Shrikar Marur

Who did you exchange places with?

I had an opportunity to exchange roles and be a tea shop cashier for the morning. Considering we had to be a character we had not spoken to or interacted with prior to this assignment, I felt being in a tea shop with those people would give me an insight into a very interesting business model.

2.What did you consider while getting ready or dressing for the event?

One of the main things i took into consideration when I dressed up for my role was my appearance. Having been to KR market so many times, I had a very clear image of how a working class middle aged/youngster male would look like. Hence, I made myself look like one of them. Wearing a full arm shirt with design patterns on them, and formal trousers with chappals, I was able to merge with the crowd to a great extent. In terms of behavior, I needed to be a little rustic and loud which over my stay there, I was able to incorporate those traits and quirks into my character.

3.What were the events that occurred and what happened?

Sitting at the cash counter and pretending to be a cashier was pretty exciting and intimidating. Attending to real customers and being involved in a real trade and instructing the boy who made the tea was pretty eventful in itself. But when Piyush, dressed as a muslim man, came to my shop to buy a cup of tea, the interaction was exciting as we had to interact as characters and not as ourselves.
4.What did you feel about what occurred?

The first sight of Piyush entering my shop broke a serious rhythm I was maintaining as my character. But the moment we had eye contact and realized we were still in our characters, the interaction changed completely. The exchange made me feel like a method actor and felt proud of having managed to stick on to my character.

5.What were your insights about what happened? What are your thoughts after reflecting on what transpired today?

One of the main thoughts that surfaced in retrospect was that to understand a character or a community or a group, observing them gives one a certain degree of understanding and insights. But being with them and being as them gives one a whole new level of understanding and comprehension.

My Reflections

One response to “Shrikar Marur

  1. geetu

    “One of the main thoughts that surfaced in retrospect was that to understand a character or a community or a group, observing them gives one a certain degree of understanding and insights. But being with them and being as them gives one a whole new level of understanding and comprehension.”

    Shrikar- there are some points that I would like you to consider. The first is- when one seeks an understanding of a group or community, is it the nature of this understanding that seeks you to adopt one way of entering the space of that community? For example, you wanted an insight into the business model of the tea shop. What if you sought no understanding? Are there understandings that take place unconsciously when you are in a space?

    The next point, or rather next question- what does understanding another person or a community do for you?

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