They gathered. Many old and many new friends from the theatre, the arts and just life’s companions whose faces lit up when they glanced into the foyer. This was the day. JAGRITI awoke! There was much mingling, greetings and introductions and then Sanjana Kapoor, Arundhati Nag, Gayatri Rao (trustee of the ART Foundation), Yusuf Arakkal and Arundhati and Jagdish lit the lamp. They stood on the LUMBINI stage and watched little Razah, Yusuf’s 3-year old grand daughter, tinkle the bell. On this signal the drapes covering the mural dropped revelaing the Arakkal mural which Mani (a friend of Yusuf’s) said was the best he had done. JAGRITI AWOKE! Drapes made of scrims used in ART’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream were skilfully raised and dropped by the Fantastic Four – Maitri, Venky, Arvind and Partha – veterans of ART Kids and ART Youth.
In the auditorium Darius Sunawalla and his old radio buddy Sumit Raja, informed, interjected, infuriated and teased one another and the audience through the course of the progarmme where Tara Kini sang a haunting invocation of four very appropriate Sanskrit slokas while Jagdish recited the English translation. The Jagriti kids had the audience in splits and in thrall with a series of sketches. Tara was back on the stage and sang a thumri to which Madhu Nataraj danced kathak. Shanti Rao on veena closed the performance. Then Darius and Sumit asked Sanjana Kapoor, Aru Nag and Yusuf Arakkal to set JAGRITI on its way with words of encouragement, support and praise.
Bangalore’s theatre couple were cheered on to the stage where they reminisced, thanked, and acknowledged the many who had extended their support. From Ray+Keshavan for the Jagriti face, to Yusuf to Ravee, the architect and the scores of others. It was a joyous end to the evening.