Young hearts and bestowed faith

Students of St. Andrew’s College stages a play on the life of Mother Teresa titled, If My Darkness is Light To Some Soul

From past few weeks, the students of St. Andrew’s College were busy preparing for their play ‘If My Darkness is Light To Some Soul’ which was staged today. The play is based on the life of Mother Teresa who has touched thousands of lives with her kindness and caring hands. She indeed was an angel and inspired the world with the warmth of her heart and incomparable zeal to serve the society.

This was an initiative of the ‘Archdiocesan Board of Education’ thus the focus of the play was on Mother Teresa as she was first and foremost a teacher before anything else. The play highlights her spiritual journey and an aspect of her life that is not much spoken about. It revolves around the letters that Mother Teresa wrote for over 50 years to describe the darkness in her heart that threatened to annihilate her much bestowed faith in the Saviour. Her letters spoke about the feelings of abandonment and despondency that she experienced. The play was written and directed by professor Omkar Bhatkar of St. Andrews College.

The students from various departments used to rehearse dedicatedly for hours daily. A student of the college, who was part of a backstage team said, “Working with the team was a great experience. We now know how to make a play work and how it’s presented. It’s the team effort that has created this whole essence and aura which feels beautiful.”

Along with the college students, many professional actors and musicians took part in it to guide the students to bring out the best in them. Professor Omkar Bhatkar said, “The biggest challenge during the preparation was finding the right cast to suit the roles as the portrayal of loneliness and emptiness is not everyone’s cup of tea.”

Speaking about the play, he added, “If my darkness is light to some soul, is no more just a play to us but has become a spiritual journey to us. Working on this play every day has taken us on own personal labyrinth of beliefs, with every passing day.”

The play also comprised of a live choir along with composed music and Syriac – Aramaic chants. The singers and musicians are mostly amateurs but are putting more than 100 per cent to hit the right chord.

Jason Fernandes, the music composer added, “The music was not pre-planned and was being composed very organically with the flow. The singers added to the depth and divinity to the piece and its trance was even felt in our rehearsals.”

The play brings about a fresh approach to theatre bringing out the emotions of the beautiful words of Mother Teresa in the most optimum and graceful way. The students also had an interesting routine of meditation before the rehearsal to revive the spiritual depth with every rehearsal. Uniquely, this play draws parallels between mother Teresa and Mother Mary as even ‘Virgin Mary, the angelic Mother that she was, cried out to God and questioned his existence when her own son, the son that she held in her arms, the boy who has her own blood was dying on a Cross.’

The piece unfolds different layers and speaks about the mystery of faith. Sharmila Velaskar Kadne, the lead actress of the play, said, “To live even for a few moments the profoundly selfless life of Mother Teresa is humbling, a blessing and gives solace to my soul.”

It’s exceptional to see so many young college students taking interest in theatre and spirituality. It’s only with the help of right guidance that such activities bring about the best of opportunities and talents among the youth. The play was a visually appealing drama with the profound use of aesthetic elements and was an enchanting experience.

Students speak:-

Elaine D’souza:
It was a great pleasure to be a part of this mesmerising journey towards spirituality and something I will always cherish.

Akshay Sonawane:
The journey of the play was a learning experience and has truly evolved my personality in a whole new way.

Ajinka Shirodkar:
Being a part of the play and performing physical theatre was indeed a soulful experience.

-Mimiksha Roy

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