A scene from the play staged at Marwari College, Ranchi, on Monday. (M Ganguly)
There is a reason to ponder over the future of theatre in the state capital.
Despite a centrally located venue, pleasant weather and above all free entry, hardly 50 people turned up to watch well-known local theatre group Yuva Rangmanch’s latest production, Hindi play titled Vairagi Man Hara, at Marwari College’s Vivekanand auditorium on Monday.
The 75-minute-play will also be staged on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Scripted by Ravi Kant Mishra, Vairagi Man Hara is based on a Hindi novel, Ab Na Banegi Dehari, by Padma Sachdeva. Ajay Malkani, an alumnus of National School of Drama (NSD) who founded Yuva Rangmanch three decades ago, directed it. The cast consisted of young actors.
The story revolves around the woes of a young girl, Revati, who gets married to a cardiac patient only to become widow within six months. Desperate to get rid of the advances of a close relative of her mother-in-law, she attempts suicide by jumping in the river, but is rescued by the head of the local monastery, Mohant Giri Baba.
Shortly afterwards, a relationship develops between the two. While Revati is eager to carry on the relationship, Giri Baba, though acknowledges his feelings for her, cannot muster the courage to ignore social norms and the monastic establishment. Finally, torn by his inner conflicts, he deserts the monastery, leaving Revati to fend for herself with a child in her womb.
Vijay Singh, another NSD alumnus, essayed the role of Giri Baba convincingly. But Akriti Apurva as Revati surely fell short of expectations.
Director Malkani, however, said that Kim Meshram would step into Akriti’s shoes to play Revati on Tuesday.
“Performing in Ranchi where very less number of plays are staged as compared to Delhi is always challenging given the constraints one faces here. But the difficulties teach one to be innovative,” said Anil Mishra, who along with Kajal Mundu, both trained at NSD, scored the music of the play.
Yet, what’s striking is clearly the lack of enthusiasm among the theatre lovers. No wonder, Malkani urged: “Please spread the word about the play. The entry is free, still I don’t know why people are not turning up.”
However, theatre personality Sanjay Lal refused to ponder on the crowd count. “The fact that a play is being successfully staged here is itself a great event. Such stage treats are rare these days,” he said.