The second day of the stage play competition at IIT Delhi’s Rendezvous 2013 resumed from where we have stopped a day before. The selected teams which cleared the preliminary round performed for the final competition. Out of six teams, four teams performed on Day 2 and two teams were asked to perform on October 20, 2013- making the stage play competition stretch to Day 3, which we shall report here as well.
The teams which performed on day 2 were PCTE Ludhiana, Gargi College, SRCC and CCET Chandigarh. All the plays were extremely well received by the students of IIT Delhi who also acted as a wonderful audience.
‘Andhe Hain Hum’ by Punjab College of Technical Education
The play Andhe Hain Hum is written by Dr Sahib Singh and talks about the status of blind beggars in the society. It is a satire on the present society which ridicules handicap and gives importance to the people who essentially do not worth it. They play tries to explore a lot of problems present in the society through the ‘eyes’ of the blind beggars.
The two beggars Shekhu and Bhola live near a bus stand of Ambala and while away time by weaving different stories to entertain them. They make stories for each other to support their loneliness. Both of them had been ridiculed by their own families and have taken refuge near the bus stand as beggars. In a dramatic development Bhola meets a small girl Neha, who is very rich but lacks love in her life from her own family, suggesting that money cannot buy love. She looks for love from Bhola uncle. Shekhu, who always wanted to become a rich man tries to save money to buy a lottery ticket. But they meet an old man who does not have money to reach his home as his own son has not accepted him. Shekhu gives him his savings- part of his dreams- to reach his home.
They play was laced with outstanding live music- credit of which goes to the wonderful singer in the team. The play at times appeared to be preachy and had an outsider view into the lives of the beggars.
‘Blind Spot’ by Gargi College, Delhi University
The play establishes the various stages of a person’s mind after trauma leading into insanity- from denial, to becoming crazy, to finally giving in to the urge of madness. The 6 characters in the play share their experiences with the audience which the society understands as ‘crazy’. The 6 women include a rape victim, an agoraphobic woman, an old star stuck in the time, a woman who believes she is 11 months pregnant, a girl who believes she is being stalked and a hypochondriac.
|A scene from the play Blind Spot|
The actors tried to portray all the characters with as honesty as possible but looked struggling with the space given to them on the stage. The performance was decent but lacked nuances. The actress who performed the character of the supposed pregnant woman did justice to her character.
‘The Nerd’ by Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University
The Nerd is a comic tale of young architect Ayaan who is monotonous and hopeless. On his birthday his friend and girlfriend plan a surprise party which is crashed by quirky characters descends into a night of total ruin. He loses his job and happens to host two unwanted guests Jamnadas Parekh and Jhingur who live in his house for coming days. He and his friends plan every bit to make them leave the house, but they do not. Many interesting developments follow only to give a happy end to the play.
What this play lacked was a storyline. The actors did justice to their characters and there were few nice comic moments as well. The audience of IIT loved the performance and showed it through a full house and continuous claps.
‘Nithalle Ki Diary’ by Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology
Nithalle Ki Diary is an adaptation from series of short stories by one of India’s finest satirist Harishankar Parsai. Haria is a caricature of a village boy, indecisive to any profession and hence choosing to be a village idler. The plot is a portrayal of various chapters from his diary. Each chapter is a sarcasm on the myriad aspects of our inefficient public administration system. The drama highlights the deteriorating ethics, corruption, and the superstition prevalent in the present society. It represents the way our narrow understanding of religion makes us less unaware of the world as it is.
The play was a classic example of using a bare stage as a set in itself and making it a property for actors. The design of the play was brilliant. The play starts with a high energy and involves the audience with the songs and subsequent comic sequences. The play uses the classical ‘nautanki’ style of Indian theatre and does justice to it. The acting was far above the bar set by other actors with the character Ram Sewak taking away all the love of the audience by imitating multiple mythological characters in his act. The best part of the play was the fact that it starts on a light note, raises all the valid political questions and takes the drama to an extremely serious and sensible end. The IIT Delhi students loved the play and it was evident from their continuous claps and hooting!
The day three will witness the remaining two performances from Dyal Singh College and IIT Delhi, as well as announcement of various prizes.
This article was first published in My Theatre Cafe on October 20, 2013