Saturday 27 August 2022

Craftsman performed the Hindi play "Sone ki chidiya" in Mumbai (Versova) on 21.8.2022

 Love-story of thieves 

"How was the taste of the mutton yesterday?" 

"So yummy!"
"O yeh! The persons staying in your adjacent room had also not paid the room rent for last three days  and we were able to provide you the meat ..."
"Kindly tell me how many kilograms you people weigh to that we may add that much of meat in our menu for the next day"
And everybody was rolling on the floor laughing.

Though the Azadpur village of this play is totally aloof from any of the grand democratic countries, it had not succeeded in saving itself from the most rampant feature of 'azadi' that is corruption. The whole lot of working class living in the precincts is fully immersed in corruption. Here "under the table" system rules the roost. All of the policemen, journalists, judges, doctors and businessmen are deeply involved in corruption.

Everyone gets very scared by the news that some  from a grand democratic country are scheduled to visit to their village. They know very well that politicians who have higher corruption capability can pose big problems to them. Now the question arises who will bell the cat. After a lot of deliberation it is decided that a journalist and a businessman can be sent to negotiate with the incumbent political leaders who were staying in a hotel. When these two men go to the hotel they think the two thieves as the politicians and try to gratify them by any means. Someone let his wife and other let his daughter meet these thieves.  The thieves enjoy the flirts of young women. Ultimately it is open that the two merry-making two men are just thieves and not politicians. And then what happens can best be learnt while watching the play.

The Hindi adaptation by Nirmal Roy is excellent and you can hardly guess that it is just an adaptation of a play by a foreign writer. The director Majee Ashok has put it on the stage deftly. All the actors were young but were able to show their mettle. One of the thieves who was trying to hide his face from the havildar who with his "aapko pahle bhi dekha hai kahin" dialogue had been troubling him consistently each time he came across. That thief gave superb delivery in terms of facial expressions and dialogues.  His girlfriend also charmed everyone with her flirts. The other theif also did justice with his role but the scene in which he is genuinely trying to save his (manly) modesty was superb. And there was her girlfriend who was adamant with her coquetry to outrage the modesty of the man in an all-out approach. She put it well.  The dancer man with lady's garments stunned everyone with his springiness in body but also with the presentation of feminine finicality in the body-movements. The bearded men in Muslim attire also gave a fantastic performance. All other male and female actors did justice to their characters. The names of the actors were Abhishek, Akhilesh, Aman, Ansh, Arpita, Bhavesh, Deepak, Jayam, Nisha, Pankaj, Vikash and Vinay.

So, it was really a meaningful and interesting performance.

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Sunday 21 August 2022

"Ek room rasodu"- Gujarati play staged in Mumbai (Chowpaty) on 14.8.2022

The significance of a dying old man

"Ek room Rasodu" means One Rook Kitchen aka 1RK was the title of the Gujarati play which had been directed by "102 Not Out" and "O My God" fame movie director Umesh Shukla. Nobody among your near or dear ones is worthless. And the guardians who raised you to your present stage can not be discounted upon or treated as unwarranted one? Even though being replete with tickling scenes the script has actually touched the raw nerve of the whole middle-class society. 

Let me talk about one of it's show that was performed in Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Chowpaty in Mumbai. 

Because the whole play was in Gujarati I could not follow the story fully but am trying to present a synopsis. The headman in the family is old, sick, bed-ridden and living on the support of catheter. Surely, his persistent illness might have been a financial drain for this indigent family. All the members are fed up and even while taking full care of the old man are also waiting him to die. They think that it's only possible after the departure of that old man that they would be able to buy a flat for themselves.

The young man goes to the temple. There are pieces of fantastic sequences with a priest, a debonair lady, some goon-type person. He is also seen frequenting a tea-shop. He also seeks advice of a fortune-teller who predicts the date of death of the old sickly family head. Interestingly, on the predicted date of death, the TV journalists stomp into his house with all tantrums of a showbiz. You wonder whether happening a death of a person is a gala event for others! Though you will surely burst into laughter in this scene, actually the underlying tragedy of devalued sensitivity is unfathomable. Ultimately, it becomes crystal clear that it is only because of the sickly old man that the young couple and others are able to sail though the storms successfully before owing a flat. How, this I am not going to reveal here, to let you keep your interest in watching the play aflame.

The most wonderful thing about this play is that it is based on a true story. Moreover the melody used in it is live music only. The acting of the whole cast was immaculate. To cite one of such, the young wife playing hysterical scene was unparalleled. The characters of young man, his wife, the flat-seller couple, the old sick man, his wife, children, the goon-man, the priest, the debonair all did full justice with their respective character to make the whole presentation a memorable one.  

The frequently changing set-designs were nimble and impressive that created the accurate atmosphere of the different scenes. The actors Jayesh More, Riddhi Nayak Shukla, Pravin Nayak, Neha Pakai, Ved Shah, Kamlesh Oza showed their mettle in natural comedy. It was produced by Sparsh productions. It was by the virtue of a tight script of Jayesh Mehta that every spectator remained alert throughout the show. Apart from giving the supreme credit of the presentation to the director Umesh Shukla he should also be praised for using the advanced version of changeable solid background screens.

After watching the play it can be said that a poetic justice has been done in the script and monetary justice with the audience.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
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Wednesday 17 August 2022

"सत्य और मिथ्या की तुला में"- शोभा स्वप्निल का कविता-संग्रह

आज के समय को तौल रही एक सजग गृहिणी  

पुस्तक-समीक्षा / हेमन्त दास 'हिम'

अच्छी रचना का सबसे बड़ा गुण उसका सामाजिक सरोकार और उद्देश्य में ईमानदारी होता है, उसका शिल्प और शब्द-सौंदर्य नहीं . समाज को देख पाने और समझ पाने के लिए आपका नामचीन होना आवश्यक नहीं होता. और सच कहा जाय तो वे लोग जो अभी अधिक प्रसिद्ध नहीं हुए हैं, उनके विचारों में अधिक उन्मुक्तता होती है. ये बिना लाग-लपट के और बिना नफा-नुकसान का ख्याल किए अपनी बातें रखते हैं, सिर्फ और सिर्फ अपने अंदर की अकुलाहट को बाहर प्रकट करने के लिए. उनकी यह अकुलाहट सामाजिक विकृतियों के खिलाफ विद्रोह का ही दूसरा नाम है.          

दिनांक 2.7.2022 को पठारे प्रभु हॉल, खार, मुम्बई में शोभा स्वप्निल रचित कविता-संग्रह "सत्य और मिथ्या की तुला में"  का लोकार्पण हुआ.  शोभा स्वप्निल एक कुशल गृहिणी होने के साथ-साथ एक संवेदनशील और उदात्त विचारों वाली कवयित्री भी हैं. उनकी कविताओं में विविध स्वर हैं - दार्शनिक मंथन, सामाजिक-राजनीतिक समस्याओं की विवेचना, नारी संघर्ष की कशमकश और भी बहुत कुछ. परंतु यह भी मानना होगा कि उनका कवित्व अभी उभर रहा है, और उभरेगा. 

आइये, उनके पुस्तक की कुछ रचनाओं की झलक देखें.

स्त्री के निजी परिवार के बाहर किसी के प्रति प्रेमवत व्यवहार पर समाज का कड़ा पहरा रहता है. अक्सर इसे निषिद्ध समझ लिया जाता है जबकि नि:स्वार्थ करुण भाव यानी लालसारहित विशुद्ध निर्मल प्रेम एक ऐसी मानवीय प्राकृतिक सम्पदा है जिसकी हमेशा, हर जगह, हर रूप में और हर सीमा तक दरकार होती है. देश के हर नागरिक हर दूसरे नागरिक से ऐसा प्रेम होना चाहिए. कवयित्री जितनी बेबाकी से इस महीन मुद्दे को उठा रही हैं वह दुर्लभ है-   "क्या फूल का खुशबू लुटाना पाप है?          
वह तो बंटती है और बिखरती भी है.      
सत्य और मिथ्या की तुला में
यह सांस्कृतिक भी है
और प्राकृतिक भी
फूल से गंध कभी अलग नहीं होती".
कवयित्री दो टूक कहती हैं कि व्यष्टि और समष्टि दोनों स्तरों पर प्रेम की नितांत आवश्यकता है जिसे उन्होंने 'प्राकृतिक' और 'सांस्कृतिक' जरूरतों के रूप में रखा है.  
शैली के स्तर पर अनेक रचनाओं में सपाटबयानी ही नहीं हैं बल्कि अनेक सुंदर शब्दचित्र भी उभरते दिख रहे हैं -
"मुंडेर तोड़ बह निकली
नयनों की झील
कपोलों पर तड़प कर
दम तोड़ती 
सपनों की मछलियाँ"

राजनीतिज़ों की मतलबपरस्ती का आलम यह है कि- 
"जिन्हें दिखती है
बस अपनी पीड़ा
जो बस अपनी कराह
अपनी आह तौलते हैं"

किसी व्यक्ति किसी धर्म या मजहब का अनुयायी होना अधिकांश मामलों में मूलत: उसका अपना निर्णय नहीं होता बल्कि माता-पिता की तरफ से वंशानुगत प्राप्त होता है. तो जिस पर अपना बस ही नहीं है उसके लिए क्या लड़ना! अपने मजहब या धर्म को श्रेष्ठ मानने की प्रवृति का वो पुरजोर विरोध कर रही हैं- 
"अपने ही मजहब धर्म को
क्यों श्रेष्ठ मानते हैं हम
जबकि सब के मूल में कोई 
विश्वास है"

यह कवयित्री मूलत: प्रेम की कवयित्री हैं. देखिए, कितने अनोखे अंदाज़ में वो शृंगार का रस घोल रही हैं-
"बिन सूचना तुमने
कब्जा किया है
हृदय-प्रदेश पर
और मैं अपनी ही सल्तनत के छिन जाने पर भी
देशद्रोही की तरह
देती हूँ तुम्हारा साथ
दिन-रात अपनी हर सोच में
तुम्हें बसाकर
तुम्हारा हुक्म बजाने को"

घनीभूत प्रेम में आत्मसमर्पण का एक और सुंदर चित्र देखिए -
"फिर तुम आना 
पाहुन बनकर
नहीं कहीं किरायेदार बनकर
और कब्जा कर लेना
मकान मालिक की तरह!"

आज के समय में मानवीय सम्बंधों के स्वरूप को उजागर करने के लिए उनका यह अतिलघु काव्यांश काफी है - 
"पोल खुल गई 
रिश्तों की 
सम्बंधों की भी
जबकि फटी तो केवल 
जेब थी!"

हम में, आप में सब में प्राणों का संचार करनेवाला सर्वव्यापी ईश्वर खुद कैसे निर्जीव हो सकता है? कवयित्री कह रही हैं- 
"मैंने मनुष्य को बनाया
मनुष्य अब मुझको बना रहा है!"

समाज ऐसा समझने लगा है कि एक स्त्री का जीवन हमेशा दूसरों की इच्छओं की पूर्ति के लिए होता है. किंतु हमें यह भी समझना चाहिए कि स्त्री के अपने भी तो कुछ लक्ष्य होते होंगे, कुछ अरमान होंगे तो क्या वह उन्हें भूल जाए? स्वयँ एक सम्पूर्ण मानवीय इकाई होते हुए भी मात्र दूसरों के जीवन में काम आने वाली एक निर्जीव वस्तु बन जाने की व्यथा को शोभा जी अनोखे बिम्ब रच कर अभिव्यक्त करती हैं- 
"खो गई है वो छोटी डिबिया
जिसमें मैंने रख छोड़ा था
जीवन का उद्देश्य.
मैं जब भी कोशिश करती हूँ
उस छोटी डिबिया को ढूँढने की 
मेरे हाथ में आ जाते हैं
कुछ छोटे बड़े अन्य डब्बे
और फिर से इन्हीं
अन्य डिब्बों में खो जाती हूँ मैं" 

यह कवयित्री सामाजिक यथार्थ में भी जी रही हैं. आज के माहौल पर अत्यंत प्रभावकारी ढंग से मजहबी सियासत पर चोट करती हुई कहतीं हैं-
"तुम एक हो
विभिन्न रूपों में हो
फिर भी तुमने क्यों
हर प्राणी को उलझाया
धर्म, मजहब के नाम पर
खुद से ही लड़ते हो 
खुद से ही डरते हो 
खुद ही को खुद का    
दुश्मन बनाया"

कवयित्री का कवित्व अभी उद्भव की प्रक्रिया में है. कुछेक कविताओं में भाव-प्रवाह तो है किंतु कोई दिशा नहीं दिख रही है -
"नयन झील में
जब जम जाती है
दर्द की वर्फ 
और मुड़ जाती हैं धाराएँ
भीतर की ओर
तो समूचा अस्तित्व
बदल लेता है रूप
और झील
परिवर्तित हो जाती है
अंधकूप में
अंधकूप से सागर में
सागर से भँवर में
और भँवर चक्र में फंसकर
डूब जाते हैं सब रिश्ते
यह दर्द की दावाग्नि
जला डालती है स्वयं को
तो कभी परिवार को
तो कभी समाज को"

पर इस कवयित्री में  वह रचनात्मक बेचैनी है जो आनेवाले समय में इनको अवश्य इनको बड़े रचनाकार की सूची में शुमार कर सकता है.  जीवन दुर्लभ है. और जीवन का अर्थ उम्र का गुजरना नहीं वरन् पल-प्रतिपल को पूरी शिद्दत से महसूसना होता है- 
"पल प्रतिपल
होकर भावविह्वल
जीना चाहती हूँ
अक्षर अक्षर किताब
हर पल का हिसाब
पढ़ना चाहती हूँ
बूँद बूँद प्यास
लेकर चातक की आस
पीना चाहती हूँ.
तार तार जख्म 
बिना किसी मरहम
सीना चाहती हूँ"

इस तरह से हम पाते हैं कि शोभा स्वप्निल के कविता-संग्रह "सत्य और मिथा की तुला में" की कविताओं में रागात्मकता की नैसर्गिक अभिव्यक्ति ही नहीं बल्कि उसके साथ-साथ आज के युग के युग के महत्वपूर्ण संदेशों का सम्प्रेषण भी हुआ है. निश्चित रूप से कृति पठनीय  है और रचनाकार बधाई की पात्र हैं.

समीक्षक - हेमन्त दास 'हिम' प्रतिक्रिया देने हेतु ईमेल -,

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Sunday 7 August 2022

"The Zoo Story" staged in Mumbai (Khar) by Jeff Goldberg Studio on 30.7.2022

 "Mind that you are an animal and not a vegetable"

The world is like a zoo that is full of various kind of animals, man is one of them. All animal interact with each other in some way or other. So it is not a surprise if the relation between two different animals goes to any extent.  Though the settings in which this play moves may be highly obnoxious to the Indian audience with a conservative bent of mind as far as normalcy in sexual behavior is concerned one should know that the behavioural aberrations shown is just intended to invigourate the theme of social disparity. It is certainly not a sex story. Once you get cosy with this point the play is a prize for your intellectual eyesight.       

A mid-aged gentleman Peter comes to the park and perches on a bench to relax. Soon, a younger man Jerry enters the park who is desperate to communicate with someone. On the contrary to Peter's normal life with wife and daughters Jerry's life is scrappy. So stark is the difference between both that they seem to be the two opposite poles. Jerry protrudes his conversation into the calm of Peter who condescends to respond.

Jerry calls Peter a vegetable as he thinks, no animal can live in that highly structured and stereotyped manner. The disparity emanates from all angles- economic, social, moral and family-conditions. The teen-aged Jerry says it is unbearable for me to spend two nights with the same girl. Moreover he insinuates that  other things can also substitute a lover girl and even more  preferably. He keeps on spitting fire with his monologue onto the vulnerable Peter. Peter somehow bears all the nonsense hoping Jerry will stop his chatter. 
Jerry says he lives in a highly congested, too small and unhygienic shady room. He keeps on giving the ghastly details of how he has been misused by the ugly old misbehaved landlady on routine basis. Also, how the landlady's pet dog tries to take a toll on him everyday by chasing him like a drunken lustful man behind his wife. Once he tried to poison this obstinate creature but to no avail. 

Peter feels abhorrent and wants to keep himself aloof from these rubbish details. But he can't. He is put under such a compulsion that he himself witness a heinous crime of murder committed by his own hand.

The plot fascinates for it's unconventional storyline. The playwright Edward Albee has used uncanny symbols. The bench is not just a bench, it is the life-space of the society from where a complacent gentleman is ousted giving way to the deprived one. The knife is not just a knife it is a Freudian symbol. Every viewer was aghast when Jerry popped out his knife, waved and threw it on the ground. But soon it was clear that he is not going to kill Peter and rather ... .?? To get pierced  by someone on one's own belly with a knife actually signifies to a psychoanalytic. This is proved by the fact  that Jerry is screaming not in grief but with a satisfaction.

The director Kashyap Shangari had successfully turned a two-men play into a double-role solo acting. Moreover he seemed to be in full rage by making his only female actor to play both diametrically opposite male characters at a time. And the actor Swagata Naik carried it out. Her countenances, postures and voice-modulation went well with a despotic character searching for his own existence in a vast weird world called society. The killer's instinct kept oozing out her eyes incessantly just conveying "I too exist with some zoological desires. I am certainly not a plant without a mind and heart". The other character of a civilised gentleman had comparatively less to show still a justice was done with this passive character too that was essential to intensify the vigour of the other main character. The solo actor enacted that also in a natural way thanks to her director's instructions. The set-design was ok.                
Article by - Hemant Das ' Him'
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