Monday 31 December 2018

Raas Raaz's 'Provoked' staged in Theatrewala Natyotsav in Patna on 28.12.2018

The hollowness of identity 

Raas Raaz is a a talented director in Bihar and this time he tried his hands successfully on pen too. Though his presentation of drama this time was based on three stories of Manto the screenplay were not the exact reflection of Manto's stories. To maintain the seamless flow of story Raas used his acumen in avoiding the jerks. Moreover an episode of Karishma has done wonders by bringing forth an altogether different dimension of thought about the hollowness of man-dominance. 

After all, what religion has to play while seeking the service of a prostitute. The pimp Kariya is amazed. But her it was. It it extremely important in view of a client who is infuriated on the fact that he had a sex with a woman of his own religion. After all he is a pious person so how can he think such a heinous crime. Actually he had wished for a woman of different religion for having forced sex. The putrid and depraved differential ideology that underlies the wide-spread social fabric of our nation can not be more naked than as displayed in this show. 

The show was based on the three different plays of well-known writer Manto with an all new episode of the Karishma. This soused hooker strikes on the weaker vein of the client by announcing  that his wife had come complaining about him last time about his potentiality.   Back to story, the client feels disgruntled as the pimp Kariya has cheated him by promising that the girl belonged to the opposite religion whereas she was only from the same religious faith as that practiced by the client. Though he and his friend have already had sex with the girl they go to the pimp and asks him to pay their money back because he failed to keep his assurance about the religious identity of the girl. Kariya says that the girls of all religions are just girls equal in every respects. And before this the girl was more categorical in her reply to the client that the pain and insult felt by the girl is the same notwithstanding her religious faith. But you know our country is a religious country and so the client takes his revolver out and is ready to kill the pimp. Kariya also draws his own revolver. And somehow both of them depart from each other threatening each other of serious consequences in future.

Now Kariya search for another client. A man Amar is waiting on the road for his friend. Kariya offers him that he can provide a girl for having fun. After some hesitation Amar agrees for getting the service of the prostitute. Kariya goes inside his house and asks his wife Mamta to get ready for the client. Mamta refuses to go for such a mean job again. Kariya treats very badly with her and after a long-lasting  verbal duel he throws her out of his house. The helpless woman has to be ready for the prostitution again. Amar eavesdrops all the verbal exchanges between Kariya and Mamta, Amar is very sorry on the state of affairs. After some time when Kariya brings Mamta and offers her to Amar for nightlong. Amar pays money and takes the hands of Mamta in his own and goes to his friend's residence along with her. There he doesn't do anything unbecoming with Mamta and asks her about her conditions of life. Mamta is annoyed and says just do what you want with me and leave me as I want to go back and sleep. Amar says he just wanted to know about her condition and he has not to do anything more. Then he takes Mamta and drops her at the residence of her husband and pimp Kariya. 

When Amar retuns to his friend he is very upset thinking about the bad treatment of Kariya towards mamta. He smokes and drinks and thinks about the poor condition of Mamta. The next day he reaches the house of Mamta where he sees that a daily fight is on for the issue of prostitution service that is never liked by Mamta and which is being forced upon her by Kariya on daily basis. Ultimately, she snatches the revolver of Karya and kills him. Amar is stunned to watch this.

Also at the very outset, a scene of the communal riot is shown. The mob of one community gets hold of a man. They ask him to show his genital organ to verify his community. He is very afraid and prays as he has to live in an area inhabited by the opposite community so he has get his organ treated that way but he fact he does not belong to that community and in fact is a part of the community of the mob. But the hooligan in mob kill that man. Thus, they killed a man of their own community just on the basis of doubt.

All three stories were full of sex, smoking, drinking  and crimes as usually seen in the stories of Manto. In fact Manto used to cross the limit of literary decorum very often and was jailed or fined by the judiciary more than once. In his thought the dismally bad things can not be expressed in a  dignified manner.

Raas Raas succeeded in presenting the true spirit of Manto on the stage. Krishna Kinchit as Kariya was very impressive in acting. His gait, facial expression and dialoge delivery in typical Mumbaikar tone amazed every viewer. Shanaya Singh  as Mamta was not far behind and did justice with the role. The mental trauma was emerging out of her  face and dithering painful voice.  Vibha Kapur charmed the viewers with her dance in beer bar and Karishma.  Sanjit Kr as Ramlal, Kamlesh Banvasi as Kishore Lal, Ranjan Kr as Dharam Chand, Kunal Satyan as bar manager, Gyan Pandit as Zahid, Ankit Raja as waiter acted well. Adarsh, Anant and Avinash, Akansha, Vikki and Rajavir also provided good support. Raas Raaz was marvelous as Anwar Miya and Amar. 

The features of the script of Raas Raaz has already been discussed at the top.

Sunil Ji had prepared a pragmatic stage design. The set fitted well in the scenes of inside residence, tea shop, beer bar and road and elite restaurant. His craftsmanship is wonderful. Pravin Kr and Akanksha Srivastava provided requisite make-up and costumes respectively. Udit Kr and Gyan Pandit relied upon popular filmy songs for their music.

An entertainment masala it may look being full of sex, dance and crime, the underlying message emerged very strongly as if a woman is tortured beyond her limit she may turn into a killer too. And over all of this it hit the very root of the dividing ideologies belonging to any community.

This presentation was unique in the sense it not only tried to reinstall the dignity of a female as a normal human being but also showed the meaningless fanaticism over our identities.

Article by - Hemant Das 'Him' I
Inputs by - Nupur Chakraborty
Photographs courtesy- Raas Raaz
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Sunday 30 December 2018

खारघर चौपाल के "साहित्य सफ़र" की गोष्ठी नवी मुंबई में 29.12.2018 को संपन्न

... सैनिक और पत्थरबाज निकले सगे भाई 

महीने का आखरी शनिवार होता है खारघर चौपाल का दिन और यह तो वर्ष का ही अंतिम शनिवार था. खारघर के साहित्यप्रेमी इकट्ठे हुए शाम में राहुल अपार्टमेंट, सेक्टर 12 के पीआईएमएस स्कूल के कमरे में. साहित्य सफ़र के नाम से चली इस गोष्ठी की अध्यक्षता की सतीश शुक्ल ने और मुख्य अतिथि थे सत्य प्रकाश श्रीवास्तव. इसका कुशल सञ्चालन किया विशम्भर दयाल तिवारी ने. 

कार्यक्रम दो चरणों में चला. पहला चरण लघुकथाओं का था और दूसरा कविता-पाठ का.

सबसे पहले वंदना श्रीवास्तव ने अपने लयबद्ध मधुर कंठ से सरस्वती वंदना प्रस्तुत की और माहौल को साहित्य सफ़र की ओर उन्मुख किया. सेवा सदन प्रसाद ने कश्मीर में हो रही पत्थरबाजी पर एक मार्मिक लघुकथा प्रस्तुत की जिसमें एक पत्थरबाज सैनिक के हाथों मारा जाता है लेकिन यह पता चलता है कि वह सैनिक और पत्थरबाज वास्तव में अपने सगे भाई हैं. बड़े ही सरल प्रतीकों के माध्यम से एक सामयिक समस्या की विवेचना की गई.

फिर प्रकाश सी झा ने "मुस्कुराना मना है" शीर्षक से एक ललित निबंध प्रस्तुत किया जिसमें मुस्कुराहटों के हर प्रकार की गंभीर किन्तु मनोरंजक व्याख्या की गई. 

ओमप्रकाश पाण्डेय ने 'सोच' शीर्षक से एक लघुकथा सुनाई जिसमें एक बेटे के फेल हो जाने पर माँ इस तरह से उसे राहत देती है मानो कुछ हुआ ही न हो. 

विजय कुमार भटनागर ने दो लघुकथाएँ सुनाई. पहली में माँ के पास रहने के महत्व को पुनर्प्रतिष्ठित किया गया और दूसरी में पत्नी की शवयात्रा से लौटे हुए पति की मनःस्थिति का विश्लेषण हुआ.

रमेश चन्द्र पन्त ने प्रवासी लोगों के महत्व पर अपने विचार प्रकट किये और बताया की देश में युगांतकारी परिवर्तन लानेवाले अधिकांश महापुरुष प्रवासी ही थे. अतः उन्हें स्नेह और आदर की दृष्टि से देखा जाना चाहिए. हर प्रवासी अपने साथ एक सांस्कृतिक धरोहर और इतिहास लेकर आया है. हमें उस धरोहर से स्वयं को समृद्ध करना चाहिए. 

मुख्य अतिथि सत्य प्रकाश श्रीवास्तव ने विमान के लैंडिंग की एक अनोखी घटना का वर्णन किया जिसमें पायलट ने पहले से बिना किसी कारण के अधिक ईंधन रखवा ली थी और वही अतिरिक्त ईंधन आकस्मिक लैंडिंग में काम आया वरना 366 यात्रियों की जान खतरे में आ जाती. 

वंदन श्रीवास्तव ने एक लम्बी कहानी का पाठ किया जिसमें दहेज़ के लोलुप माँ बाप से विद्रोह करते एक सुशिक्षित युवक अपनी मर्जी से बिना कोई दहेज़ के एक पसंद की युवती से विवाह करने का संकल्प लेते हुए घर से विद्रोह कर बैठता है. 

विशम्भर नाथ तिवारी ने मौखिक सहानुभूति पर एक लघुकथा सुनाई और विश्वनाथ पाण्डेय ने अपना एक संस्मरण सुनाया. 

इसके पश्चात काव्य पाठ का सत्र चला जिसका आरम्भ "बेजोड़ इण्डिया" ब्लॉग ( ) के हेमन्त दास 'हिम' ने किया. उन्होंने अपनी दो कवितायेँ सुनाईं. एक कविता 'हवाएं' बहुत सराही गई जिसकी कुछ पंक्तियाँ इस प्रकार थीं -
काश कोई समझा पाए हमें 
कि हवाएं यूं ही नहीं बहतीं 
और हम आदमी हैं आदमी 
हवाओं के खिलौने नहीं.

ओमप्रकाश पाण्डेय ने एक भीख मांगती वृद्ध पर हृदयस्पर्शी कविता का पाठ किया-
लोकतंत्र की नीव वही है
सरकारें बांटती है उसे अनुदान 
सबकी चिंता-चिंतन में वो है
सबके भाषण में भी वो है
फिर भी सब ने देखा 
भीख मांगती उस बूढ़ी  को.

प्रकाश चन्द्र झा ने अपनी व्यंग्यात्मक कविता "कुत्तों का नसीब" सुनाकर सबको लोटपोट कर दिया-
इंसानों को तो फूटपाथ न मिलता 
उनके लिए नर्म विस्तर है 
कुछ कुत्तों का नसीब 
इंसानों से बेहतर है.

फिर कार्यक्रम को समापन की ओर अग्रसर कराते अपने अध्यक्षीय भाषण में सतीश शुक्ल ने पढ़ी गई रचनाओं पर अपनी संक्षित टिपण्णी की फिर अपनी रचना का पाठ किया. एक लघुकथा "सरकारी लाठी" सुनाइ जिसमें अपने पूर्व हाकिम नेता पर ही विरोध करते जुलूस में लाठी चलानेवाले के माध्यम से सरकारी कारिंदे और नेता के बीच अंतर्संबंध को बड़ी साफगोई से प्रतिबिंबित किया गया है. फिर उन्होंने एक कविता भी सुनाई जिसकी पंक्तियाँ कुछ यूं थीं - 
वह दिन दूर नहीं जब,  सारे मतदाता पछतायेंगे 
खेत चुगेगी चिड़िया और हम हाथ मलते रह जाएंगे.

अंत में पीआईएमसी संस्थान के संचालक ने आये हुए सभी साहित्यकारों को धन्यवाद ज्ञापित किया और आनेवाले नए वर्ष की शुभकामना दी.
आलेख- हेमन्त दास 'हिम'
छायाचित्र - बेजोड़ इंडिया 
प्रतिक्रिया हेतु ईमेल आईडी -

T-Pot Production's "Jannat Central" staged at Prithvi Theatre (Mumbai) on 27.12.2018

The paternal love of an unmarried father

You are in a dense forest when you get to learn that there is a city just behind the tree. The plot was bewildering and the viewers were absolutely clueless where  they were pushing through. Though, then there was a Bollywood masala ending to douse your eagerness. Nevertheless, it was not just the story people had been sitting for. This was the spell of stunning acting and the symmetrical beauty of choreography that mesmerised everyone. People were amused by the plentiful group dances coming intermittently that fitted well with the progress of the story of a dancer family. 

A paranoid girl named Jannat lives with Nutty, her room partner who is also not less quirky. The paranoia of her dead mother remaining alive is but natural and she meets and talk with her.. Nutty has no way but to match on the abnormality quotient to get along with her. Still she has a great feeling of care for Jannat who better calls herself as jsut 'J'. . The problem of Jannat's mental sickness worsens when a boyfriend of Nutty enters in the story.There is a sense of insecurity and seclusion.

At  this point of time the father of Jannat pitches for meeting her. Jannat, whose mother he never married and who is under belief that he is the real culprit behind the death of her mother. He tries to take help of the psychotherapist but the psychopathic daughter is totally hostile of the doctor. Ultimately, the father is able to show the flash back to Jannat by speaking the past story and it is revealed that he had in fact been in a love relationship with her mother and they were going to marry after a few days. And on the day of Ganesha puja her mother came under a train over the railway track while saving her beloved child Jannat. And the happy ending is characterised by another piece of splendid group dance.

Not only the two girls but all the actors were able to give a good show of their dancing skill with the help of their nimble physiques. The clinical level of aberration in the behaviour of jannat was well carried over and the presentation of quirks of Nutty was forceful enough to make people laugh loudly. Father and psychotherapist  played natural acting. The dance diva gave a beautiful dancing performance that along with the dance of her lover was breathtaking. The sound system and lights were state of the art and immaculate. 

The dilemma of the father of a girl the mother of whom he never married is very complex. His feelings are not appreciated by his real daughter though this casts no effect on his one-sided love for his progeny. The love is unconditional, pure and persevering. Even while the daughter charges him with causing death of her mother his love does not diminish even for a nugget. The man playing this role delivered all the paradoxes accurately that such a fathers might passe through.

The character of dance teacher has not just to teach dancing but has to deal with the bizarre aspirations and responses of the girls too. The actor came through all of it well.

The morning practice laughter group members has become classy for its incisive dialogues.  People are so engrossed with their idea to laugh that they pay no heed even to a dead body lying just a foot away. In fact they have lost the sense to differentiate between life and death. Such a prosaic life we are living with nowadays. Isn't it so? 

Sandip Soparrkar, Trishla Patel, Shashank Vishnu Dutt, Mithun Purandare, Jaya Virlley, and VedikaSingh  formed the cast of the play and their remarkaable acting acumen has been discussed above. The choreographer Sandip Soparrkar deserves special appreciation for her rare mettle in group dancing and director Trishla Patel truly got thumping applause from the packed up auditorium. 

This was Aabracadabra Entertainment & Events presentation that was produced by  T-Pot Production and the format was a good mix of separate chunks of dance and drama. Your muse climbs a step up while watching such a play of avant-garde genre.
Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs by - Bejod India 
Email Id for response -

Writer: Trishla Patel
Director: Trishla Patel & Shashank Vishnu Dutt
Cast: Jaya Virlley, Rumana Molla, Shashank Vishnu Dutt, Sandip Soparrkar, Ankita Dolawat, Mithun Purandare, Aastha Deorah, Anuj Rampla, Vedika Sai, Garrvil Mohan, Aakash Sharma & Fatema Arif.
(This picture is taken from the website of bookmyshow on 30.12.2018)