The day started normally. No nervousness nor any anxiety. But the day wasn’t normal. Today me, along with 15 of my teammates were going to perform in our college.
The day, Friday, date 21st March. At 3pm we were going perform. Perform our Street Play.
For the last one month, almost every day after college we all ended up practicing. Practiced hard. For me this year’s street play was special. Last year I was shy, conscious of acting in public. I didn’t even try last year. This year I wanted to, I had to. So I took part.
Everyday we practiced, more than one person always ended up being slightly disappointed because they didn’t get the dialogue or the part.
Along the way, some people left saying they couldn’t adjust. Or saying they don’t want to do the play anymore.
There was resentment and someone always questioned other’s commitment. After so much slogging we finally reached the D-Day.
And guess what, I expected myself to panic, to be restless. But I was completely chilled out. We met in college and practiced our skit again and again till we ran out of time. I am sure that if we had more time we would have practiced some more. But we didn’t, so we got ready for our fifteen minutes.
We were given the 4th place to perform, and in total there was 6 teams performing. We were going to perform in open area in our college.
Half an hour left for our performance, and I won’t lie. I was scared. My hands were shivering. I shoved my hands in my pocket and pretended I wasn’t scared. And went to see how the other teams were faring.
The first team did okay. I hardly paid them any attention because I could not hear most of their dialogues. But the second team.
They were amazing. During their 15 minutes of play I couldn’t stop cheering for them. Every punchline they delivered was hilarious, every formation they made was amazing. And after seeing that I knew our chances of getting the first was tenuous.
But we had to perform, we had put so much into it that now it was either do or die.
Some other team performed at 3rd and we were next. As stood near our entry, all of us were thirsty. Me I wanted to pee again even though I had peed just a minute ago. I was scared. All 15 of my teammates were scared. All of us drank water again and again.
And then it was announced “Team 4 start.”
Life is not like movies. In movies the climax goes in slow motion, there are audible heartbeats and so many other dramatic moments.
But in reality, things were fast. So fast that I barely had any time to register my own heartbeats. They said start and we started.
How to describe those 17 minutes I don’t know. I may not do them justice.
Everything happened like clockwork. One dialogue after another. One formation after another. And then at one punchline, we got our first applause.
Hah, that was a relief. Because that was what we were hoping for, that was what we were looking for, why I did street play.
And then we got our second applause, third. I lost count after that. I do remember my particular formation and audience’s reaction. I could say that was one of the best moments for me.
We went ahead, performed, made people laugh. Then came another best moment for me. At one chorus we received such applause that we had to do the following chorus again.
I don’t know how to say this but each time I saw people having fun, people applauding us I grew happier. Everything was meant for this. We strived for this, and we received it today.
Alas. We didn’t win. Our skit was supposed to be of 15 minutes. But I am guessing the applause and the cheers made it to 17 minutes.
I am not even a bit disappointed because we couldn’t win. I am, in fact, satisfied. We did it. My goal I achieved.
After our performance, we celebrated. I saw one teammate cry out of pure joy, many others tried to voice their thanks. We quickly booed them into silence and continued celebrating.
When we were leaving, many stopped me and said great performance. Many said hard luck. I liked the former obviously.
Some of my team mates are not happy. They wanted the victory.
When anybody used to ask me why my society (NSS-TSEC) does street play every year even though we never win in our college. My answer to them always seemed hollow to my ears.
Now I know the answer.
It is those claps, that laughter, that joy. It is because we send a message. It is because of these things we do what we do. And will continue doing so. It is this that makes it all worth it.
As one of my teammates said, “We won hearts, what else do we need.”
This is probably gonna be the first time I won’t be able to sleep because every time I close my eyes I am relieving those 17 minutes.
I may not have done justice in describing those 17 minutes.
All my teammates:
Jayesh, Harsh, Pritam, Aishwarya, Kunj, Asiya, Pooja, Ravina, Dyandeo, Akshay, Desphande, Takrani, Sangeeta, Sagar, Pallavi.
Here’s a video link:
I Thank you guys.