“My journey from a law student to a director has been a roller coaster ride. It’s a swirling and swooshing experience. And this ride, it just doesn’t seem come to an end.”
If you are in UILS, you’ll come across her every day. You’ll be walking from the porch to the canteen and she’ll be giggling with someone, and on your way back you’ll see her thinking about the third world crisis. She’ll go from ‘Wow‘ to ‘How‘ in just three seconds! Wondering who she is? Still not been able to guess? Well, well, well, she is Samriti Wadhawan, a full time budding lawyer and part time drama-director.
Many of us audition for parts in plays and dramas, but how many of us have what it takes to be sitting behind the bench- taking the auditions. Samriti is the founder, creator and mother of ‘Kalawkaars’- a platform for law students who are also theatre artists.
“These sort of ideas don’t knock your mind overnight. It took a lot of research to first find out if there is or was any other theatre society in UILS. After realising that there has been little to no initiative taken for dramatics, I decided to put up a notice for auditioning voluntarily since all the formalities are a time consuming process and might not even get acceptance because this has hardly any relation with the legal profession. Had it not been my seniors showing faith in me, I don’t think Kalawkaars could have been possible. Not to forget to mention, street plays are now a part of our curriculum in fifth year.” (wink-wink)
This indeed is pretty impressive we must say, 21 and killing it.
Big ideas always have bigger ideals. To lead us to a certain height, there is always this little something on the ground that inspires us, so here’s what inspired her to create her masterpiece, Kalawkaars.
“I am a person who gets inspired by little things. But in this case, I’d give most of the credit to Yuva Dharti, where I learned the need of awareness and changing mentalities via street plays- the most expressive and easily approachable form of theatre.”
Without a doubt, agreed!
They say that the human mind is a wandering bird, it explores, observes and stores the things that inspire it the most. So what inspires Samriti and how does she come up with a new theme every single time?
“We have worked on four themes and have performed each of them atleast two-three times in Chandigarh, Noida, Sonepat and Jodhpur. The basic motive of street play is to spread awareness of social stigmas which hamper the growth of our society. Keeping this in mind we take up the most suitable theme with respect to the targeted audience. Our first two plays were women centric and our third play focused on men atrocities which remain unnoticed due to stereotypical mindset, and the most recent play that we performed was on drugs and how it settles inside the mind and body of today’s youth.”
‘Awe-Inspiring’. We all know that Law isn’t all that buttery, it is tough, twisted and toilsome; but finding time between all the spadework definitely deserves a pat on the back. We’d really like to know how she manages all the work and from where does she get all this grit!
“To be honest, I won’t talk about time management lessons because it doesn’t really help a lazy person like me. Certainly, balancing any other passion with your course studies and devoting time to both is a hard nut to crack. However, my parents make it easy for me since they are my energy booster, chill pills and mentors. Also my brother whom I idolise, has always encouraged me to explore different arenas and it is only because of them that I have managed to make my dream drama-team possible. When it comes to thank people, I guess taking names means the risk of missing out a few, so I will refrain but I owe a big gratitude towards not just my family but also my friends, my audience and everyone else who is directly or indirectly associated with Kalawkaars.”
UILS has been established for almost a decade now, yet it lacked the essence of stagecraft until Samriti took the far-reaching step. Not only was this a gamble, but also an unpredictable venture. It was a ‘Death-or-Glory’ step, since it involved long term commitments. But, now that we know that it is all glory for Kalawkaars, we’d really like to know about Samriti’s views on the same.
Kalawkaars have channelised talented students who did not even know that they could be such great actors and writers. I have seen so many introvert and hesitant students growing into such social and confident personalities only after a few rehearsals of the play. There is no better way of thanking your alma-mater by giving it something in return which will be remembered and taken on for years by my juniors.”
Experience teaches us what no books or persons can teach and with such a lot of experience in hand at such a young age, there is nothing wiser than a few words of wisdom from the Director-Actor and Creator herself;
“College years are those years where you get the time, people and opportunities that help you grow and explore the talent in you. And if you are lucky enough to be a law student, it would mean an opportunity to learn everything else besides law. (Giggles) For students who have already found their passion; I’d like to share a phrase which I read and later made my only rule. It says: ‘Practice like you have never won, Perform like you have never lost.’ ”
So with this we can proudly conclude that Samriti is indeed ‘Beauty with Brains’ and we wish her all the very best for her upcoming projects.
About the Author:
Lawyer In The Making. A Cat Crazy Person. In Love With Food. Precious Things Come In Small Packages.