From fatherhood to a forlorn lover’s tale, the plays to be staged at the Hindi theatre festival Ananda, tackle different topics dealt in completely different styles. The festival spans across three days with a new play being staged on each day. The Guide takes a look at what the festival has in store.
A play that deals with terrorism, bureaucracy and media, Kalaam is a take on the current state of affairs in our society through three characters — a terrorist, a bureaucrat and a peon. The play is the first Hindi production by Silly Point Productions and has been written by Meherzad Patel and Danesh Khambata. Patel first wrote the play as a 14-minute play in English about two years back. “When we decided to produce it, we realised it just didn’t click in English. It felt fake, felt like a translation in English and we hence decided to do it in Hindi,” admits Patel. The play has three monologues by the three protagonists and the three different stories are later linked together by a fourth character. “The fourth character is a woman who plays the role of a mother, daughter, police officer linking the stories together. We look at the struggles of the three people. I wanted the audience to look at them as people and not just as the stereotypes they are supposed to be,” he says, adding, “The play is also a direct criticism on the bureaucracy that exists in our society, because of which the lower class suffers. No one is ready to take responsibility and terrorists go scot free.”
Ramsajeevan ki Premkatha
Ramsajeevan, a young boy from a village in Bihar comes to Delhi and tries to adapt to the society there. He has a new vision for the country and wants to become a socialist and a writer to revolutionise society. But he hopelessly falls in love with a girl to the extent that he gets caught in the web of obsession and misplaced conviction and loses his mind. He keeps writing letters to her even after she goes abroad for her studies. “This play has been adapted from a story by Uday Prakash, which is based on a real life incident,” says Nitin Bharadwaj, who has directed the play along with Saurabh Nayyar. “I found the story in a book by Uday Prakash and felt it is something that happens in each one’s life. Whenever I have asked someone who his first crush was, the answer is his teacher. It is a basic fact of life. So, we decided to do this as a play,” adds Bharadwaj. Ask him if he has had a personal experience he drew from, he breaks into a laugh before answering, “Well… there was a very beautiful girl, who I was in love with, but I could never tell her as she was one of my friends’ girlfriends.”
A funny, emotional drama, this play tackles the subject of fatherhood in a beautiful way. “It has got elements of fun, humour, and nostalgia,” says Pawan Uttam, who has directed the play along with Imran Rasheed. What sets this play apart from the rest is that it does not have a defined script, but it includes monologues by the actors giving personal accounts and fun anecdotes about their experiences with their fathers. “There are many small incidents that occur in our lives, which are important but are not big enough stories that can be staged. We wanted to break the typical style of story telling. We have hence put forth these small experiences and incidents in the form of dialogues and monologues by the actors,” explains Uttam. Before the script of the play was worked upon, the actors used to meet everyday and talk about their fathers. “We did this for 15 days and we recorded our conversations. Later, we heard the recordings and decided which of them should be incorporated in the play,” he adds. The 10 actors in the play talk about their experiences and the beautiful moments they have shared with the man, who has been one of the most important persons in their lives. Ask Uttam how the idea of the play came about for him and he says, “When I think about finding myself, I think about my father, his father and so on. I feel if I keep going up the ladder I may one day find God, I may find myself.” This play is by Rangbaaz and has been produced by NCPA.