Sunday 2 June 2024

"Pakitmar Rangmandal" - Hindi play performed in Versova (Mumbai) on 19.5.2024

 Who is the real pakitmaar?

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 50 देखिए )

"The real pakitmaar is not who picks pocket but one who lacks sensitivity for the deprived class." The playwright Asghar Wajahat has depicted the fact in his play "Pakitmaar Rangmandal". The way it was presented by the Third Wing Theatre at Veda Factory was a perfect blend of melodrama and realism. 

A young man is a pickpocket and is pursuing his profession religiously and picks the pocket of a vendor by diverting his attention to a beautiful lady. This man is on cloud nine and comes across a man who threatens him that he has noticed his mischief and would get him caught by the police. The young man is scared and surrenders before him. That threatener assures him to forgive subject to the condition that he would join his theatre group and quit pickpocketing. The young man agrees for it but discovers that his own pocket had been pickpocketed by the same presumptuous guy who had threatened him to take to police. Later he learns that his group is made with all such persons only and the name of the group is "Pakitmaar Rangmandal". In his group all the members were either from poor class or were some sort of destitute earlier. So they joined the theatre group to earn their livelihood in a socially acceptable manner.

But members of "Pakitmaar Rangmandal" who were mostly from a criminal background did not know that the bigger crimes are committed only by the so-called white-collared class. And this is the reason when their play is ready after 3 months of rigorous rehearsals, they are denied the auditorium just because the name of their group does not sound well. The so-called civilised auditorium managers would allow to use their hall only to the group who ostensively look good. But the founder owner of "Pakitmaar Rangmandar" would not concede to change the name for a better one as it is related to their earlier past and they love they love every part of their life. After a lot of extra effort one hall manager agrees to allow their hall for this group but on double charge. So, here Asghar Wajahat has shown the duplicity in the character of so-called civilised class. How can extra charge remove the stain of bad name? Half amount is paid and the hall is booked.

Just before the day of performance the hall-manager asks for full payment and the theatre group is in short of Rs.5000. And the niggling hall-manager is adamant on canceling the booking. As large number of tickets had been sold the group director has no way but to go for pickpocketing his old profession for one night. He is caught by the police this time. What happens after this, this should be watched in the real performance of the play.

The script moves in a very realistic scenario but in between it takes help of some melodramatic effects as in the flash-back of real life scenes of goons attacking the girl and saved by a protagonist member of the group. In another scenes, there are some romance between the a young male and a female member of the group. To enthrall the audience there are scenes of popular songs and dances too. As a whole the whole play is mix bag of full entertainment and a natural comment of morality.

The music of Durgesh Atwal did a real music with the director Gaurav taking good dancing steps from the actors. The old woman, the founder of Pakitmaar Rangmandal, the young pakitmaar made a noticeable dent through their acting. The young lady and other actors were also up to the mark.

Watching this play was a satisfying experience for me and even the more satisfying thing was meeting with the renowned national playwright Asghar Wajahat.

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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