The life of an honest teacher
DIWAN SINGH BAJELI
The Indraprastha Natya Samaroh honoured three film and theatre veterans besides highlighting the popularity of the art of histrionics East of Delhi.
VETERAN CONTRIBUTION Sushma Seth, Romesh Chander and Mohini Mathur, who were honoured for their service to the art.
The three-day Indraprastha Natya Samaroh got off to an exciting start with the staging of "Muzzaffarpur Ki Leechi" at Raman auditorium, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad this past week. What made the event memorable was the presence of three veterans from the world of theatre and film - Romesh Chander, Sushma Seth and Mohini Mathur - who were honoured by the management of the Indraprastha Engineering College on this occasion in recognition of their lifetime work. Recipient of several honours, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Romesh Chander, theatre critic of The Hindu, received a thunderous ovation when J.P. Singh, cultural adviser of the college, said that it was also the occasion to celebrate Romesh Chander's 90th birthday.
Directed by Gulshan Walia, a graduate of the National School of Drama, and presented by Bhumika Rangmanch, "Muzzaffarpur Ki Leechi" depicts the agonised world of an honest teacher fighting against a corrupt society. In his fight he stands alone. His neighbour, a teacher, unabashedly indulges in corrupt practice and leads a good life. Even the honest teacher's wife is critical of her husband's high ethical values.
Dramatised short story
Based on a short story by Jai Nandan, it is dramatised by the director himself. The entire action takes place in the room of the honest teacher.
The stage props and the interaction between the teacher and his wife reflect the hardship the family is facing.
The wife warns the teacher that unless the family earns some additional money, it will have to face penury.
At this critical moment, a stranger enters the scene, offering a huge amount as bribe to award pass marks to his cousin who is too poor in her studies to get through.
The teacher refuses to oblige the stranger. When all the tricks to make the teacher accept the bribe fail, a dreaded muscleman is hired to terrorise the teacher into accepting the bribe.
Though the director is able to bring to the fore the leitmotif of the script, the production lacks intricacy.
It should have been adequately rehearsed. In the absence of the tense atmosphere on the stage, performers are not able to explore the psychological complexity of their characters.
The conflict is resolved in a hurry with the change of heart of the corrupt forces.
The wife too undergoes a change of heart, respecting the high moral values that her husband upholds.
The most heartening news for the lovers of theatre and theatre artistes was given by the management in offering the Raman auditorium free to amateur groups to perform their works. At a time when the rental charges of Delhi's auditoriums are beyond the reach of most of the amateur groups, this gesture deserves special commendation. To use the words of Romesh Chander, this step of the college management will usher in a theatre movement in this area, offering the opportunity to directors to present their experimental pieces. Apart from the fully air-conditioned Raman auditorium with 300 seats, the college offers an open-air theatre called Rang Peeth free to groups.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu