Dhulikona’s arranged the back to back presentation of three very different plays by three different groups on the second day of their festival, Natukepona, on the stage of Jogesh Mime Academy. And the name Natukepona suited the event very well as all three plays were certainly dramatic either in storyline or presentation –
● Konkal by Dokkhiner Batayon ●
There is no specific time for celebrating the works of Rabindranath Tagore – Rajeshwari Nandi, the director of this enactment was totally correct in commenting this after their performance. And Tagore’s works are perhaps best expressed when their essence is kept intact; Dokkhiner Batayon might have believed this, hence they have made almost no change to the original story in their reading. Only the insertion of felicitous rabindric music to express the repressed emotions of the protagonist of the story added to the celebration of Tagore’s works.
The actors and the singers have wonderfully induced the deplorable situation of young Indian widows; full of dissatisfied passions whose only respite comes, perhaps, from fantacising about being the beloved. Though it’s titled ‘Konkal’ (skeleton) the performers have not tried to give it much of a supernatural effect and instead have stripped off the spurious belief of the passionless woman and have brought forth her unveiled desires.
The presentation has effectively highlighted the sensuousness of the narrator – the konkal woman – but the irony lies in the fact that all her youth and beauty have vanished with her death, turning her into a mere skeleton required for the study of osteology. And the question “konokchanpaa’r moddhe ki ekta konkal achhe?” has revealed this irony most precisely.
● Shani-Mangal by Rupakaar ●
The supernatural factor has been more prominently seen in this laugh-riot presented by Rupakaar. No, not the ghost or a konkal but a celestial being – Shani thakur – becomes one of the main characters of the play and yet, not for once, did it seemed unconvincing. This corporeal god exhibits all bestial passions of love and lust and hence makes a travesty of god. Yet the god comes to the rescue of man though, through deceit. The sarcastic situations and dialogues were generated effortlessly.
The hypocrisies of society, the superficialities of relations have been presented with humour but the audience would not find it offensive. The priyotoma (beloved) becoming the Bhogini (sister) has also provoked laughter perhaps because it was only the mistake of a ‘god’ and not of man.
The music, especially the songs of Hindi films, added more drama and comic elements to this act. The garb of god Shani has also been equally dramatic. This group had some first time actors but their acting has certainly entertained the audience and has made people laugh for a while which we rarely get a chance to do nowadays due to our day to day tensions and pressures.
● Echheydana by Dhulikona’s ●
The closing act of the evening by Dhulikona’s, Echheydana, was a tale of those wishes and dreams that we all perhaps have in our college days; may be not the same dream but a dream that is far removed from reality. Yet, it seems possible in every way and we are ready to sacrifice everything for it, and it probably never leaves us long after those wishes are polished off by realism.
The greenery of love and friendship, their consequent tensions and insecurities, trusts and mistrusts – all these issues have been touched upon in this poignant recounting of fond memories. The play also focused on the social vileness that is persistent in our society even today – a woman acting in a theater is meant to be a fallen woman.
Plots and subplots helped the play keep the audience engrossed in this act, and this emotional and nostalgic journey not for once seemed monotonous. The change of spotlights skillfully led us through the shifting times and events.
This concluding act of the evening has certainly made its audience nostalgic with its heartfelt plotline and persuasive acting.
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