Saturday 5 October 2019

Colourblind presented "Ek Mamooli Aadmi" on 2.10.2019 at Versova (Mumbai)

Awakening of an old man 

Small News (Cultural) - Puja in Bengaluru 
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The war for the cause of a common man is to be fought by a common man only. All those who wield power or are in  bureacracy will try their best to crush any sort of good attempts made for the public and society in general. Actually they are comfortable in their self-made cocoons relishing the fruits of the putrefied system. Though this was only one of the prominent strings of the play "Ek Maamooli Aadmi" played by Colourblind on 2.10.2019 at Veda Factory, Versova (Mumbai).

The play hinges upon heavily on an aged person's pains. Mr. Awasthi is on the verge of retirement and feels completely disenchanted from the official charm. He spent his service life in a stoic manner without enjoying any fashionable attire or sharing his part in merrymaking even at a small informal level.All the service he gave seems to be insignificant and all that he earned through salary till now went in vain. He is a dejected man totally alone whose wife has died and whose son and daughter-in-law are only interested in his GPF, Gratuity and other retirement benefits. They don't have any sort of natural affection to Mr, Awasthi who struggled lifelong for the best education and upbringing of his child.

Mr. Awasthi tries to find some warmth in the company of a drunkard and wencher colleague and goes with him to every unwarranted place like beer bar and night club. Mr Awasthi says he wants his money to be spent on him and so has withdrawn Rs. 5 lakh from his savings.

Suddenly, Mr Awasthi stops coming to the office without any notice. A girl employee goes to meet him at his residence and conveys that she has decided to quit her job in his office so that she could join the office of a manufacturer of toys. The head clerk Awasthi takes the toy from the hands of the girl and involuntarily puts it into his bag out of excitement. He signs on the application. Awasthi asks the girl to bunk the office today and give some time for him. The girl comes to know that he has been neglected by his son and daughter-in-law and has no source of solace. So she decides to absent from the office and accompanies him to shop, park, restaurant and cinema hall. Mr Awasthi bears all the cost. The point to note is that Awasthi is not taking any undue advantage of the girl and only seeking some relief to gain the energy to survive. After being favoured by the girl's empathy he recollects himself and finds a new zeal to live a life in a meaningful manner.

He joins the duty. On the call of the boss, the Commissioner, Mr Awasthi takes the drunkard colleague and meets him. The Commissioner insists to divert the fund sent from the government for the park and to utilise it for building a temple to suit the local politicians. Mr Awasthi rejects the advice of his boss and put a noting on the file favouring for building the park only. Before building the Park, Mr Awasthi is warned by Commissioner's flatterer and a band of goons who threaten him severely of losing the govt job and being killed. Here again the drunkard and all office workers favour Mr Awasthi. Ultimately, the park is built and common public cheer Mr. Awasthi though the minister gives the credit for the park to the commissioner.

Thus, after doing some meaningful work in life Mr Awasthi dies as he has already been suffering from pancreatic cancer the secret he kept from his son's family. On the 13th day of his death his son and daughter-in-law arrange a function just for the sake of social obligation. They have still no attachment to the deceased responsible father. In the climax the college going grand daughter of Awasthi snatches the same toy from the hand of the girl who actually had transformed the dejected Mr Awasthi into a meaningful soul.

This show was a riveting one and the audience was found totally lost in the scenes of the play as if all were happening just around them in a real world. 

The play was written by Ashok Lal and directed by Rahul Datta. Actors were  Girish pal, Raj sharma, Puja Jha , Chidaksha Chand , Sandeep Shrivastava, Tushar Pratap, Gaurav Shrivastava, Nikki Agrawal, Mayuresh Wadkar, Ajay sharma , Umesh Kapoor, Sneha Jaiswal, Krishna Nand, Yash Moonat, Shubham Tiwari, Raj Sharma, Akshay Bhandari, Ankit Pandey, Abhimanyu Tiwari ,Ratnesh singh , Mayuri , Sudipta , Akansha Singh , Aditi , Pratik Chaudhary, Piyush Yadav , Anju Punjabi , Chinmay Pandey , Sachin sharma , Aryan Raj , Imtaz khan , Manesh Pandit   and  Suresh.

The script is precise and deals unambiguously with a plot that might have been too hazy for others. This is rather a novelette that proceeds on three fronts simultaneously.  One is neglect from son's family of the widower father the only bond remaining is voluptuous desires about the retirement benefits that Mr Awasthi is likely to get in near future. Other is the fight of a common man with the whole putrefied system that keeps all the shenanigans just for the vested interests. And third is the eternal quest to find a reason of happiness in this vapid world. It is also replete with several psychological motifs like support of an opposite gender makes a man stronger, strength of mind rules over the strength of body and many others. The script seems to be a masterpiece from the playwright Ashok Lal.

Actors gave a good show of their talent. Awasthi Ji did a marvelous job by modulating his sound and body movements matching to an infirm personality. The moment when goons are threatening him and he still laughs with his high spirit to win has become classy. The drunkard happy-go-lucky colleague had to tread very cautiously as he had to strike a balance between reveling lifestyle and possessing a sensitive spirit cognizant of all the duties of a responsible person. He did it in an impressive manner. The flatterer of Commissioner did an excellent job with the Commissioner showing the dignity and conceit of a privileged class flawlessly. The girl who gave the full day time to Awasthi to make him happy also showed her mettle in realistic acting,  Her smiling face and speaking eyes left good impression over the audience.

Pandit and his associate did full justice to the roles assigned to them and lived the hypocrisy as if in real life. All other actors also played their roles well, What was lacking was some dramatic effect in acting of the lady minister who took recourse to strict realistic acting. 

To synchronise the work of a big caste was not an easy task for the director Rahul Datta who did his job efficiently and with a required finesse. It was evident in the scene when all the workers of office and engaged in building the park and the goons arrive there to threaten Awasthi to desist from this work,  Actually the progress of park building is a matter of file movement for the office but to show it as physical movements like arranging chairs and benches in the park by the workers seem to be the imagination of the director. His experiment of representing an abstract activity by a concrete work must be appreciated.

The show was not just an artistic venture it also contributed to the social cause of gerontological education which the nation needs badly and icing on the cake was the announcemnt that the show was dedicated to the flood affected citizens of Bihar.

Rahul Datta and his team worth a warm applause for presenting the genre of meaningful theatre in many respects.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs by - Bejod India blog
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