Last night I watched The Vagina Monologues for the very first time. I must confess all I knew so far is what little I gathered from Chandler Bing’s reaction on an episode of friends. (i.e. I assumed all men hate it and that it’s all about angry women who hate men.) Obviously I was totally off. It turned out to be a delightfully hilarious (and somewhat initimate) exploration of what defines and motivates women. If you haven’t seen it yet you really should.
Coming back to last night though, for the first half of the show my date and I couldn’t quite tell if they were having a laugh and purposely putting on what appeared to be an amateurish school production. I mean I loved the piece by Sandip Soparkar, Jesse Randhawa and Smiley Suri enacting the life and tragic circumstances which led to Haseena Hussain’s acid attack by a rejected male colleague (the fact that she was there gave me goose bumps.) But then there was Vishal Hasrani, a sweet little man who belted out songs like “One Moment in Time” and “Hero” with the deepest conviction but the most comical results. (You know, I haven’t seen a whole lot of Zoya Akhtar in the spotlight but she strikes me as someone with a healthy sense of humor and appreciation for irony considering she also giggled through Vishal Hasrani’s tearful rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”)
The actors Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Dolly Thakore, Sonali Sachdev, Avantika Akerkar, and Jayati Bhatia were all brilliant (I particularly enjoyed “My Short Skirt” by Avantika Akerkar and a wonderful adaptation of “He liked to look at it” by Sonali Sachdev and full props to Jayati Bhatia for hitting all the high notes with reckless abandon.) and Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar ‘s rendition of the poem “In India girls are meant for burning and boys are all that matter” by Mahabanoo was both moving and heartbreaking. Even Imran Khan did his solemn best to convey the ache and terror women witness around the world to this day. Loveleen Tandon, co-director of Slumdog Millionaire played humble chief guest. Their collective mission; V-DAY INDIA 2009: Women and Men ending violence ‘all together’.