The amateur artistes of Wings Theatre Academy enacted short stories by eminent writer and poet Gulzar at St Kabir School Auditorium, Sector 26, Chandigarh on Saturday.
Directed by Zubin Mehta, the characters re-lived the era of mid twentieth century including the period of partition that has left a scar on the heart and mind of writer Gulzar which he has always tried to express in his writings.
The opening story ‘Ravi Paar’ is about the migrants during the time of partition. A story of a Sikh family that loses the newborn babies while crossing river Ravi. The situations depicted brought alive the pain in the hearts of those who witnessed one of the biggest tragedy of modern history.
Next story ‘Kaagaz ki Topi’ delves into the innocence and playfulness of a child. The story of a boy Mohan who loves to make toys out of paper especially ‘kagaz ki topi’ (paper cap), his fondness for his friend Munni and their reunion after a gap of twenty years. The teenage actors were successful in portraying the old fashioned romance that is in complete contrast with today’s digital era.
The next narration ‘Haath peele kar do’ was a story of a girl Malti who falls in love with a lorry driver. The boy is mistaken for a thief while he tries to meet his lover and eventually gets killed. The sorrow-stricken Malti is then married to another boy as it was the destiny of a girl to get settled in a strange family. Malti’s yearning for her lover can be rightly explained in the lines ‘tumhare saath bas ek din kharch karne ki tamanna hai’ (I wish to spend a day with you). It was heartwarming to see young actors touching the sensitivities of human mind with a mature approach.
“I liked the story ‘Ravi Paar’ in the first instance and had to bring today’s children to that plain, said Mehta. “It was good to unveil the world of wonderful stories to the children in their own language,” he added.
The last story ‘Dhuan’ throws light on the age old Hindu-Muslim conflict. It depicts the struggle of a Muslim woman who wants to commit the last rites of her husband according to Hindu custom as it was his last wish. The woman faces defeat at the hands of religious fundamentalists and gets killed in the end. The musical score by city -based musicians Meher Mastana, Rishi Ranjan and Abhinandan, among others, aptly complimented the saga of mid twentieth century.
Students of different schools played their roles to perfection, keeping the audience glued to their seats.
Budding actors Abhimanyu, Raunaq, Anshuman, Pratul, Darshan, Shobhika and Medha gave moments that were romantic, sombre and ironic and lastly giving the audience a reason to smile with enriched hearts.