The audience sat glued to their seats as a cast of over 600 theatre actors here lent their voice and emotions to portray the anguish of a struggling female foetus begging her mother to let her see the world. But the cruel scalpel of the doctor abruptly nipped the life out of the unborn.
The almost two-hour long dramatic presentation by students of Agra's St Peter's College, celebrating its 163rd annual day, stunned thousands in the audience, who remained glued to their seats as the story of Indian woman down the ages unfolded through songs and dances, supported by hi-tech audio-visual aids, late Saturday evening.
Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Societies of India (FOGSI) president Narendra Malhotra, said: "Our organisation is working for saving the girl child from the brutalities of a socio-economic order that was dangerously disturbing the sex ratio."
Father John Farreira, principal of St. Peter's College, told IANS: "Instead of presenting the routine entertainment stuff with a variety programme, we decided to aim for a bigger and more ambitious presentation, one that would force people to think and shake them from their apathy."
"Casting half the school in a major play like this is in itself a step in the sensitisation programme. Our teachers and students have done an excellent job. Last year we had presented a similar play to highlight the dangers of global warming," Farreira added.
The musical song and dance presentation "Kokh Bani Kabr" (womb turns grave) had shades of a Bollywood film with dance, fight sequences, romance and rural scenes intelligently interwoven in a fascinating tale.
In one scene of a 'Swayamvar' (where a woman chooses her husband) in 2050, the would be bride drives on to the stage in a Mercedes car and spells out her terms for entering into a matrimonial alliance to the prospective bridegrooms.
In another hilarious scene depicting life in 2080, the reality of the imbalanced gender ratio dawns as a village is shown with scores of boys with just three old women lamenting what the boys will do without getting married as there are no girls left.
Directed by Manish Magan, the presentation had 14 scenes right from the days of Adam and Eve to the end of 21st century, set to music and choreography by Sandeep Verma and Kapil Agarwal.