a birthday letter for yehuda amichai – a performance by parnab mukherjee – a preview

Synopsis:

 “Last to dry was the hair.
When we were already far from the sea,
when words and salt, which had merged on us,
separated from one another with a sigh,
and your body no longer showed
signs of a terrible ancientness.
And in vain we had forgotten a few things on the beach,
so that we would have an excuse to return.
We didn’t return.
And these days I remember the days
that have your name on them, like a name on a ship,
and how we saw through two open doors
one man who was thinking, and how we looked at the clouds
with the ancient gaze we inherited from our fathers,
who waited for rain,
and how at night, when the world cooled off,
your body kept its warmth for a long time,
like the sea”

Yehuda Amichai’s poetry is a meditation on the semantics of power, renunciation, the present life and the aftermath of a mind’s journey from cognition to transcendence. It is an ocean of wisdom and gleanings, our performance delves on to a performer’s letter to Amichai written to remember his birthday which fall the performance.

Interspersed throughout the play are references from his writings on matters ranging from the concept of time, the idea of inner lives, Aesthetics to being alive and of course the philosophical core of Amichai’s pacifism: what is the threshold/tipping point of a stance and when does life become overbearing and then you need to leap across boundaries of time, text and boxes. Our play looks at the idea and dialectics of inhabiting many lives inside one life.

Parnab Mukherjee

Note by Sudipta Dawn

This performance is also about the dynamically changing relation of the poet with time which is tangible.  Condensed as he is now as figure of history, physically insignificant, his musings in our hands are but subjected to our vagaries, vicissitudes and dispositions.  The legacy of his moralities is stretched and stretches time and hence the delays .

His address in India has been found,  in strange & hitherto unsought of places, delayed but not stale.

If you can come claim it from Jogibara Village, Dharmasala, India on May 6, most probably at 6 pm. We’ll be waiting for you !!

End of message

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