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Today, when I meet people, almost everyone recognizes me like a firecracker that brings effervescent colours to the room by cracking all those no-brainer one-liners and extremely idiotic jokes. And, to be honest, it feels really good to bring a smile on someone’s face and it makes me immensely proud to be the ‘joker’ of the lot.
But, I wasn’t always like this; I wasn’t always this extrovert maniac, in fact, I was a person of the other end of the spectrum: An introvert who would not speak to people until and unless it is absolutely important. Somehow, I managed to make friends at school and my school life sailed to the bank very smoothly but then came the big world: THE COLLEGE ARENA.
This was also a time when I drowned deep in the ‘depressed waters’ and became more vulnerable. I remember going to college and sitting alone in the cafeteria while others used to gel up, socialize and do all sorts of things a normal college goer is expected to do. Somehow, I just did not have it in me, I used to feel this lack of confidence in my personality and this would just resist me to go any further and talk to people. Two months went by and my name was only known by the attendance book.

One day, a class got cancelled and everyone decided to go somewhere and as expected no one cared to ask me. I did not want to go home early so I decided to explore this beautiful city called ‘Delhi’, I took a bus (irrespective of the thought that where it will take me) and started my ‘Solo Escapade’. I got off from the bus at ITO and started swaying around the ‘media’ish streets’. Suddenly, I cross this big building named ‘Pyare Lal Bhawan’, loud voices came from its vicinity in unison. The scale and depth were pitch-perfect and it felt good to hear it, I was attracted to the voices and in a kind of inebriated (obviously, no alcohol was involved) state, I just crossed the main gate and reached the amphitheatre of that building.
I saw a group of people standing there who were blaring it out like anything, the energy of that place felt so surreal to me. I had never watched something like that, yes I had heard about theatre and stuff but I never knew that the place could be so zealous and zestful. This place was 'Indu Arts Theatre And Film Society'. I went and sat at a far away desk and kept gawking at the group as they practised dialogues, played characters and mimicked the heck out. After a while, I felt a tap on my shoulder, as I turned my head I found one of the group members standing there. I felt a little scared and panicked badly, the worried expression was quite evident on my face and that person noticed it in no time. The next line that he said won me over, he said: ‘Hey, come join us, you have been watching us for a while now,’ someone finally called me in to join their circle.

As I went there, I was made to do various theatre exercises and as I was doing all those stuff, I noticed that a grin has wrapped my face. Yes, there was a big broad smile on my face and I wanted to hug each one of those group members and say THANK YOU; I wanted to tell them that intentionally or unintentionally they all succeeded in putting soul into my life.
My very next step was joining this group and I did the same the very next day after this miraculous experience. As the days passed I started knowing myself better, the theatre opened horizons I did not know existed within me. I got to know that there are a zillion entities residing within me and the stage just unleashed them all. This was also the place that made me realize that a depressed ass like me can also have a sense of humour.

Gradually, these changes started developing my personality for good and the guy who was almost dead for the ‘college peers’ was now one of the most known faces in the campus. I made friends, I did some of the silliest pranks and most importantly I got some recognition.
I remember fetching the top honour at the ‘Solo Act’ competition, I was given a monologue to perform and when I finished that thing, a tsunami of claps was showered over me. Theatre changed me from a guy who was hesitant to talk to a guy who was now getting applause. Cut to the third year and I found a theatre society ‘Mukhauta’, which is still very active in the theatre circuit doing good work every day.

I had no plans of taking up this art form, it happened in an uncertain manner and that is how I realized that ‘Uncertainty leads you to perfect places’.
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- Shivam
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