A humble teacher walks inside a classroom with zeal, picks up the attendance register and records each student’s presence. As she does this, she reminisces about her childhood classmate Chinnasamy, whose schooling ended abruptly due to poverty.
The audience giggled at the antics of young Banu, and empathised with the pain of the teacher over school dropouts. ‘Banu’, an adaptation of ‘Sammandhangal Yen’ by Pavannan, was one of Theatre Y’s dramatic performances, staged at Ethiraj College for Women, in a prelude to The Hindu Lit for Life festival.
“When we visit rural areas, we find that several children have dropped out of school. Even getting the children to go to school is a challenge. We chose this story because it is extremely relevant to our time and place,” said Yog Japee of Theatre Y.
The theatre group, which staged dramatised performances of stories including ‘The Eyes Have It’ by Ruskin Bond, ‘Breaking the Pig’ by Etgar Keret and a poem ‘Knowing What We Know Now’ by Simon Armitage, kept the audience thoroughly engrossed for a little over an hour.
Meghana Sumesh, a postgraduate student of literature at Ethiraj College said, “When we watch such performances of stories, we get a new perspective about the stories and the issues they deals with and this has a great impact on us.”
The idea that literature is connected to our life in some way or the other seems to be the focus of such performances, she added.
“Be it in any language or dialect, stories are extremely powerful. The people we meet everyday constitute a part of our story. Every story influences and moves our mind,” said Mr. Japee.
“And in this festival, we want to celebrate the spirit of literature,” he added.