Writings of Sikkim since 2007

Friday, February 12, 2010

When i was Decius Brutus for a day ?




Couple of days back I completed one of the biggest tasks of my life that in times had my heart in my mouth. Being part of the 42 days proficiency training course at PNG School along with over 200 odd other primary teachers from East and North District, it was more than fun and on personal ground if I had not been part of this training I am sure I would had been missing something. Last Thursday we had an English play on the theme of the death of Julius Caesar being presented in front of HRDD Secretary and other distinguished guests. We were told in advance that the presentation would be captured by the Nayuma Television crew and this part would be shown at the Chintan Bhawan where Pawan Chamling, the Chief Minister would be the Chief Guest of the occasion.
The drama for me was my first attempt on English lingo and that was enough to give myself a jerk. My comfort level on being selected to play the role of Decius Brutus, one of the conspirators was enough to give fright to my small heart from day one was not I would love to talk about. Interestingly in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Decimus Brutus is mistakenly called "Decius" but as I was told that I was Decius it was ok for me. The only thing I wanted to do was to challenge myself that I can conquer my long dragged crowd phobia. I had always kept myself wrapped within myself and above all I want to set free myself and enjoy the other side of the life. I can say this training period did help ease my confidential level a bit.
Coming back to the play….i played Decius Brutus (not to be confused with other Brutus, the trusted friend of Caesar) one of the key conspirators that murders the great Caesar. I believe I first read about Julius Caesar when I was in Class V or VI but Decimus Brutus was a new name to me at least till the day of my selection since the same day I had also seen one of my good friends Sunil Dangal being selected to play the character of Brutus. I never knew how Decimus Brutus behaved or what was his body language; all I did know was I am to read by heart those lines and enact “him”.
The importance of Decius Brutus’s role is the fact that it was he who lures Caesar to attend the day's Senate despite Caesar’s wife Calphurnia's dream foretelling his doom. I knew what I was supposed to deliver and I was prepared for it.  During the rehearsals I was the weakest of all, I would stammer around those 7-8 lines I had to speak before Caesar. I had grown a fear within myself that I would spoil the play. To make the lines more suitable for me I tried to add few of my own words just to feel the character as how would I say if I was a real Decimus Brutus in that situation.
The stage, the PNGSS School’s auditorium was waiting for us. I was there in the stage for most of the time but when it came of dialogue delivery I had two separate scenes. In the first I am suppose to agree with rest of my conspirator friend to assassin Caesar while in the next stage presence I convince Caesar to be at the Senate to attend the meeting despite Caesar’s wife’s dream of her husband being murdered.
Below is the actual line from Shakespeare’s original play with the title Julius Caesar that my character speaks but in my case I had an well versed modern day English words fitted to my best but as expected I missed few of the words, a slightest of stammer, despite that it was fair job done by me looking at my crowd phobic history.
“This dream is all amiss interpreted;
It was a vision fair and fortunate:
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.
This by Calpurnia's dream is signified.”
In the final scene when everybody was asking for Caesar to look at their petition, I had some wardrobe malfunction where I was not able to take out my petition paper from my pants pocket that was wrapped with the white shawl from the front. While rest of the fellow conspirators were preparing to stab Caesar and approaching near him with their petitions, I was busy searching my petition paper that I had kept inside my pocket and I was not able to pick it up in time and instead in hurry I was the first to pull out my dragger from my pocket and acted as if I was coming near Caesar to stab him from behind.  Nobody noticed me searching my petition paper inside my costume but it was very funny as well as very scary for me.
After the play was over I was the one who was highly relieved. The play received applause from everyone, Caesar performed by Pawan Tamang, Brutus played by Sunil Dangal and Mark Antony by Pema Sherpa were well appreciated.  I am sure Decius Brutus shall always find a place in my heart and I am surely going to share his character with rest of my life. But at the same time I am also worried how do I look on bigger screen on Sunday.
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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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