I drove to Los Angeles on Sunday to watch two Marathi plays by Suyog - "Ethe havay kunala prem?" and "Appa aani Bappa". The first one was a light comedy about various stages of marital relationship. The other play Appa aani Bappa was a classic. Two great actors - Vikram Gokhale and Dileep Prabhavalkar portrayed two friends who had worked together in a farce over 40 years only to part ways after a misunderstanding.
It was worth driving for two hours each way (130 miles or so) to watch these veteran actors perform. Not just the play, but the whole ambience transformed me back to good old Mumbai theatres. Those bells ringing before the curtain goes up, that divine smell of coffee and batata-wadas and close to 500 strong crowd. For a moment, it was like a play in Deenanath at Parle. Theatre is a fascinating medium and I guess, no matter how many dimensions we add to movies; theatre will retain its charm.
Interestingly for both the plays, I was sandwiched between a Kannada family from Pune on my right and a Gujarati family from Mumbai on my left. People speaking Kannada, Konkani and Gujarati watching a play in Marathi in an area dominated by Spanish speaking immigrants from Mexico. Last Sunday, it was turn of my Turkish and Korean colleagues to watch Sarkar in theatre with us.
I trust, this pot-pourri of cultures is the most interesting thing about Mumbai and California. I actually have a personal record of having food from seven different cuisines (Swedish, Indian, Persian, Chinese, Mexican, Greek and Hawaiian) for seven meals in 3 days (no wonder, I weigh close to 75 kg). I could go on and on, with this thread to belabor my point of how variety is the spice of life and how globalization is bringing different cultures closer, but then I have to leave for a Japanese Sushi n Tempura fair. Man, how I enjoy not working and sitting at home doing plain nothing!