And I'm back, because I feel like company. So welcome, y'all.
I'm holding fort tonight because V has gone for one of his six-monthly men's nights out. I got home kinda tired after rehearsals tonight and Jiyon called, asking if we fancied a trip to Roxy. It being Saturday night and all that. I did, but my knees didn't. The high heels I have to wear for this play have caused my knee problem to shoot up and although I'd like to dance, I don't think I can stand up long enough to do so.
I'm glad he went. Roxy always has batchmates of his from school and college and he needs to socialise more. Besides, thanks to me going crazy trying to balance Blank Noise, Proof, Calcutta Walks and domestic duties (cleaning, tidying, laundry, ironing, cooking etc.), V has been babysitting Rahul most evenings these last six weeks. It was about time he got into this once more, but you can have too much of a good thing.
The pros of all this heavy-duty babysitting? He now understands and anticipates R's needs much better than he had got into the habit of doing. And R has finally taken to turning to his father in times of want.
A serious con is the clinginess R now displays towards me. He spent a few days being very depressed after we returned from Madras and V and I were quite dismayed. For once such a social little boy didn't want to meet people, no matter how much they petted him or played with him. He didn't smile all the first day, and he does have such a special smile. He was listless all day, something that always alarms me, given his normal levels of exuberance. He was tired, but this was something beyond his usual whine of exhaustion. When you add the clinginess to this you will understand why it's a little distressing for me.
Proof is being difficult on my nerves. Specifically, my character Supriya is. That is not just because I am returning to the stage after four years but also because of the play of emotions I am expected to display. She has a difficult relationship with her younger sister and for this I draw upon the uneven relationship my brother and I have. My brother and I have a strange relationship. After all these years I think he really is proud of me, and of what I have achieved. And I am proud of his attempts to carve out a life of his own. But we have always had a crazy current of sibling rivalry running strong between us, fostered no doubt unwittingly by our father and nurtured by our relatives, and we never, not ever, openly communicate how we feel.
He has his problems. Certain behavioral problems which are psychiatric in nature but can be controlled, should he so desire. All my life I have watched him fall and suffer insults and ever since I can remember, I have been protective about him. But he is my older brother and doesn't, obviously, like the role reversal. Nor am I very tactful about it. Just thinking about him makes me go all tense. We understand each other very well. But we don't seem to be able to accept what we understand.
It is easily the most difficult relationship in my life, easily outstripping the tightrope my father and I walk around each other.
So when I draw upon this relationship to fuel the love-hate Supriya and her sister share, it is an enormous drain on me. It physically tires me out. I remember the day I gave up on my brother and consciously decided to walk out of his life. When I realised that he took more than I had to give. And while the pain of that memory is an effective aid to acting, reminding myself of it over and over again is a lashing that is not cathartic in the slightest.
There are also a lot of scenes that require raised voices. Now, I can lose my temper with the best of them. And when I do let fly, my voice rises with my temper. But the fact is I am scared of raised voices, of physical violence. I have seen so much of that firsthand, I fear it still as a child might. So I am ok with me shouting but when I am shouted at, my instinctive reaction is to calm things down if possible or else back down, run away. Which Supriya would not do.
Tamping down on instinctive reactions is part of the training of an actor. Four years ago, when I was acting regularly, I had become a very emotive person. My emotions were always on my face, apparent from my body language. Two years ago I deliberately set out to change that. I was sick of being so public and, for the first time in my life, had real pain to hide. I didn't realise how much I had succeeded in wiping out the expressiveness I had come to take for granted until I was told, gently and tactfully, that I was showing as much emotion as a tree. (My words.) Now that I'm trying to get back to being a louder, larger person once more, I'm glad I decided to do this play. If nothing else, it has restored my belief in myself -- something that the first year of marriage and subsequent motherhood had largely wiped out.
I'm sorry, there is no point or form to this post. I felt like rambling as I used to in the old days.