Being a young Karachi college boy I became a theatre enthusiast six years ago mainly due to some amazing stage dramas and theatre acts performed by me and the groups I’ve been a part of. I’ve enjoyed performing this art all my life. However, with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, performing in a physical space (like all other businesses, activities and hobbies) came to a full stop in Pakistan.
Unfortunately for me and my group mates we were still very amateur when it came to theatre and could not practice theatre online. Thus, our friendship and companionship also fell apart as we lost contact with each other.
Then in January 2021 I was told by Mr Bharat Babbar about a group called Aagaaz who conduct online drama jam sessions; he said that they were free and open for everyone, and recommended that I join.
Initially, I was very nervous because I was about to initiate a conversation with people abroad. So I was very shy and careful with the choice of my words at first. But since day one I fell in love with the Aagaaz jam space!
I’ve come across some extremely creative, talented and hardworking individuals here — like Rochan, Amaira, Akhila, Bhanu and Smrithi, and it’s been an absolute privilege sharing the 2 hour Sunday drama jam session with them and just playing games.
The games I played online in these sessions involved both my body movement and my voice and enhanced my story building creativity. As a theatre performer, it’s extremely essential to be present, and the improvisation not only sharpened my mind but also made me a much more responsive and confident person.
During the Jams there were also activities where we had to make doodles and a lot of imagination went into doing the required art work. There was also a time during the pandemic when cases were rapidly climbing in various states of India and many states went into a lockdown and a special Jam was facilitated by Bindya Vaid where we all got a chance to calm ourselves down as we went through a sequence of relaxation activities that made us all realize how lucky we are to be alive and healthy and for the blessings we all currently possess.
From a very personal point of view, connecting and meeting new people from nations here via zoom has been a marvelous experience and I have had this wonderful opportunity to make new bonds of friendship with them. These Sundays are probably the most amazing ones especially during the pandemic and I wait for them anxiously so I can perform the bits of childhood fun activities that I still have left.
I am really grateful to all my Indian brothers and sisters who’ve given me this opportunity, who’ve welcomed me with open arms and shared this amazing space with me. I wish the Aagaaz team all the very best for having recently completed the 50th Drama Jam, and I hope to be there and with them for an infinite number of Jams to come.
Ramis Munir is an actor working towards developing his passion for, and enhancing his skills in the performing arts. His other interests include football, movies, video games, horse riding, animals and playing with pets.