Over the last year I've travelled a lot with my theatre group and almost always managed to do at least one sketch on location. This one was done at a theatre institute in a remote village in Karnataka last october. We were staging Ms. Meena as a part of their annual week-long theatre residency programme.
The Institute is called Ninasam: Shivarama Karantha Rangamandira and is located in Heggodu which is a quiet and scenic village near Sagara. We had to take a train from Madras to Bangalore, then another one to Shimoga and then a two hour hilly drive to reach the place. The auditorium that I've sketched here was built in 1972. The Institute offers residential theatre training programmes with central government funding.
The place is beautiful and is totally run by the staff and students. They take turns doing all the chores and live a disciplined life. During the annual festival week all invited theatre groups like us are treated like guests and the staff and students cook for us and help with everything. The feeling was warm and friendly. We've performed here more than once and enjoyed it every time.
This sketch was done the day after our show. The bunch of people you see sitting in the corner are all friends from my group. We were lolling around in the wintry sun and I suddenly decided to do this sketch. The water-colour was also done on location. After penning in the outlines I went to the canteen nearby and asked for a small tumbler of water to start the paint-work. On returning to my small rock on the side of the road I was aghast to find two cows grazing around my sketchbook. I'm inherently terrified of cows and just stood there feeling foolish on the opposite side of the road until a small girl (barely seven or eight years old) came ambling around the corner from the nearby village. She looked at me for a bit and then went up to the cows and just said "hey! hey! hey!" and they lumbered away!