Tuesday 26 March 2019

Omkar Bhatkar's English play "Fly On" staged in Bandra (Mumbai) on 24.3.2019

Love beyond walls
A drama review 

Life is a journey and the people coming to you are all strangers. Still you fall in love with some of them. The true love is unconditional and is far more intense than a “give and take” relation. The true love knows no barriers of caste, creed, religion and nationality is well known. Though here it goes beyond that and enters an unchartered terrain of social universe.  You may have your reservations but  this play travels unhindered in the realm of love where a human being is just a human without any compunction of gender. The two men reveals themselves out before each other and find themselves in a tight grip of love. Though the bus journey ends at its destination it’s not the end of man-to-man love which continues in memories.

Based on a real experience of someone's life it is a story of a bus journey. Farhan an introvert meets his co-passenger who seems to be talkative and extrovert.  As the journey is long so Farhan accepts his gesture of friendliness. Soon it is revealed that the guy has come just out of the jail after partial remission of his long term because of his minor crime of drug-peddling .  Very emotively he explains how he spent the torturing period of three months. Farhan feels sympathy for him and so comes nearer to console. Soon, both are under emotional tide and a full fledged love evolves.  The love that is intense having overt physical ramifications too.

The whole play is embedded with the philosophical dialogues uttered by Farhan who is often in a contemplative mood. Baffled on each of them is his newly found friend, a jaunty youth. The chemistry goes well because in spite of all paradoxes there is a basic similarity. Both want to do things differently. Both of them abhor treading the beaten track.

Where Farhan likes to be lost in the books and flies in the poetic thoughts his friend tries everything  from smoking to drugs occasionally.  Both seem to be cut from their outer worlds at sentimental level and a great void exist in their respective lives. Now, both the voids converge to each other breaking the social barriers to fill them up. As per an allegorical dialogue, the internal void of a person matches the immense void of the sea and a poem is generated.

Though the love between these two men is unprepared and random but is unconditional and true. Both of them know they would never meet again but the experience they had will remain for ever. 

The content of this play may be unpalatable to a common audience. Still, the play does not make any defense and shows everything with full of it's furry. It raises the question on the basic values set by the society on sexual preferences. It even goes beyond homo and talks about bisexuality.  The kissing scene is so bold that this reviewer though it better to delete them. 

The script does not seek to tell you a story rather it takes you to a platform where you are able to mull over the hidden things taking it in broad light under an open sky. And writer Omkar Bhatkar has fully succeeded in this. 

Director Dr. Bhatkar has brilliantly put the narrative on stage. Long scenes on a single bus seat might have been challenging for an average director but Omakar made it so natural that you can't even appreciate the probable brainstorming behind it. The seat was shown with the help of a big bench and the black curtains framing over it. Hundreds of paper geese were hanging from the ceiling all over the stage and feathers were blue coloured signifying the colour of the open sky. This pragmatic innovation helped in creating a philosophical ambience.

The actors were only two- Abhishek Banerji and Omkar. Both acted remarkably but Abishek Banerji with his easygoing manners stole the hearts of the people. No doubt, both were utmost realistic  in dialogue delivery, facial expression and body language.

The light was dim and bluish giving an impression of night. The other team members were Pooja Gosavi, Viren Gamre and Sheldon Mascarenhas.

The presentation of the play made at St. Andrews Centre of Philosophpy and Performing Arts, Bandra was no doubt superb. Metamorphosis Theatre should be appreciated to present a bold theme regardless of how people react over it.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs by - Bejod India blog
Send your feedback to - editorbejodindia@yahoo.com
Read 62 more drama reviews by the same author - Click here
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