Chaar Rang, literary theatre festival presented by the Hindi Academy Dilli. It features four directors who would direct eight stories in four days. The first was Shri Hanu Yadav, who presented two stories, Pao Bhar Ghosht and Naurangi Bimaar hai, the first written by Abdullah T and the second by Shekhar S.
The first story is about the lack of broad-mindedness amongst the Muslim community in India. At a meeting of the Muslim community in a large village, the chief of the village becomes angry with his son, Salim, for talking about the haves and the have-nots in particular reference to the village. He is particularly incensed about the fact that the man had the gumption to talk about his beliefs in public and embarrass him and other elders. Salim does not take offence at his father’s remarks and continues his teaching of leftism to the people at the village.
The other play he directd, Naurangi Bimar Hai, was haphazardly presented. There was no clear-cut story. It left us puzzled about student life. The main character, who was hounded by his friends in college and by society in general, was not convincing. And it led to further confusion.
Happy Ranjit presented two plays, Badalon Ke Ghere and Kathputliyan. His first play, written by Nirmal Verma, was a love story full of romance and techniques to highlight the love between the two protagonists, like clouds made of smoke and affectionate gestures between the two people in love. There was also an older woman, played by Gauri. She performed very well as a woman who is in love with an unemployed man living off her. The man was also played very well.
The play was effective due to the directorial touches and the performances by the cast. The costumers were well-considered. The lighting also complimented the theme of the story.
Following the previous play was Kathputliyan, presented on December 28 last year. Happy Ranjit directed this story with a deft hand. The Kathputlis were humans dressed as dolls in traditional attire. They spoke and moved as kathputlis would.
The story was about the lack of attention paid to the kathputlis in India nowadays, whereas they were very popular not even half a century ago. The story involved two women, a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law. She accused the daughter-in-law of conceiving a child from another man, which wasn’t true. The mother-in-law fights with her daughter-in-law and that is the main thrust of the story. The use of kathputlis made the narrative come alive and was done successfully.