Facebook tells me an old acquaintance, an actress, is in London as part of the cast of Nirbhaya, a play written by South African playwright, Yael Farber, about the Delhi gang-rape and other stories of sexual violence. A common friend leaves a comment on the post about the performance, something like: “I have witnessed and recorded testimonies of survivors of war and conflict but never have I been so shaken by the stories in Nirbhaya.” I think: Nirbhaya is ready for dramatization for Edinburgh and London but when are we going to deal with Delhi?
Two weeks ago I was in Cochin and overheard a man talking to his daughter about which one of the NIFT centres she had been accepted by to consider: Jaipur, Bombay, Bangalore, Calcutta – yes. Delhi – no, not now, not after everything that has happened. “We are not that comfortable sending our daughter to Delhi.”
A friend has just returned from six weeks in Delhi. I ask her what it feels like up there. She replies – “you can cut the protectionism with a knife. People who have never really bothered before will now ask you how you are going to get home. People are ready to call you a cab.”