Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows?: A New Play by The
Mustard Seed Art Company
Iris C F Gomes
The Mustard Seed Company is a name well associated with quality English theatre and has evolved entirely in Goa, thanks to the efforts of Isabel de Santa Rita Vas. The amateur theatre company has in the past performed plays that make you stop and think about life, society, the world, and the role you have to play.
The latest production of The Mustard Seed Art Company is called Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows?, and it will transport its audience to a street in Goa. Why a street, you ask. Isabel Vas says, ‘This is where things happen, where people’s paths cross, where strangers make contact and for a moment become neighbourly. Streets are pathways and footpaths, but they are far from being mere blank spaces between the point of departure and the point of arrival. Flanked by doorways and window sills, and verandahs and attics, the street is filled with sounds and smells and lights and shadows, presence and absence. It’s on a street that long lost friends bump into each other, where the fruit seller squatting on the footpath proudly offers some roasted cashew nuts or a juicy mango, where a grandparent walks the chattering little one to school, where a stranger asks for directions, where stray dogs squat patiently and hopefully at the steps of the tea-shop. Here people saunter, they hurry, they bask in the sunshine or flaunt their colourful umbrellas when the rain blesses them. They shop, they march to work, and they walk their talk. The street is also a home, where memories hover in corners and where our social selves find our feet.’
The street is a home of sorts where connections are made as well as revived as Isabel Vas recounts, ‘Recently I met an old classmate on the street and as we reminisced, he dialled a number on his mobile and put me in touch with a dear school friend I had not met for half a century, living now far away: a treasure, pure and simple! A shared smile, a gesture of kindness, jewels, these.’
Despite the intrinsic value of streets and their ability to generate camaraderie, they are, especially in these times, abysmally neglected, abused, or have their character transformed through monstrous building projects. While citing sheer greed and corruption as a significant reason why nothing is done to improve the conditions of our streets, Isabel Vas says, ‘This play is born of a struggle between hopelessness and optimism, as we watch our streets being desecrated day by day. Potholes, litter, crazy traffic, filthy footpaths and a new indifference and a sad rage threaten us. We, who invest greatly of ourselves to decorate the interiors of our homes, seem to forget that the street is also home to human contact and the adventures of a new day and a powerful symbol. A sign of a fragmented aesthetic sense? A form of egotism? Perhaps we need new eyes to look at our streets. Perhaps we need to imagine beauty on our roads once again and to ask, 'What if?'
- 1st October 2019 at the Gomant Vidya Niketan, Margao.
- 3rd October at the Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji.
- 5thOctober, Parish Hall, Aldona.
For more details, contact Kiran Bhandari at 9422446635.