Thespo@Prithvi presents Baawla, a play by young first-time director Raghav Dutt, who has taken a leaf out of his own life, penning the protagonist whose devotion for his mother turns him into a poet
Debutant director Raghav Dutt admits that he had never heard of the word ‘theatre’. He recalls, “When I was 17, I came to Mumbai. For me, theatre meant going to the cinema hall.” Dutt will be showcasing his play, Baawla in the city though his tryst with stage lights and curtains started with an acting part in Section 377, directed by theatre doyen Padma Bhushan Pandit Satyadev Dubey.
The play, Baawla, depicts the inner conflict of the protagonist. Pics courtesy/Punit Reddy
Then onwards, Dutt managed to impress the audiences in performances such as Mumtaz Bhai Patangwale, Aaj Rang Hai, Laal Pencil and others. “I explored my soul in theatre while I did production and backstage, along with acting for various plays. During this journey, I started writing small poems and got appreciation for them. Eventually, I started writing poems/songs for different plays as well as lyrics for films.”
Dutt went on to write the play, Baawla that has Raghu, a nine-year-old as his protagonist. Child of an unhappy marriage with an alcoholic father, Raghu faces turmoil every day. His mother, Geeta, compelled by the circumstances, leaves Raghu’s father and marries Mansoor Ahmad. Dutt in this situation explores a wide spectrum of Raghu’s emotions etched in powerful scenes that bring out his dilemma of religion, identity, devotion to his mother and societal pressures faced at that young age.
The play shows the complex relationship between a mother and a son
When probed about his vantage point as a scriptwriter and director, Dutt expresses his reluctance, “Baawla was the last idea that I wished to explore or write, as it’s close to me. Most of it, I have experienced. I was scared to put it forward. It’s the story, which touches my heart, and I feel its truth.”
Director Raghav Dutt
Dutt has also penned Raghav as a poet like him, who is completely devoted to his mother. Baawla is part of the Thespo@Prithvi initiative that showcases young productions with potential. The 22-year-old undeterred by his age, hopes that the audiences will applaud his efforts as he concludes the tete-a-tete with Raghu’s lines:
‘Wo maa hai, main maashook uska...
Maa, tumhara Baawla!’
Till: September 3, 9 pm
At: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu.