Hi Lushin.

I received your message yesterday and wanted to reply. RE: the play, I thought it was absolutely wonderful, and your performance moved me. I really appreciated your portrayal of the different "characters" / involved in this horrid act of complete disregard for the innocence & vulnerability of children. This is a subject that is very close to my heart and I am called to help relieve the pain of such heinous abuse. Frankly, I think the only road to "prevention" is through God. (My personal opinion).

I don't know if your looking for critiquing feedback but I would say that the scenes where the language was in Hindu, it might be helpful to have that subtitled on the screen. B/C I don't speak the language, I had to relay on my interpretation of what was happening through your affect. However, you did such a powerful job of delivering the affect that I think I got the message.

I am swamped this week, so I will try and contact you the beginning of next week. Let me know when it might be a good time. Thank you. Have a good night.

Deborah Scarpulla
Psychologist / Panelist

Dear Lushin,

I enjoyed your powerful performance of Bitter Chocolate at the ICC in Rochester, NY thoroughly last week.

Incidentally, I am the person you spoke to initially ¾ years ago when you considered coming to Rochester with your performances.  I referred you to Dr. Kamath, since at that time both my husband and I had decided to move out of organizing cultural events to pursue higher degrees.

It was hard for me to get you out of my system for the next few days after the performance of Bitter Chocolate. I felt a certain tightness in my chest when I remembered all the victims that you so convincingly brought forth.  I wanted to come and compliment you, but to be honest; anything I could have said would have seemed superfluous. 

Personally I thought the highest compliment you could receive was one from one of the panelists who pointed to the stage and said; “I have met all those people”.  To me that spoke volumes about how your performance crossed all boundaries, cultural and national.

I expected to be tearful during your performance, considering the subject but what I felt was far deeper and really something that I cannot express.  It is almost as if shedding a few tears and walking out of the hall would be minimizing the issue.  The palpable tension and the pin drop silence in the auditorium was the best sign of a totally engaged audience. 

By the way, I am a librarian by profession and when I tried to describe your play to my colleagues the next day; I found that it was not something one could do successfully.  One could not visualize it by just hearing about it, it had to be seen.  They just stared at me dumbfounded when I told them that you acted as the doctor, the social worker, the victim, the perpetrator, the parent, the police officer, the lawyer the judge, the politician all rolled into one. 

Your portrayal of each one of those characters was very convincing and it was amazing how well you could get into the role that you were portraying at any given time.  The phone conversations were so realistic that I could almost hear the other person on the other end.  Incidentally I had brought an American friend with me and she did not ask me to translate a single Hindi word.  There was just no need.  Your body language and the few English words you used interspersed with Hindi explained it all.

Please convey my greetings to your director Arvind Gaur.  He would have been proud!

By the way I have 2 daughters also, Tara and Anjali.

Hope to see you again and again in Rochester.

Janani  Parthasarathi
Audiovisual & Technology Services Librarian
Fairport Public Library
1 Village Landing
Fairport, NY  14450