Whenever the subject of God or religion becomes the theme of an art form — be it cinema, theatre or music — it either ends up being too preachy or takes an intellectual form not comprehensible by many. Rarely does a play like Kishan vs Kanhaiya emerge, that tackles the issue in a surprisingly witty, intelligent and engaging manner.
Actor Paresh Rawal’s satirical play will be showcased in the Capital on August 17. Organised by Sumaitri, a crisis intervention center for the depressed and suicidal, the play is about an atheist’s ‘battle’ with God. Talking about the genesis of the play, Rawal says, “We were disturbed by the huge money religious institutions make in the name of God, instead of it reaching to people who need it the most. Why are we not investing in human beings, rather than on a stone? These disturbing questions inspired us to write the play.”
Directed by Umesh Shukla and written by Bhavesh Mandalia, the play revolves around Kishan Lal, an atheist by choice and antiques seller by profession, who incurs huge losses when his shop is destroyed by an earthquake. And though he had the shop insured, he is told that he cannot claim insurance money as earthquake is an ‘Act of God’ and not a man-made disaster. In an act of desperation, Kishan files a case against God in a court of law.
Rawal says the play, and the movie that was made on the same script last year, has had the desired impact on people. “Many people have started giving money to charitable organisations, instead of giving to temples. And, that I feel is a huge impact the play and the movie have had,” says Rawal, who plays the protagonist in the play.
Catch it live
Paresh Rawal has won two National Film Awards in his career so far for Sir (1993) and Woh Chokri (1994).
What: Kishan vs Kanhaiya (play)
When: August 17,
Where: Siri Fort Auditorium
Nearest Metro Station: Green Park on Yellow Line