Sunday 17 March 2024

"The sacred bride" - presentation of verses of Janabai, Surdas, St. Theresa of Avila and Rumi performed in Bandra (Mumbai) on 10.3.2024

 Love makes life beautiful but for how long?

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 44 देखिए )

In the forests of Tulasi,
Jani unravels her plaits
Butter in hand,
Chakrapani massages her head

Life is like an acrobat who is moving on a rope balancing himself with a rod having mysticism and existentialism as it's two ends.  Dr. Omkar Bhatkar at SAPP Bandra (Mumbai) was making a point. The natural penchant of soul for mysticism is consistently moderated by existentialism. The progress of life  is inanimate if only determined by the mundane acts of will. The inner longing for reunion with God is the ultimate driving force that draws a man to mysticism. 

Some selected verses of Surdas, Rumi, St. Theresa of Avila and Janabai were presented in an evocative manner by Prasant Nalaskar and Omkar Bhatkar. The poems were first read soulfully by an artist in it's original language say Marathi (in case of Janabai) which was followed by the rendition of it's English translation by the other artist. The rendition of poems touched the sentimental chords of the listeners. The viewers were left awestruck on the signature Sufi dance presented in the end bereft of music and song.

"In the quest for self-transcendence mystics like Janabai (13th Cen), Rumi (12th Cen), St. Theresa of Avila (15th Cen) and Surdas (16th Cen) composed poems of pain and ecstasy. Pain that came from longing and ecstasy that came from union, led to the creation of some of the finest mystical writings. In the journey of merging with the divine, one becomes the lover and the divine becomes the beloved. The poet often becomes the bride and the divine- the bridegroom. Such Poems of love and longing use erotic metaphors to depict the deep yearning for the mystical union.

The Sacred Bride is a collection of poems of four divine brides: Janabai, Rumi, St. Theresa of Avila and Surdas- yearning to meet their beloved to eternally emulsify and become one with the divine. These sacred poems are woven like flowers in a prayerful garland using music and movement to be offered at the altar of Love."

After the poem recital a public conversation was held in which the viewer's queries were answered by the artists.

The people questioned on his way of theatrical progress delivering new plays back to back. He is always up to the next play every next month. Dr. Bhatkar replied that his aim is to deliver more and more theatre and other performance artworks in this short life. There is no greater ambition. The ambition is to be a better human being day by day with the help of learnings achieved in the process of original artworks and reproducing the plays, poems and other art pieces in a new style. He further clarified that he is more inclined to theatre and works of live performance because the direct public interaction of performer is possible only in live mode. Theatre with particular emphasis on spirituality is comfort zone and he wants to excel in it rather than diluting by venturing into cinema or other art.

No camera can capture the performance. Each performance is a new creation notwithstanding the fact it might be based on a fixed written script. The way you present a play, the way you act a character every time and the way you comprehend the poem in each reading is different. 

Performance was made by Omkar Bhatkar and Prasant Nalaskar. It was designed and directed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar. Technical assistance was provided by mayuresh, Radhika Mhatre, Nipun Pandey and Anosh. Art and aesthetics were by Omkar Bhatkar. 

Report by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Friday 8 March 2024

Ghalib- Marathi play staged in Panvel (Navi Mumbai) on 18.2.2024

First a father then anything else

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 43 देखिए )

This 'Ghalib' Marathi play is not about famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib rather it is a huge testimony of a writer's domestic dilemma. 

It is always a big challenge for a writer to strike a balance between his worshipping muse and running family. Even though he is a award-winner celebrity writer his material wealth is not enough to satisfy the needs of his two progenies. 

Manav Kirloskar is such a celebrity who has won several awards. After his death one of his two daughters wants to sell off the parental house and shift to Mumbai in a modest accommodation. The younger sister resists. Though (perhaps) the father has given the authority to the elder daughter to do so. On this matter both sisters are at loggerheads with each other. In the meanwhile Angad, an ex-student of the father comes to their house with an intention to search the last unpublished book of his teacher Prof Kirloskar. As the named book is very important for the literary community both sisters allow him to stay there for a few days and search the manuscript. Some sweet feelings generates in the mind of the younger sister for Angad. 

On the other side, Angad who himself has till date carved out a niche for himself in novel writing, is very honest about his mission. And ultimately he succeeds in finding the manuscript of 'Ghalib'. He conveys to the daughters that this is such a timeless analytical creation about Ghalib which can take the lettered society by storm. It was inherent that the royalty flowing out of it can be sumptuous and persistent. Now the younger sister claims that this manuscript is written by her and not by her father. Here lies raison d'etre of the play.

How it can be determined that the younger sister is the real author of the book even though it is proved that the manuscript is in her handwriting? Along with the prestige issue it raises a legal poser too as to who is the rightful owner of this historic creation. A very very difficult question as the renowned writer Prof. Kirloskar is no more. After many twists and turns this riddle is solved in an authentic manner and the viewers come across the other face of the renowned writer where he is just a father a pure father and not a writer any more. People should go to the theatre to know how actually the mystery of writership is solved.

It again was mainly a writer's play who was Chinmay Mandlekar. He also directed the play. Artists who gave their best delivery of acting were Gautami Deshpande., Ashwani Joshi, Virajas Kulkarni, Gururaj Avadhani.

A marvellous play watched recently by me which is a tight bag of morals and mystery.

Review by- hemant Das ' Him'
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Sunday 3 March 2024

विरोध को कहाँ तक सहा जाए?

(सामयिक विचार)

सत्ता के विरोध में कुछ बोलने का यह अर्थ कदापि नहीं है कि वह विपक्ष के प्रति समर्थन है. इसकी ज्यादा संभावना है कि जो आज विपक्ष में है अगर वह सत्ता में आ जाए तो आज के सारे विवेकशील विरोधी जन उस समय की सत्ता के भी विरोध में ही बोलेंगे. इसका ज्वलंत उदाहरण यह है कि अनेक पत्रकार/ साहित्यकार/ कलाकार जो पहले कांग्रेसी सत्ता के विरोधी थे वो आज की सत्ता के भी विरोधी बने हुए हैं. कारण यह है कि गलतियाँ उन्हीं से होती हैं जो काम करते हैं और काम करने का अधिकार सत्ता पक्ष को ही होता है विपक्ष को नहीं. काम करने का अधिकार जिनको प्राप्त है उन पर ही यह आरोप लग सकता है कि उन्होंने काम नहीं किया अथवा सही ढंग से नहीं किया. जिसको काम करने का अधिकार ही नहीं है उस पर कैसे यह आरोप लगेगा? अब काम करनेवाले यानी निर्णय लेनेवाले को हमेशा यह दुविधा रहती है कि वे जो भी निर्णय लेंगे उससे कुछ लोग लाभान्वित होंगे और कुछ के विपरीत जाएगा उनका निर्णय जो कि बिलकुल स्वाभाविक है. यहीं पर निर्णयकर्ता का विवेक काम आता है कि वे जो निर्णय लें वो इतने न्यायसंगत हों कि उनका विरोध कम-से-कम हो. फिर भी अगर कुछ लोग विरोध करें तो उनकी बातों को सहानुभूतिपूर्वक सुनकर कुछ उनको समझाकर और कुछ मामलों में यदि उचित लगे तो रियायत देकर उसका समाधान करना चाहिए. दंडात्मक कार्रवाई उन्हीं पर होनी चाहिए जो हिंसक अथवा असामाजिक तरीकों का सहारा ले रहे हों उन पर नहीं जो शांतिपूर्ण ढंग से विरोध कर रहे हों. इसका पालन करने से ही सत्ता में मजबूती और दीर्घजीविता आती है एवं समाज, कला और संस्कृति के शिखर पर पहुँच पाता है. कला के उन्नयन के लिए विचारों का निर्बाध प्रवाह आवश्यक होता है.
लेखक- हेमन्त दास ‘हिम’ /
दिनांक- 03.03.2024