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Monkey business and a missing bag

The Coimbatore Book Club Theatre Group (CBCTG)staged Hindi adaptations of two famous plays with the idea of reaching the Hindi-speaking audience from the city. Both plays chosen were crisp and entertaining and were served along with supper at That’s Y Food and On the Go restaurant.

With Bandar Ka Panja, director Monisha Mathur showed her love for the super-natural. The play, based on a short story The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs, was about a family that is intrigued by a monkey’s paw that is supposed to grant wishes. Despite being warned by their friend Major Ranjan they make a wish for a sum of money which eventually costs them their son's (Sunny) life.

Bandar Ka Panja was a melodrama about the sin of greed and how we are helpless against it.

The second play was Lawaaris Bag that showed a couple at the Delhi Airport waiting for their flight. A stranger entrusts them with a bag and does not return for a while, and there is panic. The play is a Hindi adaptation of Baggage Unattended , a 10-minute play written by Erci Coble. Sarumathi Gunachandran sank her teeth into the role of the Hindi speaking Mrs. Iyer. Her sparkling chemistry with Mr. Iyer was the highlight of the evening. Grappling with a situation that could be gravely funny or potentially unfortunate, the couple squabble about the contents of the bag and about the identity owner of the bag. The inner insecurities of the characters emerge in such a situation.They fight, tease, argue, and disagree unable to reach a final argument. Was this a slice of life or did it depict deeper-rooted dilemmas in their marriage?

“This was my first attempt ever at speaking in Hindi. When I signed up, this play was supposed to be in English, but later Monisha called me up and told that it will be in Hindi,” said Sarumathi who learnt a new language to help her through the play.

The stage was decorated with a mantelpiece, a dinner-table, a living room centre-table and sofa-set. Young and old of the city thronged the café to enjoy the Hindi plays. The place lit-up with a humorous and bubbling interaction between the audience and the unit after the play and the evening drew to a cheerful close as the actors and audience enjoyed the vegetable rolls, lasagne, sautéed vegetables and walnut cake.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 11:43:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Monkey-business-and-a-missing-bag/article16441785.ece

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