In old Bangalore, when you drove past the airport on the largely deserted road towards the suburb of Whitefield, was a farm, with trees and chickens and stuff that farms have.
It was owned by a couple whose voices were instantly recognizable as the principal voices of the English language stage in Bangalore—Arundhati and Jagdish Raja. Their farm was called Jagriti.
Today, the road is far from deserted and in the place of the farm, stands a theatre. A beautiful auditorium, in what should be described as a centre for all things cultural and literary.
The theatre retains the name of the old farm, Jagriti, but if there are any chickens there, I dare say, they aren’t running free on the range.
I call Arundhati and Jagdish Raja the Last Shakespeareans of Bangalore.
But now, who is a Shakespearean? Some people ask.
I mean who among us doesn’t know what ‘Platonic’ and ‘Aristotelian’ and ‘Einsteinean’ mean, but what's Shakespearean?
To me, anyone who has read a few plays of Shakespeare, has acted in a play even in school, bristles at the mention of Francis Bacon, and never finds the need to refer to him as the Bard of Avon, is a Shakespearean.
One wag described being Shakespearean as, "A modern sonnet with three quatrains and a punchy couplet."
Well, replace "punchy couplet" with "punchy couple" and it makes me proud to be able to present on my show, Bangalore’s last Shakespeareans.
ABOUT THE RAJAS
Arundhati Raja, co-founded the Artistes’ Repertory Theatre in 1982. The company and its productions are now an integral part of Bangalore’s cultural history. While directing and acting, she also taught French, Biology and Drama for several years and considers her life as a teacher to be instrumental to her deep desire to encourage and support new talent. Arundhati Raja has now directed over 30 productions and continues to perform, teach and motivate a new generation of theatre makers.
Jagdish was Principal of Pan Communications in London, England with clients in the UK, USA and Europe before returning to India with Arundhati, his wife, in 1972. He was an advertising consultant to companies and agencies and Advisor Communications at ActionAid.
Jagdish is a Graduate Member of the Communications Advertising & Marketing Society (M.CAM) London and an Associate of Trinity College London (ATCL). He is Founder Trustee of The ART Foundation, a registered Charitable Trust, which administers JAGRITI.
TO CONTRIBUTE TO OR GET IN TOUCH WITH JAGRITI
Start at their website jagrititheatre.com. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Social: Facebook and Instagram — [@jagrititheatre].
WHAT'S THAT WORD?! - "AMATEUR".
Co-host Pranati "Pea" Madhav joins Ramjee Chandran in the segment "What's That Word?", where they discuss the origins of the word, "amateur" and a limerick on love.