Dinesh Chandrasekhar on Tarun Kumar
“Tradition is important. It anchors us. It tells us where we came from and who we are as people.”
- Tarun Kumar
Tarun is the CEO of Tesseract, a Bay Area startup. He is successful and ambitious. His wife Naina and he have two adorable kids. His is the quintessential Valley story of an Indian immigrant.
Tarun has lived and worked in the Bay Area for the last 12 years, yet he is conservative and still firmly rooted in tradition.
So, who is Tarun? Tarun is you and me. He is the everyday Bay Area dreamer who wants to make it big. He is the archetype of an Indian immigrant who is as American as he wants to be but stays anchored to the traditional values that he was raised with. But Tarun is also egotistical and a hypocrite.
When I first examined Tarun's character, I felt a certain distaste for how he treats his wife. But I know that he is representative of a large segment of the male population that would put their honor ahead of their family. You might have seen such men among your friends or relatives.
What is amazing is that my character Tarun was Torvald in Ibsen’s original play 135 years ago! Talk about a timeless classic! Even though the play has been adapted to current times, Torvald lives on in Tarun and we can still see him as a very real person. In today’s “Lean In” world, we still have such men holding women back in work and life.
Playing this character has been very hard for me as I had to get into his psyche and that has not been easy. However, I guarantee that some members of the audience will be squirming in their seats as they are reminded about the Tarun in their lives.
I hope you come to one of our shows. I will be playing Tarun with a very talented cast. Hope to see you there.
- Dinesh Chandrasekhar