(‘howk the day before. A stream of bazaars. stalls and human traffic. l‘m assured this is the ‘real‘ Delhi. Director Royslon Abel tells me during my stay: ‘The story is only properly told when you ptrt it in the larger context. What is a play‘.’ Life is a play. Play is a reality. We find our own reality. It‘s about what's universal. the articulation of emotions. That is India.” l‘m experiencing a whole new reality now; my own ‘real' set of emotions. An overwhelming stench of fried food and urine permeates the air: an old man stares at me as he relieves himself against the alley wall. beautifully painted in pink with light blue engravings. A small boy curls up in a doorway. He has no arms. I want to take him out of this reality and place him in mine.

I have spent five days in India. more of a blink than a

whistlestop tour. Tapping the surface. experiencing more of the people than the place itself. But. perhaps. that is the joy of

the India experience. The people are the place. The hospitality has been embarrassingly considered and considerate. each person with an individual story to share. And not because they believe they have a story to sell. but rather they believe in the story itself. Alluring. heart-breaking. fascinating: India is the great beyond. with historical scarrings that its people may never entirely confront. Personally and culturally. they present an honest. untapped vision that westem counterparts are fearful to acknowledge. Because to acknowledge it. we would need to reveal ourselves warts and all. And we Brits consider ourselves too civilised for that.

As I plan my next trip (I'm told Agra. Jaipur and (‘alcutta should be top of the list). something the surveyor general says

comes flooding back to me. ‘In Britain you’re a group of

individuals who make up a community. In India we are a community that make up an individual: be that an official. at beggar or a performer.‘

In a country rife with lessons to be learned and tales to be told you won't find better teachers.

116 THE LIST 17—31 Jul 2003

The Dream Team

Revel in a touch of Eastern delight as Teamwork Productions presents its Edinburgh Festival offerings

I The Great Arc Festival

Birthday parties don't get much more innovative than the Great Arc celebrations. Mankind has travelled a huge arc of learning in the last 200 years. since the great trigonometrical survey was launched in India at the beginning of the 19th century. Come and discover how with this fun, interactive exhibition. 5—24 Aug. Aurora Nova, St Stephen's Street. 558 3853

I Adite Mangaldas & the Drishtikon Dance Foundation This wonderful dance troupe lights up the stage as kathak dance takes on a whole new life thanks to some awe- inspiring footwork courtesy of Mangaldas. 2—3 Aug, Traquair House. Inner/eithen, 07896 830323

I Indian Ocean

Fun and eclectic. this popular mu5ical corps will have you dancing in the streets. 70-72 Aug, Spiegeltent, 662 8740

I Biiayini Satpathy One of the most impresswe dance emporiums on offer in Scotland. Dance Base merges funky environs with a consistently impressive programme. Prepare to be impressed as this beautiful solo artist sets up residence and presents her native odiSSI dance form. 7- 76 Aug. Dance Base, Grassmarket. 225 5525 I Brahannala Physical and visual theatre join ranks as the Adishakti Theatre Company showcase this piece based on the parable from the Indian epic. Mahabharata. 4, 6, 8. 70. 73, 75, 77, 20, 22 8 24 Aug. Sanctuary at Augustine’s, George IV Bridge. 225 65 75

I Shiv Kumar Shanna This gifted artist is the real MCCOy with training in vocal. percussion and instrumental music. Here. he plays the 100- stringed instrument. the Santoor

75 Aug, Usher Hall, 228 7755

I Untitled

Inspired by Medea and pitched as an “ode to womanhood‘. this tender solo rendition by Lushin Dubey uses puppets as characters to convey a universal sense of relationships.

5, 7,9, 72, 74, 76, 79. 27, 23, 25 Aug, Sanctuary at Augustine '8, George IV Bridge. 225 65 75