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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