Suddenly I could see how I could write more authentically, since the workshop exposed me to feelings and emotions I might never have otherwise experienced and importantly located them in my body rather than confining them to my head.
I’ve had a bit of a go at creative writing myself in the past, mainly snuggled under my duvet with my notebook or sat on a chair at my computer. But I never could have imagined how insightful and beneficial it could be to let go of my pen or keyboard, get off my backside, put conscious thinking to one side and allow myself to (maybe very indirectly) share something of the experiences and events my characters were going through
Was that what the workshops were meant to be about, to provide Avin with material that could be used in his play?
With the open-ness that Chetna and Richard had generated, I was able to ask this question and get the clarity I was seeking.
I guess that was one of the things that impressed me most about Chetna and Richard: they were always very open with us about the purpose of their exercises, unlike some other (mainly training) situations I’ve been in where the facilitators seem to be less forthcoming and just want you to do the exercises and produce the goods, without questioning why this might be useful to do. But with Chetna and Richard, it seemed like we were being given all the jigsaw pieces so we could then assemble them in ways which were meaningful and made sense to us.
Reading this back, I realise that once again I’ve written about me and my feelings and emotions, and not about the sepoys! I’m not sure I’m using these workshops right, but I’m learning so much – even if it is predominantly about me. Maybe it was fitting therefore that Workshop 2 ended with me getting shot. We were scene setting re life in the trench and I could tolerate my backbreaking crouching position no longer so went to stand up. Bang! that was it.I wonder if that ever happened to the sepoys too?
by Premila Trivedi