Curatorial note

Social media has for long manifested the ability to make a mockery of the idea of ‘sociability’ and bring out the worst in us. Online conversations rapidly become confrontational and polarised. Our digital behaviour can be very truculent and belligerent, unconstrained by norms of social acceptability. In contrast to face-to-face interactions, sharp lines of disagreement are abruptly drawn online, where searching for common ground is rare. 

But let us fondly imagine that social media could live up to the simplest of its original promises. Imagine that instead of fostering tribalism, it truly enabled us to overcome isolation and enter a limitless world of connectedness, kindling a less bounded sense of ourselves. What if I could find myself in the tales that others tell? What if someone’s experience of lockdown and quarantine resonated with mine? What if you desire your story to be completed by him or her? 

Hold on a minute. Your story? Your humdrum story? Do you really want to tell that story in a medium that indulges your attention-seeking, ego-gratifying instincts?  If your sense of self-worth gets pummelled when you don’t get as many ‘likes’ as the next person, there’s no need to worry. The high road to insta-fame is child’s play on the Internet. You can post something outrageous, incendiary or seductive and wait for it to go viral. You can present the best version of yourself, unless the worst grabs more eyeballs. And you can then witness your spirits lifting as you escape momentarily from the despair of anonymity, the sorrow of an unnoticed life.  

Whatever you do, please don’t say ‘fakery’ aloud. It sounds like a crackle, something very parched, crumbling in your hands.  What if the vanity mirror of social media should crack, exposing the picture of yourself hidden behind the face you have prepared “to meet the faces that you meet”? What if? – Anmol Vellani, Curator of My story | Your story | Our story

nihayati Niji Baatein

Performance Duration: 20 Min followed by feedback

It was 5 pm, i had just finished my last tuition of Saturday, when Mr Anmol called. He asked if i would like to make a video for a art festival. A video for a festival! I immediately said yes, and after a quick cup of tea, made the videoMy first ever video. It was terrible, the video i mean. Totally wrong.  

Then i started making them every day, before and after tuition, each becoming better than the first –  more funny, more educational, more to the point. You see, in the first one, i did not know how it is done, i just did it, said things i would never ever say, not even to myself, let alone to someone I have never met or seen i.e.You. I think of you sometimes. You will watch the video, (dekhna please) and you are real. I made the video and i am real. And yet, we are not fully real, i mean, not to each other. You are out there, somewhere, as i am out here, somewhere. In a way we are together now but also alone.  We can choose to  be totally real with each other or totally fake with each other. I am choosing the first option and so uploading that first video, the totally wrong one 

Asha hai app jawab mein kuch bhejenge zaroor – audio, video ya chand Lineney  
Real ya fake, aapke jawab ka intezar rahega


Pyaare 2020-ji

Performance Duration: 50 Min

Theatre is quick, when you are inside a shared space, a witness to its liveness. But theatre takes time to make. Theatre, in that sense, is slow.

Besides, making theatre in the pandemic felt like an impossibility: logistically and in spirit. So as a response to the very strange experiences of the year — lockdown isolation, spending inordinate amounts of time with oneself and one’s family — I started to write love poems, or what seemed like love poems anyway. Part-dialogic, part-performative, sometimes bi-lingual and categorically unliterary, The Pyaare Poems evolved.

Based on these poems, Pyaare 2020-ji is a performance hoping to simulate the liveness of theatre, but quite certainly failing. It is an attempt to share in our collective experience of this year together the tiny boxes of our computer screens. Pyaare Audience-ji, come. Let’s be with each other for a little while

A 1001 quarantine nights

A 1001 Nights in Quarantine is a story project written by all of us. We want to grow a live tree of stories online. Borrowing the form of 1001 Nights, all stories are left unfinished and ready to be completed by a stranger, who will then add their own unfinished story. A story can be finished multiply times, each alternate ending form a new story branch of its own. 

Embracing the possibility of online, It is about finding connection in a time of disconnection. It is about communication, trust and creativity. It is about sharing an imaginative space in live time when we cannot share a physical space.

Photo Credit – Aparna Nori


Anmol Vellani is the founder and former executive director of the India Foundation for the Arts, a nationwide grant-making organisation. He is also the co-founder of Toto Funds the Arts, which supports the work of emerging artists.  

His writing and talks—on arts entrepreneurship, the creative economy, cultural policy, the role of grant-making foundations, culture and development, arts collaboration and the performing arts, for example—have reflected on the insights he has gleaned from his long engagement with the arts and philanthropy.

Anmol has directed over 40 plays in different languages and locations. In the last decade, he has turned his attention to adapting fiction for the stage and reworking existing plays for new contexts and concerns. He trains performing artists in such areas as voice, character building and script analysis, and conducts creativity workshops for corporate executives and management students.  


Geeta Tyagi lives with her cat Rani in Ramesh Nagar. In 1993, after failing to qualify for the final round of Ms Ramesh Nagar, Geeta turned to teaching. Past 25 years Geeta has devoted herself to taking private tuitions, English – Maths – Science, teaching 6th – 7th and 8th standard. 

Geeta has always dreamt of travelling to far away lands and meeting new people. Venice, Agra and Tokyo top her list of places to see. Other than travel she is also interested in Beauty, Homeopathy and Bonsai. 

While she has always thought of herself as an ordinary person – average in all departments – she firmly believes the extraordinary comes our way at some point in life, whether we fail or qualify for the final round, whether we live in  Ramesh Nagar or Reykjavik.  

This is her first time in the virtual world. She hopes for the extraordinary to come into her life, in some  form, through her first (totally wrong) video.

Pyaare 2020-ji Artist

Deepika Arwind is a playwright, director and performer, who has worked in the theatre for the last 14 years. She runs The Lost Post Initiative, theatre and performing arts collective that works collaboratively with diverse artists, largely around gender and women on stage. Her work has been presented in many parts of the world including Germany, Austria, USA, France, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore and all over India. She has been nominated for — and won — several awards, and fellowships, for her work. Her current touring productions nationally,  internationally (and now digitally) are No Rest in the Kingdom (produced by Sandbox Collective) and i am not here (supported by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore). She is the author of Sarayu, published by Le Cosmographe Éditions, France, in 2018.

Upcomingi am not here at the Singapore Fringe January 2021, artist-in residence at PACT Zollverein in 2021, Phantasmagoria (translated into German) for Teamtheater’s GLOBAL Festival, Munich, 2021.


Swati Simha is a research scholar and a playwright. She won the Toto award for creative writing in 2018 for her play Echoing Chamber. Her play, Flypaper Trap was developed at the Writer’s Bloc Residency in 2015.  Flypaper Trap has since been performed in Kannada as Gida Giduga. She was commission by the B!rth Festival at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester to write about Birth Related healthcare inequalities in 2016 for which she wrote the play Ouroboros. She was commissioned by Royal Court Theatre in 2019 to be part of the Climate Crisis plays at the Edinburgh International Festival where she presented her play Akhrot. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Maud Dromgoole is a writer from south east London. She is an alumnus of the Royal Court Theatre’s Invitational Group run by Alice Birch and Ali McDowall and if the Hampstead Theatre’s Inspire Group run by Roy Williams. Her Full length plays include 3 Billion Seconds (Vaults, Paines Plough Roundabout) Mary’s Babies  (Jermyn Street Theatre); Rosa, Ursula and Richard (Finalist Mercury Weinberger Prize) Acorn (Courtyard Theatre), Blue Moon(Bread and Roses/The Courtyard). She has also written numerous shorts for theatre and film.