| A scene from the play Kala Naguni staged at the Rabindra Mandap. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, April 29: A drama on the problems of women in rural areas, blended with a twist of humour as well as vengeance, was staged at Rabindra Mandap on Thursday and Friday.
Organised by the cultural association of the scheduled tribe and scheduled caste development department on the occasion of its annual function, people appreciated the drama for its plot, but criticised it for slapstick comedy. Titled Kala Naguni, the play was based on a woman who turns revengeful after she is falsely promised marriage by a rich widower who exploits her. Coming from an economically deprived background, she falls in the trap due to lack of education. Later, a close friend offers to marry her, but obsessed with revenge, she denies the proposal and plans a plot to murder the man with help of the friend.
Comparable to the presentation in the folk theatres or jatras, the performance of the artistes was appreciated by the audience. The stage setting was modest. A few songs were also used in the play. There were numerous funny sub-plots. But some dialogues with dual meaning were criticised by the viewers, which mostly included family audience.
“Overall, the main plot of the play was gripping and the lead actors were impressive in their performances. The comedy was also entertaining. But the song and dance and even some dialogues were coarse,” said Prafulla Behura, a viewer.
“The drama was interesting and enjoyable. But some unrefined dialogues marred the entertainment. I felt slightly odd since I was here with the entire family,” said Suchismita Das, a housewife. Director Santosh Kumar Mohanty, who had also written the script of the play, said the team had taken utmost care to make the drama enjoyable.
“The story was based on exploitation of women which is very much prominent even today. Even in cities, we come across cases of exploitation under false promises of marriage. The viewers appreciated the play and that was encouraging. We never used any offensive language in the dialogues,” he said. “Since the play revolved around a serious theme, there were some sub-plots to lighten up the mood of the viewers,” he added.
Minister for ST and SC development and minorities and backward classes welfare, Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha, and commissioner-cum-secretary of ST and SC development department, Santosh Kumar Sarangi, inaugurated the event on Thursday.