Saturday 13 April 2024

डिजिटल दौर में निजता

आज के डिजिटल दौर में हर व्यक्ति की लगभग हर एक गतिविधि चाहे वह सोशल मिडिया में हो या बाहर उसकी जानकारी एप्प्स के माध्यम से व्यावसायिक संस्थानों के पास रहती है.
हालांकि अधिकाँश एप्प्स निजी जानकारियों की गोपनीयता की रक्षा का वादा करते हैं पर अनेक परिस्थितियों में यह संभव नहीं हो पाता है जो वे स्वयं बाकायदा लिख कर बताते हैं. अब आपके बारे में इतनी अधिक और सम्पूर्ण जानकारी किसी के पास हो तो वो क्यों न (अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से ही सही) आपके सम्पूर्ण जीवन पर अपना अधिकार समझे. और वो इसका भरपूर फायदा उठाते भी हैं. पर इसका नतीजा यह दिख रहा है कि एक सामान्य आदमी का अपना कोई उद्देश्य, मूल्य या विचार ज्यादा मायने नहीं रखता. वह आज नहीं तो कल उस ओर ही प्रवृत होगा जिस ओर व्यावसायिक संस्थान अपने लाभ के लिए उससे अपेक्षा करते हैं. यह प्रश्न सिर्फ उचित कारण बिना निजता के पूरी तरह से भंग होने का ही नहीं है बल्कि सामाजिक ढाँचे के ध्वस्त होने का भी है. अगर व्यक्ति का अपना कुछ नहीं बचेगा तो समाज का निर्माण कैसे होगा? और अगर समाज नहीं रहा तो जो बचेगा वह होगा संवेदना विहीन व्यावसाहिक क्रेता-विक्रेता समूह. ऎसी परिस्थिति में मानव सभी नैसर्गिक सुख और अनुभवों से वंचित हो जाएगा और उसमें मनुष्यता का लोप होने लगेगा, यह संभावना दिखती है. इससे बचने के लिए यह परम आवश्यक है कि सरकारों और नागरिक समूहों के द्वारा निजता की रखा के लिए ठोस कदम उठाएं जाएं.

आप सब को बैसाखी पर्व की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं!
लेखक - हेमन्त दास 'हिम'
दिनांक- 13.4.2024
प्रतिक्रया हेतु ईमेल आईडी-

Saturday 6 April 2024

"Friend Request" - Marathi play staged in Mumbai on 30.3.2024

 The nemesis of a daughter

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 45 देखिए )

A lioness ambushing her prey. Everything in the life of the businessman Madhav is in peril. 

Here is a deserted divorced man languishing with his devastated life. What he misses the most is his lovely daughter who remained under the protection of his ex-wife. Even after his numerous attempts he did not succeed in meeting his daughter. When the daughter grows up she her father as her nemesis who snatched the natural pleasures of her childhood. She plans taking revenge on Madhav and and execute it meticulously. In this digital era, all passwords of Madhav's accounts are hacked and he becomes totally helpless.

Well, how does this happen? Madhav. Feeling the absence of his daughter with him he has turned an insatiable tippler. In this venture a ricksaw driver extends shows a friendly gesture and both become good friends. The girl mentioned above sends a friend request on facebook to that ricksaw driver Jignesh and seems enamored to his romantic gestures. One day, Madhav is surprised to see that girl in his house. The girl is forcibly adamant on staying in his house. Madhav has no way but to allow her. Later on, it comes to surface that the girl is none other that the real daughter of Madhav but surely on a path of revenge. What happens further should be seen in the auditorium.

The two characters of  the father and the daughter are quite opposite. One is master of treachery and full of fury but the other is cool, calm and considerate. The chemistry of contrast goes well with the parent-progeny duo played by the two actors. The actor playing Jignesh left the audience enthralled with his captivating dialogue delivery, quipping replies and persuasive mannerism..  Actors were Ajay Purkar, Aashish Pawar, Priyanka Tendolkar and Atul Mahajan. Director was Kumar Sohoni. 'Friend Request' written by Prasad Dani. 

Sandesh Bendre which conributed from the background and the set-design truly gave the inside view of a upper middle class house.  Ashok Pataki has enriched the show through music. Guru Thakur's song and  Kumar Sohoni  lighting did their work well. Kumar Sohoni also gets a major chunk of credit who somehow succeeded to keep the suspense intact till the interval. Even after the relationship of the father-daughter is revealed the augmentative journey was interesting and worthy to watch. 
(Disclaimer: Because of the language barrier there can be some discrepancy in the details of the story.)

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Sunday 17 March 2024

"The sacred bride" - presentation of verses of Janabai, Surdas, St. Theresa of Avila and Rumi performed in Bandra (Mumbai) on 10.3.2024

 Love makes life beautiful but for how long?

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 44 देखिए )

In the forests of Tulasi,
Jani unravels her plaits
Butter in hand,
Chakrapani massages her head

Life is like an acrobat who is moving on a rope balancing himself with a rod having mysticism and existentialism as it's two ends.  Dr. Omkar Bhatkar at SAPP Bandra (Mumbai) was making a point. The natural penchant of soul for mysticism is consistently moderated by existentialism. The progress of life  is inanimate if only determined by the mundane acts of will. The inner longing for reunion with God is the ultimate driving force that draws a man to mysticism. 

Some selected verses of Surdas, Rumi, St. Theresa of Avila and Janabai were presented in an evocative manner by Prasant Nalaskar and Omkar Bhatkar. The poems were first read soulfully by an artist in it's original language say Marathi (in case of Janabai) which was followed by the rendition of it's English translation by the other artist. The rendition of poems touched the sentimental chords of the listeners. The viewers were left awestruck on the signature Sufi dance presented in the end bereft of music and song.

"In the quest for self-transcendence mystics like Janabai (13th Cen), Rumi (12th Cen), St. Theresa of Avila (15th Cen) and Surdas (16th Cen) composed poems of pain and ecstasy. Pain that came from longing and ecstasy that came from union, led to the creation of some of the finest mystical writings. In the journey of merging with the divine, one becomes the lover and the divine becomes the beloved. The poet often becomes the bride and the divine- the bridegroom. Such Poems of love and longing use erotic metaphors to depict the deep yearning for the mystical union.

The Sacred Bride is a collection of poems of four divine brides: Janabai, Rumi, St. Theresa of Avila and Surdas- yearning to meet their beloved to eternally emulsify and become one with the divine. These sacred poems are woven like flowers in a prayerful garland using music and movement to be offered at the altar of Love."

After the poem recital a public conversation was held in which the viewer's queries were answered by the artists.

The people questioned on his way of theatrical progress delivering new plays back to back. He is always up to the next play every next month. Dr. Bhatkar replied that his aim is to deliver more and more theatre and other performance artworks in this short life. There is no greater ambition. The ambition is to be a better human being day by day with the help of learnings achieved in the process of original artworks and reproducing the plays, poems and other art pieces in a new style. He further clarified that he is more inclined to theatre and works of live performance because the direct public interaction of performer is possible only in live mode. Theatre with particular emphasis on spirituality is comfort zone and he wants to excel in it rather than diluting by venturing into cinema or other art.

No camera can capture the performance. Each performance is a new creation notwithstanding the fact it might be based on a fixed written script. The way you present a play, the way you act a character every time and the way you comprehend the poem in each reading is different. 

Performance was made by Omkar Bhatkar and Prasant Nalaskar. It was designed and directed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar. Technical assistance was provided by mayuresh, Radhika Mhatre, Nipun Pandey and Anosh. Art and aesthetics were by Omkar Bhatkar. 

Report by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Friday 8 March 2024

Ghalib- Marathi play staged in Panvel (Navi Mumbai) on 18.2.2024

First a father then anything else

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 43 देखिए )

This 'Ghalib' Marathi play is not about famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib rather it is a huge testimony of a writer's domestic dilemma. 

It is always a big challenge for a writer to strike a balance between his worshipping muse and running family. Even though he is a award-winner celebrity writer his material wealth is not enough to satisfy the needs of his two progenies. 

Manav Kirloskar is such a celebrity who has won several awards. After his death one of his two daughters wants to sell off the parental house and shift to Mumbai in a modest accommodation. The younger sister resists. Though (perhaps) the father has given the authority to the elder daughter to do so. On this matter both sisters are at loggerheads with each other. In the meanwhile Angad, an ex-student of the father comes to their house with an intention to search the last unpublished book of his teacher Prof Kirloskar. As the named book is very important for the literary community both sisters allow him to stay there for a few days and search the manuscript. Some sweet feelings generates in the mind of the younger sister for Angad. 

On the other side, Angad who himself has till date carved out a niche for himself in novel writing, is very honest about his mission. And ultimately he succeeds in finding the manuscript of 'Ghalib'. He conveys to the daughters that this is such a timeless analytical creation about Ghalib which can take the lettered society by storm. It was inherent that the royalty flowing out of it can be sumptuous and persistent. Now the younger sister claims that this manuscript is written by her and not by her father. Here lies raison d'etre of the play.

How it can be determined that the younger sister is the real author of the book even though it is proved that the manuscript is in her handwriting? Along with the prestige issue it raises a legal poser too as to who is the rightful owner of this historic creation. A very very difficult question as the renowned writer Prof. Kirloskar is no more. After many twists and turns this riddle is solved in an authentic manner and the viewers come across the other face of the renowned writer where he is just a father a pure father and not a writer any more. People should go to the theatre to know how actually the mystery of writership is solved.

It again was mainly a writer's play who was Chinmay Mandlekar. He also directed the play. Artists who gave their best delivery of acting were Gautami Deshpande., Ashwani Joshi, Virajas Kulkarni, Gururaj Avadhani.

A marvellous play watched recently by me which is a tight bag of morals and mystery.

Review by- hemant Das ' Him'
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Sunday 3 March 2024

विरोध को कहाँ तक सहा जाए?

(सामयिक विचार)

सत्ता के विरोध में कुछ बोलने का यह अर्थ कदापि नहीं है कि वह विपक्ष के प्रति समर्थन है. इसकी ज्यादा संभावना है कि जो आज विपक्ष में है अगर वह सत्ता में आ जाए तो आज के सारे विवेकशील विरोधी जन उस समय की सत्ता के भी विरोध में ही बोलेंगे. इसका ज्वलंत उदाहरण यह है कि अनेक पत्रकार/ साहित्यकार/ कलाकार जो पहले कांग्रेसी सत्ता के विरोधी थे वो आज की सत्ता के भी विरोधी बने हुए हैं. कारण यह है कि गलतियाँ उन्हीं से होती हैं जो काम करते हैं और काम करने का अधिकार सत्ता पक्ष को ही होता है विपक्ष को नहीं. काम करने का अधिकार जिनको प्राप्त है उन पर ही यह आरोप लग सकता है कि उन्होंने काम नहीं किया अथवा सही ढंग से नहीं किया. जिसको काम करने का अधिकार ही नहीं है उस पर कैसे यह आरोप लगेगा? अब काम करनेवाले यानी निर्णय लेनेवाले को हमेशा यह दुविधा रहती है कि वे जो भी निर्णय लेंगे उससे कुछ लोग लाभान्वित होंगे और कुछ के विपरीत जाएगा उनका निर्णय जो कि बिलकुल स्वाभाविक है. यहीं पर निर्णयकर्ता का विवेक काम आता है कि वे जो निर्णय लें वो इतने न्यायसंगत हों कि उनका विरोध कम-से-कम हो. फिर भी अगर कुछ लोग विरोध करें तो उनकी बातों को सहानुभूतिपूर्वक सुनकर कुछ उनको समझाकर और कुछ मामलों में यदि उचित लगे तो रियायत देकर उसका समाधान करना चाहिए. दंडात्मक कार्रवाई उन्हीं पर होनी चाहिए जो हिंसक अथवा असामाजिक तरीकों का सहारा ले रहे हों उन पर नहीं जो शांतिपूर्ण ढंग से विरोध कर रहे हों. इसका पालन करने से ही सत्ता में मजबूती और दीर्घजीविता आती है एवं समाज, कला और संस्कृति के शिखर पर पहुँच पाता है. कला के उन्नयन के लिए विचारों का निर्बाध प्रवाह आवश्यक होता है.
लेखक- हेमन्त दास ‘हिम’ /
दिनांक- 03.03.2024

Saturday 17 February 2024

"Ishq-Mushk" Hindi/English play staged in Andheri (Mumbai) on 10.02.2024

 Love beyond boundaries 

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 42 देखिए )

'Ishq' or love is like a musk which knows no bounds. It would go beyond any boundary of caste, creed, nationality, age or gender. This play specially focuses on some special kinds of love which are almost taboo in a human society. No doubt that the world will become a perfect chaos without the most prevalent epic kind of monogamous man-woman love typically reflected in marriage all over the world. Having said it, we cannot deny that God has not stopped here and He Himself has created such creatures like LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and others who doe not belong to the most prevalent sexual creed). Keeping those people in view and to free them from a feeling of guilt this play presents anecdotes in a piecemeal manner.

Elucidating the contents of the play will be like a replication of contents available on sex websites. Let us talk about the method, purpose and theatrical aspects of the play. 

There was a graceful female anchor we talked to each of the different people who have undergone or have faced unusual kind of sexual aberrations in their past life. She receives call from all of them and facilitate her or him to present how and what happened to them. This included a tomboy case, a divorcee sex-thirsty woman case, a gay case and others. Here it is noticeable that each of them is not voluntarily spoilt for choice rather all of them have succumbed to the circumstances. The tomboy girl categorically says that she was well aware of her sexual aberration so she tried her best to conform to the views of her parents to effeminate herself but every time her internal voice thwarted it. Similarly, in the case of the divorcee woman who had been living apart from her life-partner since last fourteen years it was but natural that even a mason like sturdy man can be her choice for temporal fulfilment. 

With a high degree of grit and compassion, the anchor was listening to the so-called pervert persons. Each of her dialogues and actions was not of a participator but of a facilitator till the last episode when she too presented her own anecdote.

As I already said, this play was primarily a script-narration play with full facial expression and limited body movement. Even in their constrained space all the characters were looking like in their separate world thanks to the pragmatic set-design. The masculine attire of a girl engrossed in electric circuits  and the revealing "saree palloo" of a drowsy eye woman on a cosy sofa convey half of the story. 

What I found was that the play mainly hinged upon the corporal aspect of love and did not dig into the metaphysical space too much. That is why platonic love remained untouched. Perhaps they were bound to display the whole gamut of sexual aberrations so there might have been time constraint. By design, the director had faced less challenges in this play and the actors were their own masters to a large extent, I think. There was certainly a oomph in the divorcee woman actor. The bubbly chirpy college girl was full of zeal and energy, the mannish girl was genuine in presenting her case and the man to man lover was also puzzled to a desired level. 

Sulagana Chatterjee's script was the skeleton of the play on which fleshes were added by the actors through their voice and body movements.   The actors were Anjum Khan, Pooja Bhamrrah, Priyanka Charan, Sameeha Sabnis, Sidhant Seth, Surya Mittal and Tushant Mattas. The writer has taken care of the prevalent laws and that is why no character in this play is doing an act which may be put by you as a crime. As far as I noticed, everything was consensual. Those acts may be immoral on traditional grounds but were not illegal or such acts which might lead to undue harm to others.

The play was successful in delivering the message and keeping the viewers engaged throughout the play the duration of which was much more than the previously declared fifty minutes. 

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Saturday 10 February 2024

"The Chattaans"- English/ Hindi play staged in Andheri (Mumbai) on 04.02.2016

 The inundated globe

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 41  देखिए )

This seemed an improvised play which might have emerged as a natural product of training process. The play raised an issue of global warming and proceeded with various metaphors and allegories. You may get a sense of unwritten documentary reshaped as a thespian outreach. In the outset there are some acting trainees and a teacher. There comes a devastating flood in Mumbai and contemplating the plight of his village an actor goes to his house. He finds that his house is inundated and his wife and children are facing a lot of troubles. I am still to find a coherence in fire sequence in the initial story (or no-story). Though there was a glut of grammatically correct dialogues in the play but the only sentence remained in my remembrance is something like that .."if proper steps are not taken then there is 100% probability that after 2030 Mumbai will face the same devastating flood every year and in 2050 all the big cities near seas around the world will be inundated." 

See, I appreciate the efforts of neophytes and the way they were allowed to showcase their acting skills. There is certainly no doubt that the training is on a robust path and the trainees are also full of capabilities. But the subject they addressed is a very very serious one and it directly relates to the existence of global human habitation across the world. May be hundreds of crores of people will face harsh consequences of negligent global leaders of now. The oblivious global leaders of the world may be from US, UK, Russia, China or any country they must heed to the environmental factor and redress the global warming issue otherwise none of them is worthy to be called a global leader.

The director of the play was Shiv Tandan. He is also a co-author with Vidyut Gargi. The actors were Abhimanyu Gupta, Chrisann Prereira, Geetanshu R Lamba, Dusha, Sayan Sarkar, Twinkle Kapoor, Vaibhav Kapatia

Though the output was still in a development process so I need not comment on it but the subject they chose definitely deserve a pat on the back. In my view as the play was a product of trainees the price of ticket should have been less than Rs.500/-.
Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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