Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pennies mean a lot



Asking for help isn’t easy… 

Asking for money, even more so… 

How do you consolidate the sheer drilling that you’ve received since you were a toddler – that asking for help is a BIG, bad thing – with the need for resources and opportunities that make creative lives possible? The voices ring very loudly in your ears – Do not approach strangers, not even to ask directions, as we are taught and retaught through all our experiences – heartbreaks and honest appraisals – till we learn to unquestioningly believe…

Asking makes you vulnerable

Asking allows people to judge you as lesser

Asking means you don’t have enough

And not having enough is a reality the middle-class has been trying to hide like a bad case of hereditary baldness. And the only way to figure your way through this unwritten protocol is to somehow make yourself a self-sufficing island where all needs

emo material spiritual


are met with the simple expedient of earning money and hardening your heart till you stop recognizing need.

My personal journey to learning how to ask for help was a long and painful one, so I’m not going to bore you with the details. But suffice to say, that after the proverbial ups, downs and flat-on-my-backs – the logic of trying to be so drastically self-sufficient that asking for help becomes a rebellion against one’s sense of dignity and creates a burning discomfort quite like a UTI, escapes me. Because it does not make sense to me how shutting down your dreams, becoming a slave to ‘things’ and building fences around your heart till it becomes incapable of recognizing or giving love is a better alternative to asking for help

And no, I don’t have a massively hopeful, philosophical reason to explain this.


All I have are these pictures of a few people we met and shared our art with, over two days at one of the city’s biggest restaurants . We made strangers smile and sing along, we hugged them and made them happy, we made fools of ourselves and gave them a reason to look up from their conversations and condiments to partake of something different, something engaging, something that they wanted to be part of, but never knew existed.


And yes, we did ask them for money. The amount we got was pretty insignificant. But that’s a few more people in the world who will smile for a few extra hours because a troupe of actors gave them their all. At the end of the day, isn’t that why we started this in the first place?

We asked for help. The world didn’t end. People didn’t turn us away. They pulled us in to embraces that meant more than those some people who claim to love us have given us in some time. And if not their money, they gave us their time, attention and their memories. And an expensive, fine-dining experience became a little more meaningful.

Alright fine, I got philosophical, deal with it!

Because the point is, everyone wants to help, and everyone needs help. It’s about time we stop waiting for someone to make the first move.

My name is Hina Siddiqui. And I need help.










Step 5: BELIEVE!


At the end of the day…

Who holds it together?

Who pits it all against the odds?

Who believes in your dreams even more than you do?

When you’ve given it your all, your one hundred, you can pray for things to fall in to place or you can stand-up, wipe those tears off of your face and realize that this is just the beginning…

To three more weeks of intense rehearsals, to fundraisers, to the stage, to wishberry and networking, to hope, to creativity, to actors, to the STAGE…

To the next 1oo percent…

To know how you can raise this toast with us, click on:



Step 4: PROMOTE!


BA Logo

And after much holding of breath, out campaign is live.

You can check it out at:

So now, all that’s left to do is spread the word, talk about our campaign every opportunity we get, have the awesomest fundraiser, rehearse our hearts out and of course…

Trust the Universe

And the CROWD

Even a contribution of Rs 500 takes us that much closer to our dream. help us. We are artists. We are your artists. You’ve watched our plays, praised our work, wished that you could be part of us. Now is your chance.

Contribute to our campaign! Spread the word! Talk about Theatre!

Wishberry Cover Photo



Step 3: Pitch Bitch!


If this is step 4, forgive me for missing a step or two… but seriously, if you are looking to promote anything in this day and age of visual madness, you are going to need a


But it can’t just be any video – it has to be awesome and innovative and funny and engaging… because, the bottom line ladies and gentlemen, is

You’re an artist! It’s your job to make things interesting!


But on a very serious note, a pitch video for


is important.

And it is, fortunately or unfortunately, a real test of  how well your team works together. Can they bring it and stick through the grueling conceptualization sessions and the takes and retakes that getting it right takes? Can they become the brains and brawn of the operation when a certain key cog is having difficulty turning? Can they, when push comes to shove, sit there and smile for the camera when they’re hungry and tired and really need a smoke?

And it’s through days like this, that one realizes why theatre exists and why groups like OQ survive. They survive, they thrive and stride forward because when push comes to shove, people deliver…

Lines written at the last minute

Ideas that can inflate even the most tired of minds

Confidence that counts

but mostly they deliver hope that it is possible for people to come together and work, with nothing more to gain than the chance to create and see a production through.

You will of course be receiving the low-down on who exactly these people are soon.

I promise.

And do stay tuned to see the pitch video that this article was actually supposed to be about.

White Noise goes to Kolkata


We are in the middle of raising funds for our new production, yes. We are also in the middle of preparing our play ‘White Noise’ for its Kolkata debut. For when art proliferates, dams are broken and you end up rehearsing for Jekyll and Hyde kinda within a span of two and a half hours.

White Noise might as well be OQ’s seminal work – a coming of age if you will, of the feminist, radical and avant-garde principles that drive our work. Our foremost production that has survived the test of time and more importantly geography. This is our third trip out of Pune and the sky shining with rainbows seems like the limit all of a sudden! Especially, since the play, with an original cast of 8, is now being done by just 2 actors. But, enough about us. It’s time to applaud the reason we have this wonderful opportunity – The Arshinagar Project!


Based in Kolkata, the Arshinagar Project represents the spirit of theatre as it exists in artists’ hearts today – a theatre that is community-driven yet individual in its expression, a theatre that cares for people and the innovative zest that drives them to create. As within, so without and thus does Arshinagar take journeys of self-awareness through performance. From the Quawwals of Delhi and the Bauls of Bengal to Shakespeare workshops in the mountains, Arshinagar does it all with applomb and a desire only to let the art proliferate.

OQ is lucky to be invited to the Bordersongs Festival 2013 brought to you by the Arshinagar Project. To know more and to help theatre out, please do log on to