Tuesday, 25 July 2023

"Wada Chirebandi" - a Marathi play staged at Dombivli, Kalyan on 22.07.2023

Sullen family fabric on the test of time

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 26  देखिए )

It is certainly a cultured joint family with a golden past. The members are also naturally humane. Unfortunately, the whirl of the wily time has brought all cohesive forces to the anvil of adversity.

There is not as much a grief as a sigh of relief over the death of Tatya, the head of the joint family. They all belong to a socially reputed landlord clan While India has been making strides in twentieth century with a modern outlook this tradition adorer still tried to rule his family with all kinds of archaic prohibitions and taboos. The girls could neither get higher education nor could be married off. Now, the gene of zamindari cultural has directly passed into the eldest son.  He is trying to take up the gauntlet of his father claiming the full authority of the estate and other belonging. But see the farce, he has no resources to observe the customary Shraddha rituals with full dignity of a zamindar. Moreover, his wife who is the eldest daughter-in-law of the house has already taken over the charge of the keys of the jewelry and valuables as if her mother-in-law or others have no say.  Two thoughts are flashing in the mind of the eldest son - to ask his younger brother to spend an exemplarily huge amount  on Shraddha karma or to seek a further loan for the ceremony. The hope of getting loan again is a far cry as the earlier instalments of repayments are still due. The girl wants to flee the shambles of a broken castle and join Bollywood. She is eying on her tutor for her elopement.

The younger brother has come from Bombay after many days of the death of his father but thankfully before the Shraddha ritual. He who is supposed to spend aa hefty amount for the last rituals of his father has himself cherished many plans to get his large chunk from the estate and valuables of the house. Tatya's wife is the only person who is really sad on the departure of Tatya. Tatya's mother is  lying on the bed without the eyesight or hearing capability for gerontological reasons.

There is a male character with bandaged foot. Perhaps a tractor crushed his foot. One of the son just loiters around the village with no work in his hand.

This drama is not about putting a storyline but to show you how the fabric of a joint family is dismantling because of hard realities mainly of economical nature.

The gloom loomed large all around the set for the most part of the second half. I admit to have missed the first half of the play. The set-design was truly a statement of the adversity faced by the lineage of the lost zamindari. It was specifically designed as if to no ray of hope should trickle in onto the set giving a full bloom to the gloom. The set-designer has done a marvelous job.

"Wada Chirebandi" is the first of the trilogy by Mahesh Elkunchwar, a well-known name in Marathi dramas. Chandrakant Kulkarni was the director of the play. The actors were Nivedita Sharaf, Vaibhav Mangle, Ashish Kulkarni, Pournima Manohar, Pratima Joshi, Dhananjay Sardeshpande and Akshay Patil. 

Such a realistic depiction was impressive. This play works like a slow but effective medicine that heels your wounds of gloom if creeping inside. It gives you a sense of belonging and you feel you are not the sole person facing the harsh realities.  You never startle over the performance even for a single chance but actually you feel to be a part of the story moving on. To show you the harsh details of the family is the  sterling work of the playwright but to let you feel to be a part of it is the success of the director and the actors.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Send your response to - hemantdas2001@gmail.com / editorbejodindia@gmail.com
Link of the other drama-reviews:  Click here

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