The 13th century Kashmiri mystic poet Laaleshwari or Lal Ded was brought alive by veteran actor Meeta Vasisht last night for the 10th night in a row at G5A, courtesy Indian Novels Collective that endeavours to translate regional Indian literature. Translation was the theme. Fluidity was its form. Vasisht opened her act by reading and translating Lalla’s “vakhs”- which spoke of a commitment to realize the true self and to define one’s self beyond the gender binary. On one hand, the actor fluidly shifted from Kashmiri to English to Hindi and on the other hand, her body shifted from the form of Lal Ded to her mother-in-law to her husband to her guru. Just as Lal Ded stripped ritualistic worship to its spiritual essence, Vasisht stripped theater to its bareboned essential- the body. The emotional urge to be free from her 6 senses translates into the physical angst of her body; the emotional detachment with the world’s praise and criticism is reflected in the rhythmic circularity of her head and feet, the transcendental nudity of the saint is embraced by the sheer-hugged and shame-shunned body of the actor. The most beautiful part of this performance was that one enter and relate with it from several vantage points- as a woman, as a poetry lover, as a philosopher, as a religious believer, as a feminist or even a householder. The lights on stage created its own theatrical geography…a linear patch when the mystic poet was at crossroads and trapped; a circumference when she was the wandering seeker. Truly a performance that provoked the thought and invoked the soul.