Theatre

Yamlok Mein Halchal: Funny repercussions of honesty

A scene from the Hindi play 'Yamlok mein halchal'

A scene from the Hindi play 'Yamlok mein halchal'  

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The socio-fantasy play dramatised the benefits of being committed to duty, with telling effect.

Mythology has an eternal appeal and gels well with any theme especially when it’s blended with a strand of fantasy. Exploiting this aspect to the hilt, Mihir Kumar Mishra wove a social fantasy plot Yamlok Mein Halchal. This hilarious Hindi playlet staged at Raghav Kala Mandapam in DRM Complex Visakhapatnam evoked warm response. Though there’s nothing new in adopting mythological characters in social fantasy stories, the way the theme of the playlet harped on the commitment to one’s duty and how personal integrity and honesty ensures peace and prosperity, drove its point straight home.

Set against the backdrop of the Indian Railways, the hilarious narrative had the viewers in side-splitting laughter for its humorous presentation. It opened with a scene where Yama, the lord of death and his bookkeeper Chitragupta are seen snoring in deep slumber. There comes Lord Siva and summons the records of their performance. Finding the columns in Indian Railway account blank, he asks them why there were no reports on this count. Upbraiding their non-performance in this regard, he tells them go at once and fill the due. Thus, directed by the Lord Siva, the duty-bound Yama and Chitragupta come down to find their target.

Finding one person checking the tracks at night, Yama tries to coax him with wine to divert him from the work so that approaching train may derail leading to fatalities but the man refuses to oblige saying he is on duty. Yama then tries at signal post, turning the red signal into green but loco pilot notices it and threatens to hand him over to RPF and Yama takes to his heels. Finding it hard to have his way outdoors, he then chooses railway hospital to try his luck there. He approaches a nurse on night duty. He tricks her to believe that she is of a star stuff on silver screen. She does fall for his flattery and shakes leg for a chart buster, but when Yama asks her to administer spurious drug to a patient (so that it kills the patient), she immediately rebukes him saying she would never indulge in unethical and corrupt practices.

Thus Yama finds it impossible to have his way when people are honest and committed to duty. Finally Lord Siva appears saying he was happy to see people wedded to values in life and such people deserve long life for purposeful living.

Mihir Kumar Mishra, who scripted and directed it, donned the role of Yama well. Rupali Pani sparkled as nurse particularly in dance movements. Being a classical Odissi danseuse, Rupali excelled in dancing to a peppy chart buster. R Saikumar, DSN Murthy, VV Chakradhara Rao, and SK Banik did well. These artistes belonging to various departments in railways staged it on the occasion of 61st Railway Week celebrations.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 3:48:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/Yamlok-Mein-Halchal-Funny-repercussions-of-honesty/article14425941.ece

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