We are now halfway through our adventure to India. Parts of the trip are mundane – washing out clothes by hand, getting daily water from the waterseller across the street, trying to find the right mix of food and exercise to keep us strong and our bellies calm – but parts of the trip continue to be exotic and unusual. Yesterday we met with a representative from the U.S. Consulate in India, along with Jagdish and Arundhati. In the afternoon, Joe and I had an interesting talk with Anu Frederick, the Business Manager here, about Indian government – the complexity of unifying a country with so many different languages. We also got an email from an audience member who was frustrated by what she perceived as the Imperialist content of the play, which led us to a good conversation about the nature of the play with all of our hosts. Last night at the show we had a small but appreciative house. I continue to be fascinated by watching the audience here – again, there was a row of 20-somethings out for the evening and enjoying the play. Bruno’s rescue of Louis doesn’t get the laugher and applause it did in Tucson (perhaps this audience didn’t grow up watching Lassie?), but Queen Victoria is a hit every night. Yamba’s pronunciation of “bird” wins laughter in both places. I am, of course, intrigued by all of the Indian dress – the lovely, bright fabrics, always with a scarf or shawl thrown over the shoulders. We’ve all been reading more Indian plays, as well as a German play that the British company brought here in February. We’re all a little homesick. This morning I watched the sunrise over our balcony – the piles of big rolling clouds with pink undersides above the thousands of palm trees. I thought about this daylight heading toward you all.

— Cindy Meier

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6 thoughts on “Through Cindy’s Eyes

  1. I absolutely love reading everyone’s observations and thank you for sharing them! I especially enjoyed the fabric photo – I would love to experience that shop. I hope your performances continue beautifully. I think about you every day, Cin. Love you – Susie

    • Hi, Susie! I was just going to email you the info about the Blog and you found it! I love you! Hope all is well!

  2. Indeed what an adventure you are having ! As for the audiences not giving Bruno the applause & laughter they did in Tucson — It is my understanding that dogs are not pets in India, but are pariahs. In a country where so many people have so much difficulty finding something to eat, dogs are competitors for whatever can be scavenged from restaurants and affluent households. In that case, the loving relationship between Bruno & Louis might be a foreign concept. What do your hosts think?

    • I’m given to understand, by the Rajas, that dogs are indeed beloved pets here. I have developed a theory in recent days that the Indians may not have the same relationship to melodrama that we Americans do. The moment of Bruno saving Louis, after all, would be perfectly comfortable at the Gaslight Theater. Perhaps the Indians don’t quite relate to the mock melodrama of it all?

      (Dogs do seem to be tolerated in feral packs on the streets here.)

  3. Now I will have to read the play to refresh my memory. (I should have seen it more than once) As I remember, the whole wild story abounds in all those 19th century cliches of adventure in the exotic wilds of non-European countries, and thereby reflects attitudes of imperialism and western assumptions about the cultural Other — white man stumbles on all these little brown people and becomes their leader by virtue of his superiority as a white — etc. But I saw it all as ironic and tongue-in-cheek. After reading the blog, I am fascinated with how this play might have been seen by an Indian audience, particularly this woman who thought it was “imperialist.” If only I could have been a fly on the wall to hear the discussion. Any chance you could elaborate a bit on what was said?

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