Life lessons

Poignant direction A story of denial and misplaced priorities special arrangement

Poignant direction A story of denial and misplaced priorities special arrangement

Vikasam, started by like-minded theatre enthusiasts in 2017 is led by actor Ashok B. When the production company wanted to do something different a few years ago, Ashok approached Bhaskar Ninasam to adapt and direct Jnana Peetha awardee Chandrashekara Kambara’s novel GK Maastarara Pranaya Prasanga for stage.

“Bhaskar conducted a three-month workshop,” says Ashok, who usually takes the main role. “It was a life-changing experience and has run houseful for seven shows already.” Ashok says he is with the lighting group this week, adding that right lighting is paramount to set the mood for a love story.

Ashok, a medical representative of veterinary products, has been acting since he was a child. “All 45 members of our troupe are corporate employees. They consider the stage a devotion. We have staged many plays including Poornachandra Tejaswi’s Engtana Pungi , Lankesh’s Stella Emba Hudugi , and Dundiraj’s Pukkate Salahe which will soon see its 50th show. We also have street plays to spread awareness on social issues and nature.”

Speaking about the simple storyline of GK Maastarara Pranaya Prasanga Ashok says, “The play is about GK Maastar, a Sanskrit teacher and principal of a college with an ailing wife. GK is close to retirement. Destiny however has different plans and Cupid strikes when he is attracted to his student, Roja, who could pass off as his daughter. He is known for his virtues, his students and other lecturers fear him, while his detractors grudgingly admire him.”

The play follows GK as he innocently flirts with Roja, tackles other students, especially Girrappa, a student union leader whom Roja is in love with, and finally sees reality after Roja and Girrappa play a prank. “It is a story of denial and misplaced priorities. Kambara’s intricate handling of passion comes through in Bhaskar’s poignant direction,” says Ashok.

Bhaskar who did his advanced training at Ninasam, says he always wanted to direct this particular novel by Kambara. “It is a dream come true. I remember telling the 20 actors involved, do not act, get into the skin of the character, feel and experience them. It is a moving 90-minute play with music by Sathya Radhakrishna,” says Bhaskar who has directed nearly two dozen plays and has also acted in a 500-episode Zee Kannada TV serial Sriram Srimati .

Bhaskar picks out the swimming scene at Koodala Sangama where GK competes with Girrappa for Roja’s attention. “The property design, lighting and effects have come in for a lot of praise for its realistic portrayal.” Bhaskar, who has also been acting since childhood starting with Mandya Ramesh’s plays, says, “GK’s dream sequences and the torment he goes through when he realises that neither his wife nor his fantasy love are going to stay with him forever are particularly effective.”

GK Maastarara Pranaya Prasanga will be staged on March 7 at 7.30 pm at KH Kalasoudha, Hanumanthanagar. Tickets are available on

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Printable version | Oct 6, 2022 2:30:41 am |