It is back to the stage for theatre director Jay Jha as he acts in Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane, a Hindi monologue written by Manav Kaul. Jay, co-founder of KissaGo, has not been acting for the past two years, being busy with direction, affairs of Rangbhoomi, an indoor cultural space for theatre that he co-founded, and a night shift job. Recently, when he went on stage during a curtain call, the space felt new. “My first love is acting. That is why I entered the theatre space. I was happy the passion to act is still strong,” says Jay, who completes a decade in theatre.
Common man’s story
Manav Kaul’s monologue Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane is centred on the common man. A simpleton from a small town reminisces about the complex web of his relationships and social hindrances that he faced in the journey of life. “He talks about the connect he shares with a few friends, given a chance to prove himself, he shows his remarkable personality,” says Jai, about the story.
Hailing from Madhubani in Bihar, Jai felt a connection with the man from a middle-class family. The story, Jai observes, has a universal appeal. “Nobody is perfect but we all have a chance to prove and better ourselves in every sphere of life. The story moves forward with this thought, which is much needed now.”
The monologue is an interactive one, and he jokes, “Since the focus is on one actor, the stage is all yours. No one can point out the mistakes you make.”
This January has also been special in other ways. “I gifted myself my life,” says Jai, who quit his job on January 1. “I had joined due to a financial crisis during the pandemic but I was struggling due to the night shift. I needed more time for myself.”
His dream of opening an indoor cultural space for theatre in Hyderabad was realised when Rangbhoomi was launched in December 2020. Although it faced challenges due to the pandemic, it is now thriving with theatre, live performances, workshops and other events. “I am grateful we have been able to increase footfall for Rangbhoomi. It feels good to see the hall packed for the shows.”
For now, Jai promises more action on stage as an actor.
KissaGo Theatre Group stages Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane on January 22 at Lamakaan; Tickets of ₹250 on www.bookmyshow.com