Kalagora

Written for FEST

Siddhartha Bose is no wall flower. Bounding on to the stage, he wastes no time looking us directly in the eye before beginning. But even great eye contact can’t bring clarity to a script full of confusing similes and “purple” description.

Bose’s eponymous hero, Kalagora, is “a global halfcast”. To a backdrop of kinetic projections and Pankaj Awasthi’s thumping Bollywood beats, we see him escape from Mumbai and jump head first into the throws of New York. There he acts the ‘cool cat’ with two other hipsters Metal Momma and Blue Hair. Finally he ends up in London and finds his soulmate in a girl with Joan Crawford’s face.

It’s all pretty romanticised and the main issue here is Bose’s belief in the beauty of his own writing. He appears to fall in love with every line as it is spoken, rolling each sentence around as though his words were a fine wine. Meanwhile, under the bombardment of so many flowery tangents, we just get further bemused.

He flags up issues with America’s attitude to people from India in a post 9/11 world but his attacks are erratic jabs in the wilderness, included more for their imagery than their ability to prompt thought. When, after being beaten by some bad American cops, he goes into a diatribe about being pissed on by bullets it all begins to unravel.

Bose is an engaging performer but, in trying to show the journey of a man in search of himself, he seems to have lost his own way.

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