Told through the story of three generations of a Tibetan family on exile, So Many Socks reveals the difficulties faced by families forced to move from their homeland. Here, every family member finds himself or herself stuck in a different space. The play inspired from a book of poems, Kora, written by Tibetan author Tenzin Tsundue, not only highlights the problems of the Tibetans in exile but also presents a current view of the problem of rootlessness faced by Tibetans and people in general.
“While some have rejected their roots, others are confused about where they belong, and then, there are those who are trying their best to hold on to their roots,” says Quasar Thakore Padamsee, director of the play that was released in September last year. “It’s a work of fiction, but one which is inspired from real life,” reveals the director, who spent days in Dharamshala meeting Tibetan families in exile to get a sense of the problem.
Root of the cause
Written by Annie Zaidi, the story is told through three main characters representing three different generations of Tibetans — while one of them has rejected homeland, other wants to go back and is willing to do anything for it, and the third fails to find a root to anything. But the theme of the play seems to be equally valid for modern urban families, who are constantly on move and failing to find a root for themselves. Was this always the intention? “No, but the rootlessness runs through the entire play,” he shares.
The same rootlesness is what even Padamsee, who spent most of his childhood in boarding school felt, but he feels, his feelings seem superficial compared to the exiled Tibetan families. “It’s kind of a strange thing, but in today, we all have immigrated to different places. Everyone has root sickness, but most of us can go back. The Tibetans, on the other hand, don’t have an option to return. They have no sense of identity,” he adds. Padamsees says that it’s this social connection that made him choose the play. “I enjoy Shakespeare as much as a play on a social issue, but if I have to work on it, it has to have a social connection. The work that excites me is something to do with the immediate society. I’m all about connections,” he adds.
Such a long road
QTP, which was started in 1999, has given many famous plays including, Project STRIP, Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The President is Coming, among others. He feels that his group has been lucky till date. “We’ve been very lucky to do the kind of work we have been doing. When we went full time, none imagined we would last this long; we have, and it feels great,” he reminisces.
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