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Monday, March 27, 2006

The Vagina Monologues

What does the V-Day have to do in today's context? Well this V-Day has to do with celibrating the vagina and its marvels and not about celebrating the end of the Second World War. In 2003, after just five years, V-Day is a global movement that aims to stop sexual abuse of women and as of 2003, has already raised over $13.5 million. In 2001, it was named one of the "100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine.

And the play 'The Vagina Monologues' has made all this possible. This play has been more of a power statement for women, than anything else. And its work will be done, only when violence against women and little girls stops. That kind of utopian world will allow women to just be.

#It will also allow girl children to be born in China and Korea.
#Allow women to go swimming in Iran.
#Allow them to eat icecream in public in Afghanistan.
#Sleep safely in their beds at home in Asia, USA and Europe.
#Keep their clitorises intact in Africa and Asia.
#Wear blue jeans in Italy.
#Vote in Kuwait.
#Walking in the park at night in the US.
#Harmless flirting in Jordan.
#Driving in Saudi Arabia.
#Safe at college campus parties.
#Wearing trousers in Swaziland.
#Walking safely home from work in Juarez, Mexico.

So until women can be open about their desires, love their bodies and enjoy sex, a play is hoping to emancipate them. And a play that talks about the vagina is a rarity in any part of the world, so when 'The Vagina Monologues' comes to India, you should grab the opportunity to watch it.

It was written by Eve Ensler and has been translated into 35 languages. Last year, she and Hollywood stars like Marisa Tomei and Jane Fonda performed the play in Mumbai. This play has gone around the world and has been performed in Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Phillippines, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

And now, Poor-Box Productions has brought it to India. With a cast comprising producer and performer Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Dolly Thakore, Avantika Akerkar, Jayati Bhatia and Sonali Sachdev. These sterling performers are putting up a show that should be made mandatory viewing for all the men in this country and women should go to learn more, about a very vital part of their body. A largely ignored part of their body. A mostly used and in many cases abused part of their body.

The abuse rather than the neglect is really why this play is in existence. Eve Ensler was inspired by the stories of over 200 women and her own personal experience with violence. This play is the story of all those women who have suffered rape, incest, female genital mutilation, FGM, marital rape and well, just plain dissatisfaction with their sex lives.

This play has an urgency to it, precisely because it is addressing such volatile issues as men being unable to satisfy women or in some case, not even knowing where the vagina is! Then there are men at the other end of the spectrum, who get turned on only "when he shaves my vagina."

Or as is the case of a man named Atul Kulkarni (not the actor), who visits a prostitute and initially doesn't do much, but then after his hands accidentally touch the woman's, it sparks sexual electricity and how! He then loses his inhibitions and sees how beautiful and desirable she is - all the while he is saying and addressing this to her vagina!

The hilarity of these situations are so incredibly brought out by these expressive and talented actors - to hear them emote these scenes is a privilege, not to be missed. Their voices express a range of emotions - from rage, pain, fun, exasperation to cock teasing and orgasmic. Jayati Bhatia does a musical range of orgasms, that is just so mindblowingly funny, you will ache after having laughed so hard and for so long.

Besides do you know how women would like to dress their vaginas, if they could? Well, how about in diamonds, peacock feathers, fur etc

Do you know how the vagina tastes....well, if your imagination is running really wild at this point, then you know you will be waiting to watch this play!

Written for www.purpleparka.com

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