What made up base camp for the television production #Everest

During my school days (long long time ago!), I made a fool of myself in front of my entire class. That day, that very moment, at the age of 13, I made a decision not to speak in front of a group of people. I developed a kind of a phobia which ruled my life for the next 27 years in which I missed out on lots and lots of opportunities and happy times.

During one of the self-help programme called Landmark Forum led by Ferdi D’Souza, I realized what was happening and how it was impacting my life. After understanding this, I had two choices – carry on as is or do something to overcome this phobia. I chose the latter and joined a theatre group called Join the dots in 2003. During my first play, I could hear my heartbeats and was sweating in air-conditioned mini-auditorium! Well, I was determined to overcome this phobia, so I carried on.

With the help from wonderful teachers like Rahul George and Meenakshi Mehta, I could overcome this phobia and today I am happy to say that I have acted in front of the camera in one of the largest Television Production #Everest by Ashutosh Gowarikar.

#Everest is all about your life. Out of hundreds of things, one of the thing #Everest is attempting to present is this aspect of life of overcoming your fears and surging ahead with your passion. Aakash Joshi (played wonderfully well by Rohan Gandotra) has chosen to overcome his phobia. Will he succeed?

Watch #Everest. It will bring the best out of YOU.


Piecing together missing personal links

Filling the blanks

Rahul George combines theatre with psychology to bring out the true you and help you solve your own problems, finds SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

Rahul George is into theatre and uses it not only as a tool for personality-building, but also for education. You are surprised when he walks in as he looks more like an executive, than an artiste. “Well, I actually am a blend of both,” he says as he takes his seat.

“You know I started off as an advertising guy. Worked in Mumbai before making Bangalore my home. Continued working but always felt that there was a vacuum,” says this MBA graduate. Then he quit his job, just took “time to realise what I actually wanted to do. That’s when I started meeting people from various walks of life and took to theatre for I always had a passion for it. You know, given a choice, I would have taken to theatre as a vocation in the beginning itself.”

As he got involved in theatre, he discovered that he liked being with people and working with them. “I also realised that people opened up a lot and took very easily to me. And I started counselling them too.”

So to be able to help better, he did a counselling course with Ali Khwaja in 2003. “I did this just to pursue my interest in psychology. It was an extension of my interest in the subject. I could never see myself doing a chalk and talk method. I realised that a combination of theatre and counselling worked wonders for people.”

So he went on to do intensive research on applied theatre and also studied theatre in education at Christ University before starting his own group called Join the Dots.

“The name intrigued me. It is inspired from the games in puzzle books, where you join the dots and the picture becomes clear. It is the same when we work and get people to connect the dots. Things become clear. Most people know the answers themselves,” he observes.

As he was not looking at a typical curriculum, he started reaching out to schools, colleges and corporates and designing workshops for them. His wife, Meenakshi, a teacher, also helps him in his work. And together they have designed various workshops where they have used theatre to teach subjects like history and civics.

“We were called by schools at the point of revision. We took their syllabus and using theatre we elicited dialogues and poetry from the children themselves. We worked for one-and-a half hours with them for 10 days. It refreshed their memory, gave them a fresh understanding of their lessons and also equipped them with a memory hook to write their examinations,” recalls Rahul.

If any establishment wants him to devise a programme for them, he is willing to do it, and adds: “My aim is to train teachers so that they can incorporate theatre in their own individualistic styles into their syllabus.” He says that it is possible to use theatre to even teach subjects like physics!

Besides educational programmes he also conducts regular theatre workshops in Cubbon Park and at the Time Foundation Nalanda. The former is held every Saturday at 2.30 p.m. and is open for those aged between 14 to 65. “It is a paid membership, where the basics of a performance are taught. One is equipped with the various skills s/he needs before going on stage. This is a weekend class and is for those who want to be involved in theatre but lack the time. After every workshop we perform at the Nani Arena. In a year I conduct three to four workshops.”

He does not choose themes with a social message but works with people to overcome their inhibitions and inner conflicts. “The other workshop, at Nalanda, is solely for personal use and development. The classes are also structured in such a way that it helps you understand the self, emotions, dealing with certain fears. This one offers people the space and the time to talk about their conflicts and also confront them. It is amazing how honest people are and how these workshops have helped them. We have had people coming in to us on the verge of quitting a job or a marriage, but have worked it out through these various theatre exercises.”

Theatre is an effective tool that helps build relationships at home or at work, he believes. “Theatre is a tool. It creates an emotion of trust, it can build new ideas, and also creates a sense of acceptance. I have only used it as a facilitating tool. The environment is light and fun. Theatre is an experience where people are able to take back their experience to their life.”

Rahul also organizes couples’ workshops, where he devices exercises to get the couple to connect with each other. “Once things are out in the open they are able to hear different perspectives. This enhances their understanding of the simplicity of the situation. Most of the time the problem just looks big. A simple lesson is that there is more to life than just picking at each other.”

Rahul George can be contacted on 9845014330 or rahul@jointhedots.in

Come Join the Dots…..

This is a workshop focusing on Personal Development – Me n My Emotions

It is aimed at individuals in the age group of 16yrs – 65yrs. It is based on the principles of experiential learning. The workshop uses the medium of theatre and is designed to allow individuals to experience the intensity of emotions that exist in them. The focus of the workshop is to facilitate individuals to work with their emotions and to overcome negative feelings / thoughts

Effective tips, techniques and methods will be explored during the session and follow up sessions will be made available to interested individuals.

Date: 13th June

Duration: 3 hour workshop from 2.30 – 5.30 pm

Venue; MILESTONE (Amelio MediCorp),

No. 7, Norris Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore- 25.

Registration fee: Rs.500/-

Contact person: Meenakshi +91-9845570014 / 9845014330


Kudos Onooja… Great Going!!!

She is a budding Assamese actor presently having a relatively busy schedule in Mumbai, thanks to German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s operas, based not on conventional lifestyles, but beyond, where the rules of society are not rigid and confirmed, and where there is ample scope for innovative acting. The operas, directed by Chandan Roy Sanyal, are set to be staged at the National Centre for Performing Arts and Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai, followed by a scheduled tour of Bangalore later. Yes, she is the one and only Onooja Bhuyan, daughter of Manu Bhuyan and SN Bhuyan of Lachit Nagar, Guwahati.

Onooja featured in Assam Tribune, May 2009, Panorama Section!!!!


She was recently in the city for a short visit. A psychology graduate from Christ College, Bangalore, Onooja’s passion for acting – that took shape during the play Charlotte’s Web enacted by the students of Maria’s Public School in 2000, and staged at Kalakshetra for three evenings – led her to join the Join the Dots Group, Bangalore, where her acting skills got nurtured through six plays staged at the Centre for Film and Dramatics there, under the intense glare of theatre critics and the general public. Then, to further hone her skills, Onooja joined Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares school in Mumbai for a three-month specialised acting and film appreciation course under the watchful eyes of FTII graduate Hemendra Bhatia and NSD pass-out Yashraj Yadav and other visiting expert faculty members, she informs. There, she was familiarised with the different artistic genres, including the natural way of acting under Cannes Film Festival specialist Amit Kumar, Onooja says, adding that Actor Prepares also makes the artistes resort to routine yoga to enhance their concentration, stamina, besides making them adept in Bollywood, jazz and contemporary dances. Precisely, the Actor Prepares courses provide the aspirants with ample inputs, making them proficient in camera, scene work, theatre exercises, monologues, story build-up, direction, giving a compact but solid knowhow of the entire filmmaking process, Onooja says. Onooja’s maiden professional debut was through Manju Bora’s five-episode TV serial Upalabdhir Anugrah, which is set for telecast in DD, Guwahati shortly, she says, adding, “I’m focussing only on acting with total dedication for serials, movies, short films and ad films sans any language bar”, meaning, she is ready to try it out in South Indian, Bengali and any other language, besides, of course, Hindi and Assamese, ‘if the offers suit my taste’, she says. Its story is profound and emphasizes the importance of developing friendship for the sake of humanity amidst the backdrop of the menacing religious divide, Onooja says, informing about Upalabdhir Anugrah, where her co-actors in the lead roles included Juri Sarma and Pankaj Saikia. She has also acted in a short film titled Doll’s Play for Alliance Francaise. Onooja versatile looks – she appears a different person in different photos – coupled with a desire to achieve something big with her dedication and passion for acting, compensate for her lack of a robust stature and she really appears firm on the road to glitz and glamour – her portfolio photographs shot by Mumbai’s Pinki Manchandani tell just that. Besides, her mother Manu says, “We don’t owe any credit for whatever she has achieved in her choosen field till date, for she has ventured in the line all alone, albeit with our support and blessings.”

Simanta Bhagawati

Join the Dots Presents……

“The Centre of the stage is where I am”


Capture this feeling in you…..all in three hours….
A three hour theatre workshop that is designed for anyone from 14-65 years.
A concept that allows you to – 
Express yourself openly
Tap into the hidden talents that you wish to nurture
Find an outlet for your brilliant ideas
Own the joy of creating a new identity in every session
Meet people from different walks of life
Understand yourself and others with an open mind
Pursue a hobby that gets more interesting just by your presence
Perform for an audience
Join the interactive theatre experience…

Date: 30th May 2009 (Saturday)
Duration: 3 hours
Timing: 2.30 – 5.30 pm
Registration fee: Rs.500/-

Venue: MILESTONE (Amelio MediCorp),
No. 7, Norris Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore- 25.
Contact person: Meenakshi- +91-98455-70014

Stress Less in Bangalore!

Join the Dots presents a three hour DE-STRESSING workshop which is aimed at individuals in the age group of 16yrs – 65yrs. It is based on the principles of experiential learning.  The workshop uses the medium of theatre and is designed to creative effective de-stressing for the individual. Effective tips, techniques and methods will be explored during the session and follow up sessions will be made available to interested individuals.
Join the interactive theatre experience…
Date: 23rd May 2009 (Saturday)
Duration: 3 hours
Timing: 10 – 1 pm (batch 1)
                     2.30 – 5.30 pm (batch 2)
Venue: MILESTONE (Amelio MediCorp),
No. 7, Norris Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore- 25.
Registration fee: Rs.500/-

Contact person: Meenakshi- +91-98455-70014
directions to the venue:
Come down brigade road till you reach a signal (after brigade towers)- vellara junction is on your left hand side – take a right turn on to richmond road.Come down straight on the one way till you come to HDFC bank on the right hand side and Cafe coffee day on the left – take the left turn there – come straight down till you come to a park on the left hand hand side – take the left turn there – come straight up and take the first right turn (landmark is Apartment called Golden threshold) – as you come up on the left hand side at the corner you will see VBS(Vacation bible studies) building and a small lane just after that – turn there and right ahead of you at the dead end is a building with a board – AMELIO MEDICORP – walk in and register there.


Join the dots invites you to Workshops this weekend…

1. Personal Development – Connecting with people The theatre workshop is designed to allow individuals to experience ways and means of connecting with people around them and building genuine relationships.

Date: 16th May (Saturday)

Duration: 3 hour workshop from 2.30 – 5.30 pm

Venue: 5th floor, Times of India Building, MG Road

Registration fee: Rs. 500/-

Contact person: Meenakshi- +91-98455-70014


2. Kaleidoscope – A theatre workshop created exclusively for children and parents to explore creativity. Focus will be on enhancing communication between parents and children – giving them a platform to collaborate creatively

Date – 17th May 2009 (Sunday)

Duration: 3 hour workshop from 10am – 1pm

Venue: MILESTONE (Amelio MediCorp), No. 7, Norris Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore- 25.

Registration fee: Rs.1000/- per parent and child.

Contact person: Meenakshi- +91-98455-70014


3. Staged – A theatre workshop created exclusively for couples Couples will experience the exhilaration, the fun, the irony and the melodrama of relationships integrated into theatre. Focus will be on giving couples an opportunity to get to know a little more about each other via this creative workshop.

Date – 17th May 2009 (Sunday)

Duration: 3 hour workshop from 2.30 – 5.30pm

Venue: MILESTONE (Amelio MediCorp), No. 7, Norris Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore- 25.

Registration fee: Rs.1000/- per couple.

Contact person: Meenakshi- +91-98455-70014