Monday 15 April 2019

"Sakharam Binder" by Jeff Goldberg Studio presented on 14.4.2019 in Khar (Mumbai)

Captives of sexual trap 

The maniac of sadistic sex Sakharam is still in the minds of men and the bowing submissive devout  Lakshmi in of women of India.
हिंदी में कहानी के लिए - यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए

Sakharam Binder is a promiscuous cruel man who brings a new bed-partner every six month. The women are those who have been forced out by her husband or who is having no shelter. He takes the woman to his house and announces the terms and conditions. That, she would do all the domestic chores and everything to satisfy Sakharam in every manner. In lieu of this she will get a facility to live in the house with foods and clothes. Everything  is taken in black and white on a piece of paper. 

Lakshmi and Champa are two successive entrants in the house who represent an absolutely opposite set of characters in women. While Lakshmi is a devout lady who considers Sakharam as a God, Champa is a firebrand devil-may-care woman who has least care for Sakharam. Surprisingly,   Sakharam never liked Lakshmi he is evidently smitten with Champa.  

The twist comes when the two times thrown out Lakshmi comes again to Sakharam’s house in his absence. Champa plans to use her as a domestic servant and this way enjoy her life comfortably. The bargain is that Champa will exclusively remain the bed-partner of Sakharam while Lakshmi will do all other works of the house. 

One of these two women is killed by Sakharam because of suspicion of extra sexual relation with someone else.

How Sakharam succeeds in sexual exploitation of women he keeps with himself is the moot point.  Lakshmi appears to be a docile and religious woman but actually she could never come out of her own trap of sex drive. She likes to have sex with Sakharam even in face of being snubbed again and again. As if it is only the sex that is the requirement of a woman regardless of self-respect, security and other humane essentials

Champa emerges as a potential retribution to Sakharam’s  malevolent domination. Just in the manner Sakharam used to have sex with Lakshmi even while she was absolutely in no mood and experiencing other kinds of body pains Champa forced and had sex with Sakharam caring little for his disposition. But ultimately she also come to terms with the exploitative Sakharam to surrender her elegance for his pleasure just after taking a a few pegs of wine. She also fails to make an alliance with Lakshmi to take revenge from Sakharam and could also never come out of the sexual trap to think further.

The story ends with a questionable  note when a female character gets another one murdered who had provided shelter in her dire need.  The riddle becomes more knotty than earlier. Nevertheless it is the script of legendary writer Vijay Tendulkar that nobody can change.

The director Ashok Pandey succeeded in presenting the play with full sensuality while maintaining the limit permissible in Indian ethos. While you are watching this presentation you get a feel of cinematic reality being enlivened before your naked eyes. This story could not been presented better even on a silver screen and here you have an advantage of eye to eye contact with the actors while in action. Moreover you have the facility to convey your appreciation directly by your claps and laughs.  

As an actor Ashok Pandey (Sakharam), Sushree S Mishra and  Shonali Nagrani (Lakshmi and Champa) Harshit Shah and Anil Mishra (Daud and Fauzdar) did excellent work. Sakharam through his body language truly looked like a reckless man having least regards to the social norms. Though he stumbled before a couple of dialogues yet he came out with  a bonafine impressive accent in delivery of dialogues. The amorous glances he threw over Lakshmi and Champa in their respective turns left great impact over the viewers.

Lakshmi maintained her demure personality intact throughout the play. Even while she was revealing a secret that eventually led to the murder of someone she was perfectly in her signature sheepish demeanour. Champa was there with her glamour galore enough to tame a bestial Sakharam. Her combination of exposing postures, concupiscent countenance and challenging tone of dialogue was rocking. Daud even though had less dialogues delivered much more through his body language and facial expressions. The way Lakshmi forbids him from chanting "aarti prayers" and he submits to her instruction left everyone alerted.

Faujdar Shinde appeared twice and gave his best efforts of  good acting. Still some scope of making it more impactful remains. Tanwi and Pranav assisted in direction and Adi Choudhry prepared the music of the show. The songs played in audio using typical abuses of the country prominently was pragmatic as it set the tenor of the play. Nobody was taken aback when abusive terms were used repeatedly in the play as per the genuine requirement of the scenes.

And last but not least, Jeff Goldberg Studio at Khar (mumbai)  must receive compliments of the viewers for presenting such a controversial play replete with expletives and erotic scenes  in close-up that still requires a lot of courage in India.

The viewers shall remember this presentation for years.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs courtesy - Jeff Goldberg Studio, Khar (Mumbai)
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  1. Well illustrated week make one and all to go there and see it to believe it!☺️

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  3. Actually the women with Sakharam are merely concubines and not wives. This play has so many other facets also. - 1. Supremacy of sex drive over self esteem. 2. Supremacy of dogmatism over religion 3. Lack of unity among oppressed women 4. Supremacy of sex drive over humane feelings. // The play ends at a very negative note when a kept of Sakharam is rejoicing over the murder of another kept who actually had given shelter to her and is trying to win favour of that bestial man with her super religious postures. // Because of these reasons the play raised a great controversy and was banned in 1974.


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