Monday, June 1, 2009

Murder and a missing plane


Kathakali is an Indian dance drama involving elaborate costumes, make-up and disturbing subject matter. It dates from the days of the maharajas in the early 17th century.

Prasanti and I are both dressed in salwar kameez, which Gregory David Roberts called ‘the most flattering garment’ in his novel Shantaram. I’m not so sure about the pants though. Although hidden behind the top they are uncomfortable and most unflattering in my opinion. Perhaps it is best for me to mix the tops and scarves with western pants. It could look quite nice with jeans.

We have our first taste of banana chips while watching the show and are instantly hooked. It’s so much nicer than potato chips and perhaps healthier – even though these are deep fried in coconut oil they are at least home made!

What an experience to watch the actors apply their make-up before the show. A rice paste and natural pigments are used to create dramatic character faces with strong features that are, well, just plain scary.

Tonight’s story is called ‘The Killing of Kichaka’ and it is a tale of blood and lust that becomes more and more unsettling, until the end leaves an uncomfortable feeling lingering in the oldest remaining theatre in Fort Kochi. This is definitely not something I would want to watch again but I am also happy that I have had the chance to experience a truly creative art form that has survived in its purest form over so many centuries.

While the maharajas had Kathakali in the 17th century we’ve got BBC and today’s news is even more disturbing than any show could ever be: a swine flu pandemic, bankruptcy and an Air France plane disappearing somewhere over the Atlantic.

It makes me reassess my life and the fact that it can be taken away any second. What would I do if I knew today that I had only a short time left in this world? The answer comes to me very quickly: spend quality time with my friends and family. And travel, travel, travel until I have absorbed as much of this terrible and beautiful world and its people as I can possibly take.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Safe travel
Love Mich

Mona Lize said...

Thanks
Love Lize