Jeetrai Hansda in Jamshedpur on Sunday. (Bhola Prasad)
Trust a play called Fevicol to stick to the mind of the audience.
Its maker Jeetrai Hansda, a Jamshedpur-based playwright, is ready to earn his spurs after being nominated for the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 2013.
The prestigious awards in stagecraft is a ticket to well-earned recognition for the tribal theatre activist whose play is among the top 10 picks from across the nation that will be performed during a festival from March 1 to 8 in Delhi.
The plays will be staged at Kamani Hall, Copernicus Marg and Sri Ram Centre, Mandi House.
For Hansda (36), an alumnus of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, it is also a shot in the arm as he pursues his dream of reviving the near-extinct tribal theatre in rural pockets of Jharkhand.
Hansda, a native of Karandih, wrote his 55-minute play as part of his final-year project in NSD last year.
Fevicol, cherry-picked from among 312 entries, is the tale of a family in eastern India that is faced with the problems of displacement, identity and migration — themes that find a resonance in Jharkhand.
“The title itself has a meaning. Though it is an adhesive brand, the name Fevicol has become synonymous with something that does not leave you easily. That is what also happens in the play. We commonly say Fevicol ki tarah chipak gaya hai (it has stuck like Fevicol) and the problems I portray in the play are those which one cannot get rid of easily,” said Hansda, who learnt about his nomination on Thursday while he was on a visit to Odisha.
Fevicol has already been staged thrice in Delhi (twice at NSD) and once in Bhopal.
It has been nominated in seven out of 13 categories in META — an initiative of Mahindra to nurture theatre talents in the country.
The categories are best play, best direction, best stage design, best actress, best supporting actress, best choreography and innovative sound design.
To its credit, the play features artistes from across the country with a common thread in the form of NSD. Most of the crew members are tribals.
Among its nominees, Somay Mardi is in the running for best innovative sound design and Rukmini Tudu for best choreography.
Maidi’s Artist Association of Tribal, Jamshedpur, has produced the play.
Hansda said that if he wins, he would like to spend the money in funding tribal theatre.
The best production award will fetch an amount of Rs 1 lakh, while the best playwright will win Rs 75,000. All other awards will offer Rs 45,000 each.
Hansda has already conducted a tribal theatre workshop in the steel city and is currently working with 12 tribal theatre teams of 30 members each from Kolhan.
He guides the aspiring artistes to polish and standardise tribal theatre — a broad category that is founded on vanishing tribal tongues of the region and performed by rural actors — which will be soon presented in Jamshedpur.
When pointed out that his play’s name rings a bell with Dabangg 2, the Santhal playwright smiled and said, “Dabangg 2 released in December last year but I wrote the play around February 2012. And if I am not wrong, the song is Faavicol and not Fevicol.”