DISCOMFORT DISCO 2
SPILLOVER by Abhishek Anicca
29.10. 17:30 – 18:30 (CEST) 21:00 – 22:00 (IST)
30.10. 17:30 – 18:30 (CEST) 21:00 – 22:00 (IST)
Platform: Zoom | Registration: Registrations for this practice will start on 15th October | What You Need: Electric kettle, Water, Tea bag (Green/ Jasmine/ Chamomile), some snacks & some love (compulsory)
I can't sleep early when I am ill. Partly due to illness, partly due to medication, I spend hours on the bed at night, shifting from one side to another, restless and devoid of any comfort. One thing you should know about me is that I am ill quite frequently. My bladder is always crawling with bacteria. My kidneys are occasionally failing. And with illness, comes a lot of boredom. Through years of being ill, I have developed few coping mechanisms. I play some music. Read an audiobook. Write some poetry. But there is one thing that gives me emotional relief more than anything else. The process of making green tea. There is always an electric kettle and few tea bags on the other side of my bed whenever I am ill.
During these phases, my bed becomes a part of me. And the hours of the night my companion. I use this time to undrape the layers of time to take a good look at myself. My dreams take a break. Plans are always postponed. My head is full of questions. I scribble some poetry. About illness, about love, about vulnerabilities. I go over my fantasies of being able to date again, dance again, have a drink again. There are banal things too which occupy my mind. Like how can I lose weight? Is my diaper wet? No? Why is my bed wet again? Did I spill some tea? Or is it the pee again?
The discomforts of the body seldom get in the way of comforts of the soul. Green tea makes me pee more but I will anyway pee a lot, so green tea is okay. Not everything needs to make sense. Not when your life doesn't make complete sense. Not at first. But when you fall ill again and again, you find meaning in illness and use it for catharsis. Try to learn from the discomforts. Find new comforting things. Over time, this time spent with myself, drinking green tea and writing poetry heals me from within. It gives me the strength to look forward to things. It makes me a little hopeful.
No tea can cure my loneliness though. And when I am ill, I am very lonely. Even when I am surrounded by people. No one listens to me. I don't know what people around me are thinking. It is in hope of being heard and listening that I want us to meet. By making green tea with all of you, and talking about our discomforting spillovers, I plan not to be lonely anymore. I also plan to do some healing and there is no better way of healing than lingering conversations that come from the heart. I will share some discomforts of my life, spilling over some poetry, body parts and desire. You bring your own share of comforts and discomforts. Let's brew them together and make some tea.
DISCOMFORT DISCO is a series of short, interactive digital performances that deal with a variety of discomforts experienced by the artists. Three artists create new pieces that get performed from their homes, and enter into those of the audiences, inviting people to peep into their worlds and how they navigate them. All while making some chai, green tea and sherbet!
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By | With Abhishek Anicca
Abhishek Anicca is a writer, poet, performer and disability rights activist. He identifies as a person with locomotor disability and chronic illness which shapes his creative endeavours. For Abhishek Anicca, the personal is political. His work on living with disability and illness has appeared in prominent newspapers and websites like the Times of India, The Quint, Kitaab, and Mad in Asia among others. His poems have been published in Nether Quarterly (English), Indian Cultural Forum (English, Hindi), The Alipore Post (English), Jankipul (Hindi), Samalochan (Hindi), and Prabhat Khabar (Hindi). His first Hindi poetry collection, ANTRANG, was published in 2019. He uses spoken word performances as a means of activism and has given more than fifty performances on disability and gender. His work centres around the idea of vulnerability and empathy, with his lived experiences forming the pivot of all performances.