Time for dreams to get wings
DIWAN SINGH BAJELI
Sanjeev Johri's "Panchhi Aise Aate Hain" presents an interplay of farcical and lyrical elements.
SOCIAL MESSAGE: A scene from the play "Panchhi Aise Aate Hain".
MOST OF the plays by Vijay Tendulkar have been staged in Hindi in the Capital. Translated from the original in Marathi into Hindi, these plays were produced not only by the students of the National School of Drama and its repertory company but also by the leading theatre groups like Abhiyan. His plays are remarkable for powerful theatre language, innovative form and serious social concerns being confronted by contemporary Indian society. "Ghasiram Kotwal" (1973) brought the power of Indian theatre and drama to the attention of the world. "Shantala! Court Chalu Ahe" (1968) has been translated into several Indian languages.
This past week we got the opportunity to watch once again Tendulkar's "Panchhi Aise Aate Hain" in Sarojini Verma's Hindi translation at the Shri Ram Centre's auditorium. Presented by Osho World Foundation under the banner of Leela Arts, the production offered hilarious moments interspersed with moments of melancholic sadness.
A theatrical tribute to Osho, who believed the world was a stage and people actors. No wonder, Shakespeare's plays occupied an important place in the repertoire of the Osho Ashram Theatre Group in the 1980s. Sanjeev Johri, a disciple of Osho has directed "Panchhi... ".
His latest work is sleek and the most noteworthy aspect of the production is his skilful treatment of the farcical and the lyrical aspects, inherent in the play.
Though the critics of Tendulkar say that he borrowed thematic elements from Pirandello's "Pleasure of Honesty", Durrenmatt's "Dangerous Game" and "Rainmaker" by Nash while writing "Panchhi... " but the milieu and the ethos are typically that of a small town Marathi family worried about the marriage of their only daughter who has been `rejected' by one after another would-be bridegrooms. The sensibilities of these characters have Indian flavour. The play projects the humiliation and agony of a young daughter living in a tradition-bound society. We are touched by her plight. The play is aptly cast throughout. Sanjeev Johri as Arun brings out various shades of a sympathetic stranger His Arun is clever, talkative, has the power to convince others but escapes responsibility. He establishes a lively rapport with the audience. Rekha Malhotra Johri as Saru impresses the audience with her portrayal of an insulted character.
Her transformation from an ugly shabbily dressed young girl into an intelligent and charming one is convincing. Danish Husain as Anna, the worried father and Sadhna Bhatnagar as mother give a good account of themselves.
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