Thursday 14, feb 08
Delhi Times - The Times of India
Lushin roots for India

No, it's not a match or a sport that Lushin Dubey's supporting. She's rooting for Indianness in the way she does it best - on stage. Lushin is directing a

play inspired by Pavan Varma's book, which talks about Indianness and the many things we have reason to be proud of.

"It was difficult, because the book is not a story, but a narrative about the country. It laughs not at us, but with us. When you read the book, you realise there’s a lot that's wrong with the country, but there's also a lot that might not necessarily be seen as our strength, but is a reason for pride. We are a young democracy, we have the entrepreneurial spirit, technology is strength, and there's a pan-Indian identity now. There's been strife, but there's also a lot of unity. There's something that binds us all, and these are some of the little elements that I've tried to put a torch on, so to speak."

The play, Lushin tells us, also has choreography by Ashley Lobo. The script has been written by Nicholas Kharkongor: "It was difficult to find a writer, because all the writers I approached wanted to do anything inspired by a book. Nicholas, however, was very open to the idea," she says. 

  Tuesday 19 Feb 08
Delhi Times - The Times of India
All work, all play

Pawan Varma's written a serious book, but the writer himself is anything but serious. Recently, when he and Lushin Dubey got together to announce her play Salaam India inspired by his book, Pavan kept the lady in splits joking about her juice. "This is her third glass of fresh orange juice," he told us. "Yeah, he'd rather it were malts," she chuckled.

But the camaraderie was quite apparent even when they started on the more serious subject of the play. "So many people have so many perspectives on Indianness - the basic subject of both the play and the book - that I've met with a huge amount of curiosity about how a book on it will be translated into a play," he said. "I've never been actively involved with theatre, but two of my previous books have been adapted for the stage - one, made into a dance theatre adaptation, and another, into a dance performance. So those were interesting experiences. 1 was surprised, though, when Lushin said that she wanted to do a play inspired by my book."

Any disagreement between the two of them in the course of the discussions they've had? "If I hadn't connected so well with the book, maybe," says Lushin. "But because I identified with it, no, there were none," she says. "I haven't even read the whole draft of her play," says Pavan. "I've flipped through sections of it, but 1 have full confidence in her"

But not in the purity of what she's drinking. "She has had three whole glasses of fresh orange juice," says Pavan again, in mock awe. "As if," Lushin retorts. "If 1 had, you would haven’t known what hit you!"

(Contributed by Chandna Arora &. Jaya Drona

Wednesday 20 Feb 08
Delhi Times - The Times of India

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