Slapstick yeilds to market lure | india | Hindustan Times
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Slapstick yeilds to market lure

MARATHI THEATRE turned 163 last weekend. Something that began as an experiment with ?Sita-Swayamvar? has traversed a long way. The day was observed at Sanand by commercial theatre commenting liberally on commercialism.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 21:49 IST

MARATHI THEATRE turned 163 last weekend. Something that began as an experiment with ‘Sita-Swayamvar’ has traversed a long way. The day was observed at Sanand by commercial theatre commenting liberally on commercialism.

Strange are the ways of media. The trend that is apparently being glamorised is actually in its condemnation. Confusing, isn’t it?  But that is marketing. Experimentation is allowing any backdrop to substitute for a set and improvisations, permitting any detour from serious acting to be treated as drama.

 This liberal atmosphere has favoured mushrooming of productions that jump the bandwagons of issues, but wilt shortly without providing any solution or initiating any debate.

‘Chal aish kar le’ drew theatergoers and entertained them. The playwright creates a boy and a girl so poor that they cannot afford a love affair, because one needs cell phones, gifts and enough money to sustain it. A marketing upstart sponsors their love game. Once set rolling, various agencies keep supporting their relationship through marriage, childbirth, kid’s education and the couple’s healthcare.

After their death their son, brought up on sponsorships, avails a benefit scheme to perform the last rites. The couple steer through their whole life on free lunches and the promoter is felicitated for his USP—the common man’s welfare.
An absurd idea. But the viewer brought up on idiot box junk loves anything that is parodical.

After losing its initial flavour, the stuff in the shiny wrapper turns out to be an unending chewing gum, which has to be stuck on to someone with a suitable message. Very selfish on the part of the parents or the entire generation, who having enjoyed the pleasures of their sins to the fullest, forbid their offspring to take the easy way.

This does not absolve them of their misdeeds. Every generation has the right to commit the same mistakes anew and then draw its own conclusions. We have been doing that for ages.

Perhaps the present generation is doing this in a more spectacular way. If for viewers and producers the lure of market is more tempting than values and virtues, then they ought to have the strength to find in it the way to salvation too. Aish, a musical, light and dance show that entertained to some extent failed to show a proper way out of the situation.