Tales of a commoner

Newspapers are replete with stories about people, places and happenings. But readers often wonder whether such people are really guilty or just victims of circumstances? Playwright and director Imran Rasheed attempts to highlight such personal stories in his new play Poora Ek Din. A compilation of three stories, each tale revolves around issues such as religious apartheid, terrorism and sexual inequality.

Raghav Dutt and Nishi Doshi in Rishta, one of the three stories in Poora Ek Din

The first story titled Mandir Masjid revolves around a temple (mandir) and a mosque (masjid). They consider each other as siblings, unaware about the fact that much has been said and written about their enmity. After some events, the mosque gets demolished compelling viewers to think whether religious apartheid exists or is it the handiwork of politicians to win votes.

Jihad, the second story, is about two terrorists, who enter a young boy’s house and take him hostage, after they have nowhere to escape. The boy asks them why they became terrorists. One of them replies that he hails from a poor family and was promised financial support if he took up arms.

The third story, Rishta, is about a prostitute, a pimp and a eunuch. While the prostitute and the pimp love each other, the eunuch faces the wrath of religious bodies after he writes a book and compares himself to the Almighty. Eventually the case goes to the court. What happens next forms the crux of the story.

Rasheed says he had been toying with the idea for a long time. “When I came to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh 10 years ago, I was intrigued to know that there is an area known as Mandir Masjid in Versova. That gave me the idea for one of the stories. Terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s arrest and his execution in the 26/11 terror case gave me the idea for Jihad. As a reader, I was intrigued by daily news and wondered what was going through the minds of people caught in the midst of these events.”

Ask him if he was sceptical about inviting the ire of socio-religious groups and he replies, “That thought never crossed my mind. The idea is to make viewers think what they see or read might not always be true.”

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