The Telegraph
Friday , January 4 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Satirical take on self-centred people

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 3: Atha Sasemira Katha, a satirical play on self-centeredness, was staged at Bhanjakala Mandap on January 1, 2 and 3.

Actors of Rangakarmi, a cultural organisation, staged the play as part of Natya Dhara, a year-long theatre festival, being organised by Odisha Natya Sangha.

A newly-wed man, a bookworm who always fails to crack exams, a wannabe musician and several other unique characters live at Annapurna Mess.

The servant at the mess runs away when the residents accuse him of stealing their money. After a lot of searching, Chinu Mohanty, the mess owner, finds a 15-year old boy, Nata.

Though aware of the consequences of employing someone that young, the owner is compelled to take him. Everybody is so relieved that they celebrate a ‘Servant Aasiba Day’.

Nata turns out to be an honest and diligent worker with only one obsession — watching television. The owner too instructs the members not to disturb him when he watches soap operas. Things go smoothly when one day news flashes that a bear is on the prowl.

As destiny has it, the bear enters the mess at night and somehow gets locked in the washroom.

Pandemonium ensues the next morning when the residents learn of the beast’s presence.

After all possible solutions are debated, they reach a unanimous decision to send someone who can unlock the door but the question is who will dare to do it.

The members count their reasons to live and decide that the young lad, who has no one except a grandmother, should go. When the boy protests, they bash him up.

Consequently, Nata says it is better to die at the hands of the unknown bear than by those who claimed to love him once. After a while, the members are astonished to find Nata unhurt.

Nata says that unlike them, the bear was thankful to him for saving his life.

The play is based on a story on treachery by Kalidas, where a king sacrifices the same bear that looked after him to save his skin. The overture of the play was hilarious while the climax was touching.

Kailash Mohapatra did a commendable job as both the director and the protagonist and Niranjan Archarya, who played the newly married guy, was impressive.

Written by veteran playwright Bijaya Mishra, the sets of the 75-minute play were designed by Asim Basu. Pradip Rout scored its music.