30213 is inspired by Mathilukal.
30213 is inspired by Mathilukal.

A freedom fighter’s love song

An interactive performance installation inspired by Vaikom M. Basheer's romantic novel 'Mathilukal' will be staged in Bengaluru

Mathilukal means walls in Malayalam. In Vaikom M. Basheer’s novel of the same name, it refers to the prison walls that separate the protagonist, a freedom fighter, and his lover, a female inmate. “He never sees her. He falls in love with her through her voice and smell," says Jazeela Basheer, who is showcasing 30213, an “interactive performance installation" inspired by the romantic novel set in British India—she’s not related to Vaikom. The show marks the 22nd death anniversary of the writer.

To be held this weekend at an art space in Bengaluru, the 30-minute show brings theatre into the exhibition space, dwelling on our constant search for the meaning of love and life. “Today, the line between theatre, visual arts, dance and music is very thin," says Nimi Ravindran, a member of the city-based Sandbox Collective group which helped develop the installation that will have elements from the book. For instance, there’s a mention in the novel about matchsticks being in short supply, and prisoners cutting them into two with a blade to conserve them. “So a blade and matchsticks are part of the installation," says Jazeela.

A performer will help the audience interact with the exhibit. “This way the audience will become part of the exhibition too," adds Jazeela.

30213 will be staged at 1.Shanthiroad, Shanthinagar, 11am onwards. It will be shown to 10 people at a time. For details, call 9686865638.