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Three Amusing Stories...

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  • jogyata
    A Rare Ten out of Ten Over the Northern Hemisphere winters Sri Chinmoy and a number of his fortunate students spend a month or two in warmer parts of the
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2006
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      A Rare Ten out of Ten

      Over the Northern Hemisphere winters Sri Chinmoy and a number of his
      fortunate students spend a month or two in warmer parts of the planet.

      On these evenings together we often act in spiritual plays, some
      serious, some light-hearted and humorous, but these have not always
      been a high-point in my vacations. When I perform my tiny parts I
      forget lines, flounder in an ocean of anxiety and discover a total
      incapacity for acting that borders on imbecility. All this of course
      is good for us because our egos are crushed and we learn humility –
      especially when night after night ones own idiocy is highlighted
      further by the contrasting brilliance and competence of so many of
      one's brother and sister disciples.

      I like the Irish comedian Hal Roach's story about somebody who spent
      weeks rehearsing his part in a play, which consisted of two simple
      words – 'is it?' For days this actor went around practicing his lines
      – 'is it? is it? is it? IS it?' to perfection, honing these two all
      important words into a compelling and dramatic tour de force. Alas on
      opening night, under the pressure of real public performance, he came
      out instead with 'IT IS!'

      But enough self-flagellation. One glorious success though was a play I
      once did with an accomplished actor-friend – lots of dialogue,
      rehearsals, real acting, and somehow I got through it word perfectly.
      What made the play a personal triumph though was the fact that my wife
      Subarata and several of her friends were seated front row, huge
      play-destroying grins on their faces, and I had to grapple desperately
      with the effect this had of luring me into laughter. Worse, when I
      glanced at Sri Chinmoy, searching for soulfulness and resolve, he was
      grinning hugely too, unabashedly in complicity with the girls and
      enjoying my plight and the unusual spectacle of me in a play with my
      meticulous friend.

      Somehow grace descended and we pulled it off. But I can still remember
      Guru's delighted and mischievous smile in this conspiracy of mirth
      which he and certain members shared and I can quietly appreciate
      myself and my ten out of ten for thespian fortitude.

      -------

      Captain Ahab Harpoons a White Woman

      On another occasion I played Captain Ahab from Moby Dick and all I had
      to say was 'Ahoy matey! Is that the white whale I've been searching
      for? Out of my way, woman! I'll harpoon that blubbery fish that took
      me leg!'

      I also had to remember to limp – with only one leg Captain Ahab would
      certainly have had a limp - and deliver my lines with a suitably
      roguish, nautical accent. Simple enough, surely.

      But when I leapt out from the audience and shouted 'Ahoy matey!'
      things started to unravel. The combination of limping, feigned
      piratical accent, remembering to face the audience and use the mike,
      and remembering my lines proved too overwhelming for my overtaxed and
      panicked brain and in what I clearly recognised as a New Zealand
      accent I heard myself say 'Is that the white woman that took me leg?
      Out of my way, matey, I'll harpoon that blubbery beast that I've been
      searching for!'

      In a fog of despair, dimly I saw play director Sanatan standing off
      stage, glowering at me and my gaffe, and my confused co-actors,
      reeling with uncertainty, also looking at me in surprise. The
      audience, too, were unsure as to the identity of the blubbery white
      woman I wanted to harpoon and how she had managed to take my leg, but
      finally things rolled on and I was released out of the play and free
      to escape, crestfallen but relieved, back to the sanctuary of my seat.
      Captain Ahab had it easy – losing one's dignity is always much, much
      worse than merely losing a leg.

      Incidents like this linger in the minds of other play directors too
      and suddenly you begin to notice that requests for you to perform in
      their productions are steadily declining. Mercifully too, since
      treading the boards is hell for a reticent introvert like me.

      -------

      Another Awkward Moment

      While on the subject of plays, for obvious reasons I like non-speaking
      parts the most and I've been a dead body in two plays, a tree, the
      rear end of a two man silent elephant and many times a walk-on extra
      who just mutters occasionally and jumps about.

      Once I was a baby in a pram in one of Ketan's plays, but this memory
      too is not an agreeable one. I was meant to be wheeled on for a few
      minutes in one scene then wheeled off – a short but riveting
      performance making baby noises with a plastic pacifier jammed into my
      mouth, mascaraed cheeks and dressed in an endearingly frilly pink baby
      top – but in the excitement of the play my fellow thespians forgot to
      wheel me off and I was left on stage for about twenty minutes trying
      desperately to remain 'in character' in my pram, jaw aching from the
      pacifier, limbs aching from being compressed into the baby carriage
      and trying desperately to make eye contact with somebody to take me
      away. My plight was soon noticed by my 'friends' on the boys side and
      their mirth spread like a forest fire, with much finger pointing and
      ill-concealed joy. Hard to remain dignified and composed under such
      circumstances.

      Moments like this remain indelibly seared in one's memory as another
      of those horrendous low points that will absolutely guarantee that in
      none of our many future incarnations will we ever, ever decide to be
      an actor.

      But we have to put in a few cheerful appearances on stage because
      Somebody wants us to make lots of spiritual progress and overcome our
      many phobias and neuroses – and if others get sadistic joy watching
      you do this, hey, raise the curtains, you're on!

      - Jogyata.
    • cott_doris
      Thank you to make me laugh and laugh for the first time after I came back home yesterday from the first two weeks of christmas-trip where I enjoyed so many of
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 5, 2006
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        Thank you to make me laugh and laugh for the first time after I came
        back home yesterday from the first two weeks of christmas-trip where
        I enjoyed so many of humerous and serious plays.

        ...I am facing the same dilemmas! At least you made it onto stage!
        Bravissimo!

        Doris

        O.k. just a little funny story.



        I booked my flight online. Three times I failed to fill up the form
        correctly and almost lost my free miles!! With great effort I
        maneged to get them back.

        On the 4th of December I realised that the trip was until 5th.
        December. I sneaked out of the function hall and didn't want to meet
        anybody see me leaving. Ready to leave I had 10 minutes left to just
        have a look inside and say kind of goodbye.

        To my joy at that day Guru was already giving Prasad. And to my
        greater joy as I had tried silently to escape had to go to the front
        and bravely walk through the whole function room *exposed*. I even
        overheard someone whispering, she is leaving.

        Doris







        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, jogyata
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > A Rare Ten out of Ten
        >
        > Over the Northern Hemisphere winters Sri Chinmoy and a number of
        his
        > fortunate students spend a month or two in warmer parts of the
        planet.
        >
        > On these evenings together we often act in spiritual plays, some
        > serious, some light-hearted and humorous, but these have not always
        > been a high-point in my vacations. When I perform my tiny parts I
        > forget lines, flounder in an ocean of anxiety and discover a total
        > incapacity for acting that borders on imbecility. All this of
        course
        > is good for us because our egos are crushed and we learn humility –
        > especially when night after night ones own idiocy is highlighted
        > further by the contrasting brilliance and competence of so many of
        > one's brother and sister disciples.
        >
        > I like the Irish comedian Hal Roach's story about somebody who
        spent
        > weeks rehearsing his part in a play, which consisted of two simple
        > words – 'is it?' For days this actor went around practicing his
        lines
        > – 'is it? is it? is it? IS it?' to perfection, honing these two all
        > important words into a compelling and dramatic tour de force. Alas
        on
        > opening night, under the pressure of real public performance, he
        came
        > out instead with 'IT IS!'
        >
        > But enough self-flagellation. One glorious success though was a
        play I
        > once did with an accomplished actor-friend – lots of dialogue,
        > rehearsals, real acting, and somehow I got through it word
        perfectly.
        > What made the play a personal triumph though was the fact that my
        wife
        > Subarata and several of her friends were seated front row, huge
        > play-destroying grins on their faces, and I had to grapple
        desperately
        > with the effect this had of luring me into laughter. Worse, when I
        > glanced at Sri Chinmoy, searching for soulfulness and resolve, he
        was
        > grinning hugely too, unabashedly in complicity with the girls and
        > enjoying my plight and the unusual spectacle of me in a play with
        my
        > meticulous friend.
        >
        > Somehow grace descended and we pulled it off. But I can still
        remember
        > Guru's delighted and mischievous smile in this conspiracy of mirth
        > which he and certain members shared and I can quietly appreciate
        > myself and my ten out of ten for thespian fortitude.
        >
        > -------
        >
        > Captain Ahab Harpoons a White Woman
        >
        > On another occasion I played Captain Ahab from Moby Dick and all I
        had
        > to say was 'Ahoy matey! Is that the white whale I've been searching
        > for? Out of my way, woman! I'll harpoon that blubbery fish that
        took
        > me leg!'
        >
        > I also had to remember to limp – with only one leg Captain Ahab
        would
        > certainly have had a limp - and deliver my lines with a suitably
        > roguish, nautical accent. Simple enough, surely.
        >
        > But when I leapt out from the audience and shouted 'Ahoy matey!'
        > things started to unravel. The combination of limping, feigned
        > piratical accent, remembering to face the audience and use the
        mike,
        > and remembering my lines proved too overwhelming for my overtaxed
        and
        > panicked brain and in what I clearly recognised as a New Zealand
        > accent I heard myself say 'Is that the white woman that took me
        leg?
        > Out of my way, matey, I'll harpoon that blubbery beast that I've
        been
        > searching for!'
        >
        > In a fog of despair, dimly I saw play director Sanatan standing off
        > stage, glowering at me and my gaffe, and my confused co-actors,
        > reeling with uncertainty, also looking at me in surprise. The
        > audience, too, were unsure as to the identity of the blubbery white
        > woman I wanted to harpoon and how she had managed to take my leg,
        but
        > finally things rolled on and I was released out of the play and
        free
        > to escape, crestfallen but relieved, back to the sanctuary of my
        seat.
        > Captain Ahab had it easy – losing one's dignity is always much,
        much
        > worse than merely losing a leg.
        >
        > Incidents like this linger in the minds of other play directors too
        > and suddenly you begin to notice that requests for you to perform
        in
        > their productions are steadily declining. Mercifully too, since
        > treading the boards is hell for a reticent introvert like me.
        >
        > -------
        >
        > Another Awkward Moment
        >
        > While on the subject of plays, for obvious reasons I like non-
        speaking
        > parts the most and I've been a dead body in two plays, a tree, the
        > rear end of a two man silent elephant and many times a walk-on
        extra
        > who just mutters occasionally and jumps about.
        >
        > Once I was a baby in a pram in one of Ketan's plays, but this
        memory
        > too is not an agreeable one. I was meant to be wheeled on for a few
        > minutes in one scene then wheeled off – a short but riveting
        > performance making baby noises with a plastic pacifier jammed into
        my
        > mouth, mascaraed cheeks and dressed in an endearingly frilly pink
        baby
        > top – but in the excitement of the play my fellow thespians forgot
        to
        > wheel me off and I was left on stage for about twenty minutes
        trying
        > desperately to remain 'in character' in my pram, jaw aching from
        the
        > pacifier, limbs aching from being compressed into the baby carriage
        > and trying desperately to make eye contact with somebody to take me
        > away. My plight was soon noticed by my 'friends' on the boys side
        and
        > their mirth spread like a forest fire, with much finger pointing
        and
        > ill-concealed joy. Hard to remain dignified and composed under such
        > circumstances.
        >
        > Moments like this remain indelibly seared in one's memory as
        another
        > of those horrendous low points that will absolutely guarantee that
        in
        > none of our many future incarnations will we ever, ever decide to
        be
        > an actor.
        >
        > But we have to put in a few cheerful appearances on stage because
        > Somebody wants us to make lots of spiritual progress and overcome
        our
        > many phobias and neuroses – and if others get sadistic joy watching
        > you do this, hey, raise the curtains, you're on!
        >
        > - Jogyata.
        >
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