Friday 26 April 2019

Aagaaz Theatre's play "Bhagi hui ladkiyan" performed in Andheri (Mumbai) on 24.4.2019

Asking for her space
A drama review in English
इस नाटक की समीक्षा को हिंदी में भी पढें- यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए

All the four teenager girls Nagina, Jasmine, Nagma, Zainab have different stories with themselves. Even though getting surfaced in absolutely disparate narratives their tale is essentially the same and that is nothing but of getting stifled in the surrounding which is not able to empathise with them. The  family, neighbour and society all treat them as a bete noire while they are brimming with aspirations and energy.  

The teenager girls want to have a say in the society and a space for themselves. They are not asking for any dominion but only for a piece of land where they can stand  and a piece of sky where they can breathe. They also want to play their turn of domination within the ramparts of home. They want to present roses to their valentines. They want a place of privacy for a while. They also want to have a right to praise the cause of humanity and decry the act of bestial violence committed anywhere in the world.

The first girl has three brothers. The eldest and third one always fight with her but she is unable to resist because of the lack of support from the parents. Her hooligan brothers turn quite meek ones when she complains about her eve-teasing in the outer streets 

The second one has a boyfriend. As the love is forbidden for the girls so she has discovered a new way of communication.  She and her boyfriend pass through a particular street from opposite directions uttering messages for each other while staring quite straight so that no one could get a clue these two are gossiping. Even after this her neighbour notices it and complains to the mother of the girl. Now a very interesting thing happens. The mother who always used to admonish her daughter for making friendship with boys, goes ballistic as  how the neighbourhood woman dared to raise a question on my daughter. She yells, "Now on, my daughter will go anywhere with any boy for a stroll. I see, who objects?" 

The third girl hears some weird sort of sound coming from her stomach and always is in search of a place like toilet. She might be facing some medical problems related with her age-related biological changes. The fourth girl is distraught when her friends call her a Pakistani only because of her religion. If some extremist explodes a bomb in another state she is blamed for it.

The story moves on with narratives along with some intermittent fast movements of the actors doing some household chores, putting make-up and wearing their clothes. And at the end the distinction between actors and viewers is completely lost when actors actually take each viewer to the stage to make a face-to-face two-way dialogue where some actions are also required from the viewers. The viewers turn into actor de facto and leave some memento at different spots of the stage that represent different places of the city where actors or viewers love to frequent. 

This extremely interactive play succeeds not only in conveying its message but also in actually making viewers a volunteer of their  own pious cause.

Director Dhwani Vij has marvelously executed the intermixing of actors and viewers. Enhancement of interaction withing the actors group and their mutual dialogues may add to the impact of the play to a newer height.  Nagina, Jasmine, Nagma and Zainab acted superb notwithstanding their tender ages. It was told that they themselves have written their part of script which is really wonderful. The candid statements they make is just the stories of daughters and sisters of our own houses if we could understand it.

The theme and design of the play attracts the viewers and win their place in longtime memory of the viewers.

This show was made in Five Senses Studio, Andheri, Mumbai on 24.4.2019. The play is special jury awardee in META 2019.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him' 
Photographs courtesy - Sakhi 
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