Sunday, December 12, 2004

A wall of drama

Today was beautiful. A cool wind blew through my side of town - not the kind of breeze an air conditioner could give you in a movie theater. So I decided Ocean's Twelve could wait. Instead, I drove to Prithvi Theater.

It was crowded, but calm. Trees stood between occupied low wooden tables with stone tops and matching stools and orange square lanterns and triangular flags that bore a resemblance to prayer leafs hung off branches...all signs of the earth and its beliefs. When you need a hug, come here.

Theater posters of decades past were reprinted on giant vinyl strips that covered a giant wall. What did these posters mean back then? Were they advertisements? And in their new glossy form, were their earlier meanings lost? I wonder because, as a mass they are colourful, but seem forced together to create a hollow image of culture and history (I have to find out how old this place is). The imagery's all there, but where's the texture?

However, since design is objective, I stopped wondering, and pulled out a book. I had reached pg. 43 of 'Transmission' when the lights went out, prompting a scream from the 28-odd year-old woman at the next table. Her pretty friend twittered in the dark, "It's perfect for someone on their first date."

A friend and I took it all in. We sat, watched people go by, and sipped on Irish coffee. Light from a nearby block of apartments reflected off the vinyl-covered wall of drama. Beneath it, people stood by in a state of readiness, awaiting the resumption of their interrupted play. Around us, waiters flit between demands, nodding yes or no to orders for food that required electricity.

The darkness was now comforting. It cocooned the theater. Everyone in it shared this darkness. We could barely see one another, but spoke in voices more assured than when the lights were on.

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