Published: 28th August 2017
A Shakespeare tell-tale: This club in Chennai has an unique way to celebrate the playwright legend
Shakespeare Millennium club, that is organising an exhibition called 'Knowlegde is Everything', also conducts quizzes, painting competitions, cooking gigs and theme-based rangoli celebrations
Just a walk into this Shakespeare exhibition will make you a literary guru on the greatest playwright that ever lived — this is what Jamuna Kalyani Sridharan, one of the organisers of the exhibition says.
Sridharan along with a couple of other Shakespeare lovers, set up the 'Shakespeare Millenium' club in 2002, every year the group comes up with innovative ways to remember the legend and this year, they decided to put together an exhibition.
Stealing the show: Every year the group comes up with innovative ways to remember the legend
How it all started
The Shakespear Millenium Club was started by Sridharan and a couple of her friends who all came together for the love of the playwright. But for Sridhar, the love affair started way back in college when one evening a friend and she offered to clean the library and ended up stumbling upon Shakespeare. For months after, she says she read nothing else.
After more than 30 years of being an English language teacher, Sridhar retired in 2003 but not before she sorted out her post-retirement plan- the club.
The Club's first meeting was held at the Cosmopolitan club on April 23 and continued to meet on the 23rd of every month, a tradition that it has kept up all these 15 years. But why 23rd? Because April 23 is Shakespeare's death anniversary. Not a month in the last 15 years has the meeting been missed, Shridhar said.
WORD: Needless to the say, the members remember the quotes by heart
From cooking broths to Shakespeare rangolis
If you thought that these club members just sat around and discussed the plays or Shakespeare, you're far from the truth. The club conducts competitions, from quizzes to painting to also cooking the food mentioned in the plays to having rangoli competitions based on the plays.
The Club also plays Tambola, the Indian version of Bingo but the Shakespeare members do their own take. "The numbers are not called out though, instead we make Shakespeare reference to some number and the players have to guess the number. For example, if someone says 'Ides of March' you know they mean the number 15," Sridharan explained.
The club organised an exhibition that displays 30 plaques — these plaques display the life of the playwright, from his date of birth, his early life, his first plays, his contemporaries, his critiques, his works, rare facts about his life, love quotes, words and phrases he invented, most popular couples, villains and heroes and heroines.
The Club has also brought out a tiny booklet of a 100 famous Shakespeare translated into Tamil and attached to key chains. "We wanted even the non-English speaking community to get a glimpse into Shakespeare and his literature," Sridharan added.
Around Shakespeare's world in 30 plaques
"I can confidently say that anyone who spends two hours at the exhibition will be able to pass any graduate level exam," Sridharan said.
The exhibition displays 30 plaques- these plaques display the life of the playwright, from his date of birth, his early life, his first plays, his contemporaries, his critiques, his works, rare facts about his life, love quotes, words and phrases he invented, most popular couples, villains and heroes and heroines.
Besides these plaques, the exhibition will also display other Shakespeare related collectables.
From Kancheepuram to Kashmir, the exhibition will be travelling to various colleges and schools. We've already been invited to various colleges in Chennai too
Jamuna Kalyani Sridharan, one of the organisers of the exhibition
Shakespeare's travelling troupe
While the exhibition was inaugurated at the Cosmo Club on August 23 and was conducted for a day, the Club has been invited to various events and colleges across the country for a wider audience.
"From Kancheepuram to Kashmir, the exhibition will be travelling- to various colleges and schools. We've already been invited to various colleges in Chennai too," Sridharan explained.