Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan by Dipti Mehta; Directed by Mark Cirnigliaro
I recently saw Born into Brothels about on the red light district in the the slums of India and was completely taken aback. I wasn’t surprised that there was prostitution because that would be naive, but there was a part of me that hoped that this issue wouldn’t be a part of my culture. For a culture that created the Kama Sutra and tantric sex, tonight’s performance reminded me that many a girl/woman/matriarch has to be a queen to many kings in one night especially if that is your destiny.
Dipti Mehta bravely writes and performs Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan which tells the story of a young girl, Rani, who dreams of a life beyond the sex industry and her mother who has secured her next station in life for a good price. Mehta seamlessly moves through her characters to tell us the story through her mother, her father, a pundit, the neighbor, and a pimp (amongst others). In typical Indian fashion, Mehta incorporates traditional and Bollywood dancing as part of the narrative through her many characters.
Though I loved the bilingual aspect, the mix of Hindi and English pulled me out of the show at times. My own Hindi is rudimentary and very basic. Actually, I should just admit I don’t speak Hindi at all. I also yearned for a set to transport us to the “Fuck Lane” so we could grasp a sense of location and poverty.
That being said, I enjoyed the performance and seeing an Indian actress on the stage. I appreciated Mehta bringing attention to the sex industry. To learn more about her efforts with Apne Aap, an international aid organization dedicated to the saving of young girls from sex trade, visit www.apneaap.org.
FRI 8/26 @ 2
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