A Performance at an old-age home
Our once-a-month charity performance this month was at Mathruchaya, an old-age home. Tucked away in Banashankari, Bangalore we visited this place on 9th May. ‘We’ comprised a bunch of newbies to Playback Theatre and a few odd oldies.
Mathruchaya is run by the welfare wing of Canara Bank. It’s a beautiful space with a little garden, benches, and very neat single bed room homes. All it’s inmates are old people in the age group of 75 to the oldest inmate who is a sprightly 95. All of them have had illustrious careers and now spend the evenings of their life here.
Umesh was our conductor and the actors included Murugesh, Sumana, Madhumitha, Saraswathi, Parinita and Rajesh. Arif played the music. The fluids ranged from ‘expecting to see a play’ to a very vehement ‘the young don’t respect elders anymore’ to ‘Bangalore has changed for the worse’ to ‘if at all anything can be learnt from the youth today it is how to make money!’
There was one story where the teller narrated an incident that had taken place in 1948. Apparently although India had gained freedom in 1947, the princely state of Mysore was still under the rule of the Mysore Maharaja till 1948 and the teller was witness to his friends from school going on a strike to protest the Mysore rule. The police were very violent and they fired on the protestors. One of his friends died in the shootout. For the teller, till this day, the memories of that horrific day refuse to go away.
At the end of the performance, we had light refreshments with the audience members. They were very happy with our performance. One gentleman who was the oldest at 95, invited us to his home and we were amazed to see how neatly he had organised the entire place. Not a single thing was out of place. He would occassionally cook something for himself on his own.
For us, it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. We left taking some great memories of this beautiful place.