Wednesday 11 December 2019

Colourblind staged 'Chuhal' in Versowa (Mumbai) on 8.12.2019

Defining her own world
A sociological treatise on the basic element of women's right

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"Ek kahani jaaya ho gayi to kya hoga? Kitni safal kahaniyan to hain hamare paas!" Aarti says as her concluding remark in the discussion that if she is going to be devastated this way let it happen. Let others learn by her failure if it is going to happen.

The writer Manav Kaul has raised such an issue that is like twirling a rope charge with electric current. This is just head-on clash with the patriarchal society. A young beautiful woman in a lower middle class family is proclaiming her right that is sort of unheard so far.

'Chuhal' is a call for the fundamental right of a woman for the most important choice in her personal life. Just because she is born female does not mean she is bound to get married. She is not a bolt to be fitted in a man's machinery. She can also lead her life on her own terms. She can also define her role in this very world and tread on a path she likes the most. Her persona may well surpass to be a frill in men's life and she is there to build her own life where men could also find some space as per her will.

Sudhir, a primary school teacher in his village has come to see a girl to her home for marriage purpose. He is accompanied by a jovial, extrovert and singer sister. The prospect for Sudhir is Aarti who also works in a private firm. After some time Aarti returns from her office and after a brief talk makes it clear that she might not agree to marry Sudhir.

After some days, Sudhir goes to Aarti's office. When asked he says that he has come there for conveying the message that his marriage has been fixed somewhere else. A feeling of dismay is quite visible on the face of Aarti for some unknown reasons even though she never wished to marry Sudhir. Anyway after a brief conversation it precipitates that both Sudhir and Aarti are still free and not committed for marriage to anybody even now. Sudhir requests Aarti to visit his school in the village and Aarti agrees.

Also after some time Aarti visits the village of Sudhir and says that she had also come here two times earlier too but did not convey to him. This is only this time that she is converting her trip to a rendezvous. Aarti says she has stilll not made her mind to marry Sudhir. On this Sudhir asks, If it's so why you came here three times?" Aarti has no answer. It is evident that she is somewhat confused. She likes to meet Sudhir but is not ready to marry him. Sudhir takes her to his room where both of them talk freely. Aarti says she does not know what type of person would suit her. On this Sudhir presents himself in different characters like a poet, a singer, a spunky but only to be rejected by Aarti 

Ultimately when Sudhir presents himself as an Old Man then Aarti is enchanted by it.  Now Aarti also comes in her loved role of a child. It appears that a rapprochement has been reached and they are in a sudden rush of emotions. They embrace each other heartily and after that Aarti catches her bus to  home.

Then only after a few days Sudhir again visits to Aarti's home with his sister. This time he is confident of favour from Aarti but to his surprise Aarti does not behave well and is somewhat unhappy as how Sudhir thought that she will marry him? A debate in the form of passive narration follows thereafter in which everyone participates which is really thought provoking. One of the dialogue here is, "Tumhari tasweer abhi bhi meri diwar par tangi hui hai aur mai jabardasti usme khud ko ghusaane ki koshish kar raha tha jabki wah  apane aap me purn hai". Means - your beautiful picture is still hanging on the wall of my room and I was trying to intrude into it forcibly but it is perfect just as it is.

The story is highly thought-provoking and addresses a new trend in women of today and deals it with a finesse. The dialogues are witty having similes of Tajmahal, butterfly and so on.  The writer has given a full treatment to the matter. The play is essentially a sociological treatise made  with a scientific fervour that is bereft of sentimentalism. The feelings that evolve here may or may not suit you but are honest. And this proves the mettle of Manav kaul.

Kranti Pratap Singh was the director of this play and the actors were Honey Makhani (Sudhir), Amita  Yadav (Aarti), Sudipta (Mother), Priyanka (Nimmi), Avanish, Tushar, Piyush and Abhimanyu were the other actors. Gaurav Shrivastava was on Lights from the backstage.

The actors were new ones but showed comparatively a matured display of their talent. I take no qualms to say that though the director was more visible in the acting of the actors this time it is not far away when all of the actors will show their own style of expression. They are undoubtedly full of potential. All of them were faultless in terms of body-movements and dialogue-delivery. Sudhir and Aarti impressed everyone with their superior kind of maturity. Sudhir's sister was also not far behind in acting and does possess a melodious throat too which was a feast for the ears of the audience. 

The frustration of the waiter as expressed through countenance and the jerk of feet must be appreciated in the scene when Aarti and Sudhir finally disagree to marry each other and he takes back the cups of coffee even without asking them. And so intriguing was the frustration on the face of Aarti when Sudhir tells her that his marriage has been fixed. The fury of Sudhir's sister on insult of her brother and the desperation of Aarti's mother for not being able to get her daughter married were some of the precious chunks of the acting. Lights were deftly managed and so was the Sound system. 

The director has worked hard with these new actors and has succeeded in the illustration of the dynamics of human psychology vis-a-vis social psychology in a beautiful manner in terms of man-woman relationship.

The whole team should be congratulated to have presented this highly delicate play with such dexterity.
Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs by - Bejod India blog
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