Venue : Indian Habitat Centre
Date : 31 May 2008
Time : 5 PM
Event : Asmita Group presents street play
It was a long Friday, stretched longer till Saturday morning in office, assisting Ankit in his work; 2 hours of sleep and up I went to greater Noida for some work with Prabhakar. Here goes the whole day. Tired and sleepy I request Prabhakar to visit IHC as we have Asmita group presenting street plays today, ah, street play, and I see those pictures in mind, kurtas, loud throats, social message, aggression, amazing actors, stunned audience, an observant director, many questions, few answers. Nostalgia, the word ‘street play’ triggered nostalgia.
The stage was set, and then there was this explosion! The first street play talking about road safety had around 25 artists, and the sudden outburst of energy shook the awaiting audience. ‘Gaddi jaandi hai chhalanga maar dee, ho mainnu yaad aaye mere yaaar dee’, the play very subtly talked about how indifferent everyone is about road safety in a highly crowded city like ours and how we deny to take control of whole situation. Be it the drunk truck driver, politically shielded bus driver, a young biker or just one of us walking on the road, it makes no difference to us whatsoever, until we become part of the victim list. Lack of thought, that’s all, traffic is such a wonderful example of the great Hindustani instinct of ‘we can but we won’t’.
The second one was called ‘Rahul Boxer’, and displayed ego VS ethics, how all of us want to prove a lot of things all the time. That urge to win, to exceed, to leave the world behind, irrespective of the ‘how’, we keep aiming. It’s a different world these days, more competitive, more needs, more desires, higher aims, lower reasons! We are living it, kind of. This was done by a few novices, and considering this, it was wonderful.
The third one, again by a few other novices talked about a young rape victim, a ten year old school girl, who was raped by her tuition teacher. Time and time again, questions have been raised on the respect rape victims must receive from police, judiciary and the society, still many unanswered questions revoked. Let alone successful trials of rapists, I am not even sure if the number of rape cases registered are even a fraction of total rapes that happen in a society which feeds everyone with dignity and pride, teaches every man to walk with high head and broad chest. They say the world is nearing its end, I say it hasn’t yet evolved fully, and it’s still a man’s world.
The fourth and the last play again talked about violence again women, and primarily talked about eve teasing and domestic violence, about the grand male ego and their ‘needs’ from their woman. There are times when people compare American marriages to Indian marriages and feel proud that we have such a small divorce ratio, I believe that this isn’t something to feel proud about but to worry about. The main reason behind all this is lack of aggression from the females, their acceptance, and their diffidence! Things may be changing, and changing for the better, but even today, girls are fed with the thought that their husband will be their god, I never heard somebody telling a guy something even similar about his to-be. Had there been any more resistance and a little less acceptance from women, the divorce rate would get higher, but again the dependency matrix and the ethical grooming keeps them away from any revolts. Evolution is not even mid way.
Thanks to Asmita theatre group and Arvind Gaur jee for such a day. It leaves me sad at the end of all such events, thinking what am I doing? I know I am lazy but I know that if I keep looking I will find the way sooner or later, back to hunting!