The three-day third TFT Summer Theatre Festival concluded at the Randhawa auditorium, Punjab Kala Bhawan, on Wednesday with Punjabi play “Lohakut” getting a standing ovation.
The play was staged to perfection by Theatre for Theatre Group, who organised the fest in collaboration with Haryana Culture Affairs and MACC, Kurukshetra.
The play with a novel theme was scripted by playwright Balwant Gargi and directed by Sudesh Sharma. Immaculate performance by actors and backstage artistes brought alive the author’s intent and concept with élan.
The play with an all-time socially relevant theme bared the predicament of subjugated women and their struggle for their moral rights and resurrection in the otherwise maledominated society.
The play structured in the rural social life depicted the plight of a village woman, Shanti, and her young daughter, Baino, bearing the onslaught of the family patriarch, Kaku, an arrogant blacksmith, who without caring for their sentiments and emotions thrusts upon them his unethical ideals.
Meanwhile, Baino comes to learn about her mother Shanti’s love and affection for the latter’s childhood friend, Gajjan. But Shanti exhorts Baino to forget about her lover, Sarwan, and marry the boy from a rich blacksmith family as per her father’s advice.
However, Baino gathers the courage to defy the dictates of Kaku and resolves to marry Sarwan and not the person of her father’s choice. She keeps meeting Sarwan against Kaku’s wishes and finally elopes with him.
This aggravates Kaku, who brutally beats up his devoted wife. Failing to cope with Kaku’s frequent onslaughts, Shanti too emulates her daughter and joins her old lover leaving the conceited Kaku alone.
The acting spells by Anita Shabdish as Shanti, Sudesh Sharma as Kaku and Sushma Gandhi as Baino brought out the subtle characters with understanding and emotional expression to enliven the element of conflict and prejudice thoroughout the play. Ishwer Thakur, Naresh Bhagat, Geeta Gandhi and others provided brilliant support.