Wednesday 1 May 2019

"Aadhe Adhure" staged by Jeff Goldberg Studio in Khar (Mumbai) on 28.4.2019

The daily tragedy of a lower middle class

(नाटक की कहानी हिंदी में भी पढ़िए - यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए)  /  बादल  से  वार्तालाप के लोकार्पण की रपट  -  यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए)

"When nobody should remain everybody is present and when somebody I really look for nobody is here" this one sentence uttered by a thirteen years old daughter conveys the theme of the play "Adhe Adhure". Nobody in this deprived family has even a fraction of attachment with some other member of it. 

"Aadhe Adhure" is an epic of everyday tragedy in modern Indian family. You live the whole span of  years encompassing all the phases of an individual's age progression but that is hardly a life. You stay in a concrete structure that falls much short to qualify a home. The husband is an unwarranted entity sitting inside the house. Children are nothing but disturbing elements and the wife is working machine who should never tire.  The love deficit is attempted to be compensated by some outsiders but this all proves nothing but a reverie. The house is a site of full-fledged war.

The scarcity of money downs morale that eventually erodes all concern for scruples. Misguided attraction for sex is on rampage. From twelve years old daughter to twenty-one years old boy to nineteen years old daughter to middle aged housewife, everybody is under it's grip. Savitri is shamelessly trying to compromise herself for the pleasure of her bosses Singhania and Jagmohan at different points of time. She also establishes relations with Manoj and Juneja to share their heyday. Binni takes no time in eloping with Manoj overnight. Ashok is more concerned about his girlfriend than for an employment and Kinni is always after sneaking through the pages of obscene pictures in ultra-modern genre of magazines.

Though every character in this family seems to be lascivious but if you ponder over it carefully you find that there is hardly even a tinge of sex story. In fact, sexual pleasure is  just the mirage everybody is thinking would get him pleasure in face of harsh reality of extreme monetary hardship. "Aadhe Adhure" is essentially a commentary over the plight of the poor 'have-not's in the mammoth middle class of our country in the post-independence era. 

Komal Chhabria (Sabitri)  Ashok Pandey (Mahendranath, Singhania, Jagmohan and Juneja)  Taniya Kalra (Binni)  Urvazi Kotwal (Kinni) Arjun Tanwar  (Ashok) were the actors in the play directed by Ashok Pandey. 

As a director Ashok Pandey's work was not so challenging in this excessively popular play in Indian theatre written by legendary Mohan Rakesh. All the scenes and sequences have already reached a saturation point over five centuries of it's evolution. Nevertheless we must give the director credit for  serving it successfully once again. Introducing smart phones and laptops was a remarkable act of adaptation of the play written in 1969. The difference in the sizes of tea cups of husband and wife speaks a lot about the comparative status of both in the family. 

Through her raised eyebrows, flurried activities, murmuring lips and unconcerned look, Komal Chhabria was able to show all features of a nagging wife irritable on everything at home. She played well the scene of being engrossed in mobile while her younger daughter is complaining about her genuine demands. She looked like a beautiful woman who is totally exhausted in office work and household chores. Her scornful look towards Mahendra Nath was strong enough to convey her nausea for a man who neither earns nor help her in household chores. 

Urwazi lived truly the character of a neglected child through her brilliant facial expressions and innocence in dialogue delivery. If you watch the play you are bound to have tears in your eyes for all the mischief and sexual inquisitiveness of the half-starved teenager girl who has just crossed over her puberty age.

Taniya Kalra was deliberately comparatively sober among all because she was playing the character of a young girl who had returned to her parental home after elopement. That scene has become extremely poignant when her younger sister Kinni seeks her support in joining quarrel with the neighbourer woman  but Binni  says passively she now can't do so. The internal identity crisis and dilemma of a married daughter living at parental home was carried out with a supreme precision. 

Arjun Tanwar played well the role of an unemployed son who is internally aggressive though doomed to remain passive because of his unemployment. On every objectionable word of Singhania during his conversation with Savitri, he resists with a loud thud dropping some heavy solid material every time. 

Ashok Pandey gave a charismatic show of five different characters- faceless Introducer, Mahendranath, Singhania, Jagmohan and Juneja. Every character had different set of traits and it was possible only for an artiste of the calibre of Ashok Pandey to do justice with all of them.

As a Mahendranath the tone of voice remained subsided and humble, as a Singhania he is dominant and impudent always trying to take the improper advantage by touching the body of young  woman under his awe of authority.  As a Jagmohan he wants to enjoy the companionship of women without owning any responsibility and as a Juneja he behaves like a sensible man who has capacity to think  analyse with a gumption to put forth some valuable suggestions  of the time. Even lay viewer could discern the fundamental difference in personality traits even though played by the same artiste Ashok Pandy. This was not because of the change in dresses but because his eyes spoke different languages with different characters.

This show on 28.4.2019 at Jeff Goldberg Studio, Khar (Mumbai) was 25th show of this play and the whole team deserves plaudit from the core of the hearts of the viewers and congratulation for this amazing feat.
Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs courtesy - Jeff Goldberg studio
Send your feedback to -

No comments:

Post a Comment

Now, anyone can comment here having google account. // Please enter your profile name on so that your name can be shown automatically with your comment. Otherwise you should write email ID also with your comment for identification.