‘Two professions are always very good; one for survival, another that makes survival worth’

‘Two professions are always very good; one for survival, another that makes survival worth’
Highlights

Qadir Ali Baig Foundation has taken theatre to Salar Jung Museum as a part of its 9th Theatre festival at Hyderabad. Mohan Agashe ‘the one and only Nana’ from the famous play ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’spoke about the journey of the play which started in the year 1972 and had a break of 10 months due to various controversies surrounding it and another production ‘Sakharam Binder’ by Vijay Tendulkar.

Qadir Ali Baig Foundation has taken theatre to Salar Jung Museum as a part of its 9th Theatre festival at Hyderabad. Mohan Agashe ‘the one and only Nana’ from the famous play ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’spoke about the journey of the play which started in the year 1972 and had a break of 10 months due to various controversies surrounding it and another production ‘Sakharam Binder’ by Vijay Tendulkar.

Mohan Agashe spoke of how the play was performed continuously from the year 1973, by the same team of actors for nearly twenty years. This play became very popular because it was a ‘Paramparik folk form’ with such a huge chorus of singers cum actors who showcased the subject on a very big magnitude.

A scene from ‘Jug Jug Jiyo’

According to Mohan Agashe, around the same time, many contemporaries like Girish Karnad (play-based on Yakshagana and Nagamandala), Badal Sarcar (unique-style of theatre), and Rakesh Mohan (Aadhe Adhure) were bringing in the element of folk theatre.

The aspect that was unique to ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’ was that it had several folk forms of the Maharashtra region interspersed and inter-connected very closely which even a common audience would not be able to distinguish. He also revealed a few ‘open secrets’ about how a few politicians were dead against this play going to the Berlin festival and how some good politicians and supporters of the good work helped them sneak out of the country to give presentations in the Berlin festival to accolades from the foreign audience and media.

Mohan Agashe found it very disturbing at times, when the character of ‘Nana’ was becoming so overpowering in his life, when his fans always wanted to see him in that role only and related his other performances to ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’. According to him, he was lucky to have two professions, one of a doctor specialising in psychiatry and that of a theatre actor. Two professions are always very good; as one is for survival while another makes survival worth.

The next performance was the production ‘Jug Jug Jiyo’ which is a story of two childhood friends Samyukta and Simran who have been victims of the Indian society that has always till recent past looked down upon a ‘Girl child’. Their children Sia and Siraj also become a victim of these circumstances and the story unfolds the dark experiences of Samyukta and Simram who are forced under tremendous pressure by their husband/society to either give birth to a child or go for abortions.

Dolly Ahluwalia Tiwari as Simran and Mita Vashisht as Samyukta portrayed their helpless situation very aptly while Jyotsna Sharma as Sia and Amit Dolawat as Siraj were all energetic in their performance. The play was directed by Smita Bharti and produced by Rima Chibb. The production team for sound, light and design included Anurag Kulkarni, Christopher D’souza, Priyadarsh Bhabbda, Gyandev Singh, Deepti Chawla, Archana Malhotra, Aditi Kapadia. The play is being supported by ‘Plan India’, Prabhaav Foundation and Sakshi ; NGO’s which deal with empowerment of the ‘Girl child’.

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