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Mumbai Diary page: Friday Frolics

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Snake takes
On Naagpanchami today, it is apt to rewind to a time when board games were a big source of entertainment for family and friends.

One of those board games bringing people together with shrieks of laughter was Snakes ‘n’ Ladders. When you roll the dice and hit a particular number you may be lucky enough to encounter a ladder. Quickly climb it and zoom on ahead accompanied by cheers and laughter.

Sometimes though, agonisingly, you might encounter a snake, which means you slither down in disappointment. All this was so much fun in a pre-Candy Crush world when we were not isolated with i-Pads and cell phones. One hopes that, like old songs which are reworked and make a comeback, snakes ‘n’ ladders can live on too.

While on snakes ‘n’ ladders, a little ‘fun’-dering or wondering about snakes and all that accompanies them. So, one is wondering...

>> Whether the husband snake tells his wife, “Stop Naag-ing”…
>> Whether you have gone into a restaurant which advertises, “we have tea and snakes”…
>> What does a snake do on Naagpanchami in case he is lactose intolerant?
>> Whether snakes have two kinds of toilets, Hiss and Hers…
>> Whether a Russell’s Viper needs wipers in the rain?
>> Why can’t a snake shake to a new kind of hit called the Mamba No 5?
>> And finally, whether these corny one-liners will leave you in hiss-terics…

Setting the stage
For those who lament the decline of Marathi theatre, the NCPA's festival Pratibimb (reflection) is a very welcome addition to their calendar. Its fifth edition runs from today till August 5, and offers a range of plays from comedy to human folly, from tragedy to edge-of-the-seat thriller, from revivals to new work.

A scene from Get Well Soon, which will be staged on Sunday
A scene from Get Well Soon, which will be staged on Sunday

There is a dearth of Marathi theatre festivals, so Pratibimb is a boon for die-hard aficionados. Holding up a mirror to the best of Marathi theatre, each performance in Pratibimb will be followed by a discussion with the cast and crew of the play.

Some feel that since their grasp of Marathi is not robust, they may not be able to appreciate Marathi drama. But we say that even a basic understanding of Marathi should be enough, because as the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Marathi theatre has a fine, rich background and at one time was the vanguard of revolutionary thought. So go on, take a dekko and find out more. In keeping with the cyberworld, you can also catch the live webcast of the Pratibimb curtain-raiser on NCPA’s eNatya Chaupal, at ncpa mumbai.com/livepratibimb.html.

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