15th Bharangam Diary: notes, rants and experiences

DAY 2: 6th Jan 2013

The food hub is up and running with its usual fair of biryani, tikkas, momos, litti, chai and jalebi. With the extreme Delhi chill, the coals are also burning with gusto, giving warmth to the freezing hands of the audiences. NSD must experiment a bit more with the setting and menu of the food hub, but I guess like all things sarkaari, this too is a moot point.

Organizers, please close the gates at the scheduled start! These ticketless revellers (read NSD students) disturb everyone’s experience by jostling for bum space minutes into the performances.

‘Meet the Directors’ part of the festival is on too. In case you need to discuss or comprehend previous night’s performances then visit the Antarmukh (look left after passing the reception) where directors will be present in a discussion on their productions (10.30 in the morning).

Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan

Script: Alys Faiz & Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Director: Salima Raza (Wings Cultural Society, Delhi)

bol ki lab aazaad hain tere

bol zabaan ab tak terii hai

teraa sutawaan jism hai teraa

bol ki jaan ab tak terii hai

Everyone has heard some nazm, sher or ghazal by Faiz. They might not know that it’s Faiz’s but they have heard it. He is omnipresent in that sense, and why shouldn’t he be, he has penned love.

This play goes into the more personal space occupied by Faiz and his wife Alys during the time he was imprisoned in Pakistan, through the letters exchanged between the two. These are letters of love, passion, politics, longing, aching and above all, hope. The narrative almost follows the slightly fractured and heavily politicized first-steps of a nation. But in the process the poet is subdued, almost compromised, and the father, husband, lover, son and brother don’t really take centre stage. Maybe it is the unimaginative direction or the over-burdened performances but the melodrama is not quiet achieved.

gulon mein rang bhare, baad-e-naubahaar chale

chale bhii aao ki gulshan kaa karobaar chale

Faiz’s poetry can be found here.


Script & Direction: Jeetrai Hansda (NSD Diploma)

The fiction of this play is the fact that millions are living in India. Being displaced in the name of vikas, development is a farce that only a girl dressed in packets of Lays and Kurkure can personify. The naïve writing of this play is like a slap in the face of those laughing it off as incidents of banal humour. But pointedly enough, it is a shame that India is still just a hand cart occupied by native rulers which is being pulled and pushed by the margins.

Like all NSD productions, the set design is sharp and relevant. Cascading water stream is veiled by the deluge of bottled water at the very end!

Another mention of the interlude of music of the margins is a must. This live melody brought a very different flavour to the play than the digital cacophony that we have so grown accustomed to.

‘Faisla hoga tab subah hogi? Subah hogi tab faisla hoga?’ this is the ultimate conundrum, forcing many to pick up arms rather than protest with silence.

Fellini’s Dream

Script: Stefano Geraci

Director: Pino Di Buduo (Teatro Potlach, Reiti, Italy)

Fellini and his dreams are common knowledge to cinephiles across the globe and to see his visions and characters come to fruition on stage is like a dream come true. This production highlights the snow, fog and wind, so dear to Fellini. It also tries to capture the surreal fiction of his films through a disjointed narrative that travels through I clowns, Roma, Casanova, Amarcord, Ginger e Fred and 8 ½. The dual projections on a cinema-like screen and the variety lights make this a visual carnival that not many Indian productions can boast of, and not many Indian audiences have seen before.

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