Sunday, 15 November 2015

Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf ? by Edward Albee

At first ,I thought that I had completely  failed to understand this play by Edward Albee, perhaps  because of my lack of comprehension .But slowly , it dawned on me that the play itself has certain  complications  and weaknesses".Incidentally ,Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?" , won the 1961 Tony Award for best play.
                    The play is about a husband(George) and wife(Martha)  who continue to  drink and fight through out the night in the  play.It is   obvious that their relationship is quite complex.Their dialogues are   full of insults and even obscenities.They keep fighting about a son who actually does not exist.They have been telling  this fairy tale to each other for years now.They have decided not to mention their imaginary son in the presence of strangers.However the wife breaks this promise in the presence of strangers.The husband takes his revenge by saying that their son is dead in the presence of same strangers.
                 It is not really a great" read".It may  perhaps , appear better when performed.It was made into a film with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in lead roles.For me,this book is still a  work in progress.It may need a few more readings.It is a work which can be called   both mad and genius
 I quote this  from the book itself:"We all peel labels , sweetie;and when you get through the skin, all three layers, through the muscle,slosh aside the organs(...) and get down to bone . . . you know what you do then?
(....)when you get down to bone, you haven't got all the way,yet.There's  something inside the bone . . ..the marrow . . .and that's what you gotta get at."

Thursday, 5 November 2015

An Effort I admire

Today(November5,2015;Thursday), I chaired a session on  Draft Policy on Employment and employability  of the Persons with Disabilities in Rai Umanath Bali Auditorium Hall,Kaisar Bagh ,Lucknow.It was organised by   Sparc India, a small NGO run by Amitabh Mehrotra and  his other associates , for the welfare and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
                  When I entered the Jai Shankar Prasad Hall , I found three groups of   young boys and girls , discussing various aspects of proposed policy for enhancing the employability and employment of  persons with disabilities.Then the three groups made  brief presentations, each  on five different aspects of the subject in hand.
                   The whole experience was very touching and inspiring.Amitabh himself has  some disability  related to cerebral palsy.But this dedicated  band of young persons under his leadership  came up with ideas and  suggestions about what the proposed policy should contain .What impressed me most was their honesty of purpose and a strong hope that some of their recommendations will be accepted by  state government of Uttar Pradesh and   government of India.Hovering between my cynicism in the political establishment  and the faith  and hope of this youth , I gave them ,(what I thought,)helpful suggestions.That a good policy must be evidence-based, it should have a connect with reality,it should be politically acceptable,it needs advocacy, lobbying , persuasion  and involvement of all stakeholders.But still ,this experience  brought home to me the power of pure and  innocent  efforts  by   ordinary citizens to give voice and articulation to the  millions of voiceless  persons with disabilities , in Uttar Pradesh and India.I hope ,that state government of Uttar Pradesh and government of India  will soon  make some  good and implementable  policy to increase the  share  of  persons with disabilities in employment from present 1% to 3%(as needed   by the share of their  population)  Well done ,Amitabh.