From free Sindhi tuitions to collecting sepia-toned photographs of Sindh (now in Pakistan), Sindhis are doing their bit to save their culture. But it’s Marathi theatre that’s helping them to do so.
Witnessing a decline in the culture among its own people, Local theatre group Sindhu Sakhaa Entertainment came up with the idea of translating popular Marathi plays into Sindhi and organising shows across the state.
“We do not have our own state and are scattered across the entire nation. It was difficult to get a good response for our plays,” said Julie Tejwani, chairman of the Sindhi Sakhaa Entertainment. “Then we decided to translate successful Marathi plays All The Best and Srimant Damodar Pant and took the translation rights from the writers. The idea worked instantly.” All The Best has to packed houses in Bandra, Nagpur and Nashik and the group plans to take it to Pune, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar.
“Ulhasnagar is home to Maharashtrians too. We saw that the subject and atmosphere in the Marathi plays were not alien to the Sindhi audience,” she said. Theatre artist Jeetu Vazrani (27) said: “I have seen their All The Best four times, the first being in Ulhasnagar two months back. I liked the play and more so, appreciate the effort being taken to preserve the culture.”
Now the group will stage Srimant Damodar Pant called Diwaan Goverdhandas Gopalani in Sindhi at Atre Rang Mandir, Kalyan on June 6.
“Just as Maharashtrians come all the way from Karjat and Shahpur to catch a play, we want Sindhis to come to Kalyan to see Diwaan Goverdhandas Gopalani,” Tejwani said.
The Sindhi bastion Ulhasnagar over the years has become cosmopolitan with more and more Maharashtrians and north Indians moving in. Of the seven lakh people in Ulhasnagar, popularly called Sindhunagar, two to three lakh residents are Sindhis. And of these, most cannot read or speak Sindhi fluently.