Tuesday 20 August 2019

"One More Accident" performed by Colourblind at Versova (Mumbai) on 16.8.2019

The make of a cover up 

( इस नाटक समीक्षा का हिंदी सारांश पढ़िये - यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए / View it after every 12 hrs - FB+  Bejod)

The Italian playwright Dario Fo dares to present a lay bare account of cover up. The cozy explanation of suicide is a typical ploy used for disposition of cases at the police stations of all the complex death instances registered to them. It entails no botheration of chasing and catching the criminal. So, when the salary can come in pocket with all the fruits of upkeep of crime why shouldn't a policemen turn a fiction writer rather than being investigative towards the crime? What's bad in letting the nefarious nexus function till mammon blesses.

A railway employee is caught by the police and in the course of interrogation, comes to death by falling from the third floor of the police headquarter  The whole play is an attempt to delineate the different versions of what caused the railway worker to fall from the window. The policemen come up with different plots of the story. No wonder it was presented as a simple suicide case as generally happens. We often see that even eleven happy members of a family commit suicide just in the name of ritual and even a clear video of murder is not a hindrance in releasing the criminal unscathed. The better narrative for cops can be that all poor men's accidental death are suicides whereas that of rich persons are murders.This is already a thumb rule adopted at police stations in general.

A maniac person comes to a police station and asks about the accidental death of the railway worker in police custody. The policemen ignores him and throws him away out of the gate. After sometime the police inspector goes out with some official work. In the meanwhile the maniac enters the office and wears the coat and hat of the police inspector and read the files on the table. Suddenly the bell of the phone rings on the table. The maniac picks up the call and comes to know that a departmental investigation is running against this inspector and the cops at headquarters who interrogated the railway worker that died.

Then the maniac goes to police headquarters and poses as if he is the judge who is making the departmental investigation against the charges leveled on the cops. He calls the superintendent of Police (SP). All come under his influence that he is the real Judge deputed to make investigation. The Judge (maniac) directs them to enact all that happened on the date of death of the railway worker.  He assures them of  his help to rescue all of them from departmental charges. After getting his assurance the policemen begin to cooperate and they come up with different accounts of what actually happened at the night the railway worker fell from the window. Every manufactured story has some lacuna and none is convincing. In the meanwhile the phone rings and the inspector is informed that a lady journalist Fatima wants to ask questions about the same case of suicide.

The policemen urges the maniac (who is disgusting as the judge) to please go out for a while till the journalist asks questions so that she should not get a clue of departmental inquiry against the policemen in connection with this case. The maniac says that he can't leave but would like to appear in different costume and make-up to help them with his convincing explanations as a Forensic expert. The lady journalist Fatima is also very nosy and so is the maniac. 

The cops say that the police interrogation ended in a very cordial and happy atmosphere and while the railway worker went to the window to get a fresh air he slipped down from the window. To save him from falling, the police havildar rushed to him and caught his foot. What happened now let it remain for the viewers of the drama.

Ultimately the true version of the story is revealed that the SP himself had pushed the railway worker off the window. Seeing besieged  by his own contradictory statements the police inspector aims his revolver on the lady journalist and asks her to cuff the sham judge i.e. actually the maniac. The true identity of the sham Judge is revealed by the first inspector who has arrived there with a time bomb replica just a few minutes ago. The inspector claims that this replica is almost the same as being made by the railway worker who was interrogated.

The lady journalist tries to handcuff the maniac but he picks up the time bomb on the table and declares that this time bomb is still functional When the inspector points revolver on the maniac he says he has the time bomb that is fully functional and if any policeman shoots him this bomb will erupt and all including police team will be killed. He also orders the police inspector to drop his revolver otherwise he will explode the bomb. As now it is clear that the threatening man is a maniac with a bomb in his hand all are frightened and obey him. And so the lady journalist handcuffs all the policemen within the room and keeps there the time bomb set to explode after five minutes. So all the conniving and devil policemen are killed.

But the other option is also shown in which the lady journalist feels pity for the policemen who are begging for mercy. The moment she frees all of them, they handcuff the very lady journalist as she knows everything about the foul play of the policemen. The time bomb explodes killing the lady journalist.  The two alternatives actually shows the dilemma of either killing the criminal minded policemen or get killed oneself. The highly unfortunate choices left to a common man raises very serious question on the conditions of the putrefied system.

We have to admit that the new and some relatively mature actors are put on the anvil to prove their skills in acting in the shows here like that at Veda Factory in Aaramnagar (Versova) . All paraphernalia of dramatics are not necessarily utilised and the whole presentation actually boils down to the delivery of acting talent of the artists. Rahul Datta, Girish Pal and Sandeep Shrivastava were some of the actors in this show while it was directed by Rahul Datta. The Hindi adaptation of original Dario Fo's script was made by Amitabh Shrivastava and lyrics were written by Piyush Mishra.

Hindi adaptation by Amitabh Shrivastava is so natural that while watching the play you never get an inkling of going through an Italian play. In terms of acting, Rahul Datta and an other inspector with typical characteristics and demeanour befitting to Indian 'daaroga' were superb. The embarrassed SP trying hard to escape  from the net of investigation was quite impressive. The Hawaidar was able to leave a signature on the memory of the viewers even though with lesser dialogues. 

The journalist Fatima stamped her mark in dialogue delivery and acting. The most important character was that of the Maniac who gave a good show still his acting needs to be more natural. Both of his body language and dialogue delivery could have been more impressive  had he established eye-to-eye  contact with the viewers who were so close to him. Nevertheless there is no doubt that he is an extraordinary artist in making who can surpass others in many respects.

As a director, Rahul Datta used the floor space of the platform in a judicious manner and brought out the best from most of the artists. He must be acclaimed  for presenting the realistic play with a high level of  genuineness. 

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs by - Bejod India blog
Send your feedback to - editorbejodindia@yahoo.com
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