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O Guru! – The Guru of Chai

We all love a good cuppa of chai (or teh, whichever term you’re familiar with) -Even more so if it’s made by the master of chai himself. Once in a blue moon, you meet a teacher who charms you with his wit, humour and seemingly divine powers. Your lucky stars are aligned this time because the Guru of Chai himself calls for an audience!

The Guru of Chai is a story of simple truths that connects the lives of a poor chaiwallah (tea seller), a young girl, a policeman and a poet – and how their lives were changed forever on the basis of people keeping their souls locked in cages.  Set against the paradoxical backdrop of modern India and ancient traditions, the guru brings to life a delicious brew of colourful characters. Throughout the story, the guru counsels the audience on the barriers to happiness and shares his observations on humanity’s desire for love.

Jacob Rajan plays the Guru of Chai and David Ward accompanies him on music and sound effects. Fifteen minutes into the play and we were sold. How can someone play more than 10 characters all at once so seamlessly? You would think that he could possibly be suffering from the most extreme case of split personality disorder, but we beg to differ. The sheer brilliance of Jacob’s performance and the humanity he brings to every character he creates, gels this whirlwind of dramatic storytelling together. On-stage musician, David’s personality and sound were an integral part of the play that made the entire experience enchanting. A perfect duo, their performance together was beautifully timed. Did we mention that David has an uncanny resemblance to Jesus? This, the Guru himself insists.

So if you are indeed seeking enlightenment or even answers to some of your most complex problems (urination problems included, we feel you), we urge you to book an audience.

You put whatever you want in your cup of life. We choose to drink chai.


The Guru of Chai is co-presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre and Indian Ink Theatre Company. The play runs from 6 – 17 March 2012 at the DBS Arts Centre – Home of SRT.


– Liyana Meer

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