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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