Sutradhar's play included many first timers who did a commendable job indeed

Sutradhar, school of acting, in culmination of their two month training workshop in acting and theatre presented a Hindi play titled Aathmahatya Ki Dukan written by Asha Varma recently, at the Saptaparani Ampi theatre, Banjara hills, Hyderabad. The important point in this play was the story; the stage; props and the presentation were conceptualised by the artistes themselves. Most of them were first timers on the stage. Moving away from the message oriented political satires, which was mainly the theme in the last few plays presented by Sutradhar, this play was more on the lighter side. This one-hour long light-hearted play was meant for those who just wanted to enjoy an evening out.The play revolved around one Atpatey Lal who wants to exploit the sentiment on suicide and has a brainwave to open a shop catering to the needs of those who want to commit suicide. He provides innovative ways of committing suicide to each of the customer who come to him. He has different kinds of poison, daggers and noose that can be used to end one's life. A young lad who his in love for the first time and rejected by the girl's father, a poet whose works are not appreciated, a young girl, who hates her parents for not allowing her to be herself, a student who is forced by her parents to choose the subject they like, a unmarried girl and a dejected lover make a beeline for the tools to commit suicide.However, in the process of selling the tools and accessories to commit suicide at a good price, the shopkeeper also sets in a thought process into the minds of the customers that instead of committing suicide they can live too. Like for example, the poet who is frustrated is given an idea of setting up a printing press to publish his own poetry, the dejected girl who is keen to get married but yet unable to find a suitable boy comes across another frustrated boy at the shop and they decide to get married. The student agrees to what her parents wish her to study and so on.On the whole the play was fast paced and was humorous, though loud. The few vulgar dialogues could have been avoided as it was in bad taste and not expected from Sutradhar. Most actors in this play were first timers and did their roles satisfactorily. The main character Aaptey Lal played by Phani had scope to express his talent, which he did well, but at times, overacted. The others in the play were Niyati Surelia, Sunny Khandelwal, Shravanti, Paranjay, Shantoni Ghosh, Rakesh, Krishna Gargita, Sandeep and Mohit. The workshop directors and resource persons were Vinay Varma and Prof. Bhaskar Shewalker.C. SURESH KUMAR