Saturday 8 June 2019

Gujarati play "Laughter Station" directed by Satish Vyas presented at SPJIMR, Andheri (Mumbai),on 7.6.2019 in vocal mode

Holes in the cultural progress 

हिंदी में पढ़िए -  यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए    ગુજરાતીમાં વાંચો -  અહીં ક્લિક કરો

You see some ridiculous object from a large distance and burst into laughter. Though the moment you reach nearer to it you find there is something serious and tragic riveted with it. Your laughter is a laugh only till you are far from something. "Closing in" is bound to reveal some tragedy into the matter.

Five radio plays in Gujarati were presented in a row titled as "Prarthana sabha", "Eenaam", "Sanskrit caller kanya", "Lagn-bhent", "Siyarani Sabha", "Mummy ne marriage".

A housewife is preparing herself for attending a Prarthana Sabha which has been organised on the death of some relative. But she is more concerned about her attire so as she should be a centre of attraction at the venue. Even while demanding a new white saaree of fine fabric from her husband she does not forget to add that it must be designer one as well. The husband is flabbergasted whether his wife is going to mourn on someone's death or to perform a music show as a prima donna. The mother has her own choice of attires for attending a similar function somewhere else. One who is being sandwiched from the both sides is the house runner man.

"Sanskrit Caller Kanya" is in fact a duel of parallel ideologies about progress. The young man who has just come to India to choose a  bride for himself thinks that the progress of a man lies in adopting western manners and language whereas the girl in India thinks that sparkling progress is quite possible while valuing our own culture. She is a PhD  in Sanskrit and yet is able to take on the guy from USA at the front of spoken English and knowledge of other matters. The young man comes under the awe of the Sanskrit scholar girl and proposes to marry but the girl rejects him because she can’t bear affront to the culture of her beloved motherland.

In "Eenaam" a wife gets call from an literary organisation for being chosen for an award on her collection of poems. So at once, she stops doing household chores as it would be against the dignity of her great persona. And even more ridiculous is that just for getting the award of Rs. One hundred one she expects her husband to arrange for to-n-fro journey in taxi and purchase a high quality dress. Moreover she wants her residence should also be changed to be fit for her newly gained high profile literary status. The husband is again embarrassed and puzzle-headed as what to do. Her demeanour turns into a condescending one demeaning everyone in the family. She makes castles in the air and is lost in daydreaming about getting Gyanpeeth puraskar and Nobel prize in the future. But everything goes to smash when the another phone calls regrets that the awardee is someone else and not she.

"Lagn Bhent" is a story of a middle class family. Nowadays everything is assessed on material parameters and the internal feelings has no role to play in our beliefs about even such a subtle thing as love. The conjugal love is actually a bliss of a faithful emotional dependence over one's spouse. But in modern era it is only the gift of the spouse that matters.

"Siyarani Sabha" was also presented in the show.

"Mummy ne Marriage" is a story of the concern of the adult children of a widow who is supposed to stay alone after her son goes abroad to settle down. They do not want to take their old single parent with them and so plan to arrange remarriage of her old mother to some nice person of the older age. This play is a master stroke on the most pertinent subject of today's families. The concern of the son and his wife is genuine and their effort for the redress is also realistic to the core, the only thing absent is the grit to take pains for the old woman who has given birth and has sacrificed all her happiness in upbringing hm to this respectable level. With lots of humerous calculation of match making considerations the son and the daughter-in-law somehow are able to single out a perfect man for the mother. At the end the mother comes to know about all the trickery of her own child and is furious on the idea of her remarriage. She shows her guts of staying alone with all of her self-improvised survival techniques. 

Satish Vyas has written marvelous pieces of scripts in Gujarati that are relevant for the whole India notwithstanding the barrier of language. Though his plays are in Gujarati but the issues and situations they are describing essentially apply to the social fabric of the whole India. His subjects are sombre but the witty dialogues depict them beautifully in a humorous manner. You listen to the dialogues and give a large guffaw. But while driving home you are haunted by the impression that there is something amiss in the culture we have imbibed through recent decades.

And the anchoring of Sri Satish Vyas was like an icing on the cake. He was successful not only in setting the tone of the further story but also getting the audience amused all the way through this three hours sitting exercise. Though the way he presented the jokes can be even more forceful. Also, The banner should have been more taut as that was the only visual representation of the drama show.

The actors were Meenal Patel, Raksha Desai, Namrataa Pathak, Keyuri Shah, Chetan Dhanaani and Rajul Diwaan. Each of them gave a good show of their vocal acumen. The spoken words themselves  did dance, relax, fight, mourn and chortle. The fine acting does not lies in your eyes or ears it actually lies in your head. If the feelings expressed are reaching to you in it's bonafide form and is equally matched by the frequencies of your own feelings then the acting may be called perfect. And this is what was seen here even while being presented only in the vocal form.

Satish Vyas and the whole team worth a wide applause for the amazingly successful show.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs by - Bejod India blog
Email ID for response -                                                                                                                        

The names of the artists have changed. Kindly see the report given above.

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