Monday, June 06, 2005

Art of the Matter - "Evam Indrajit"

Back to the office after a relaxing & refreshing weekend. Relaxing because I got to hang around (and re-live some moments of my student life) with a close friend who had come over from Bangalore. Watched a less-than-average movie called 'D' from the Ram Gopal Verma stables. The movie was a disappointment, because although advertised as a prequel to the much acclaimed Company, this movie actually lacked character-sketch, story-line, screenplay, direction and almost everything else that makes up for a movie-goer's delight. Did a lot of running around the city in the scorching heat. Still I call the weekend refreshing because of one reason; a reason that can be summarised in just two words.
"Evam Indrajit" (The English translation - "And Indrajit")

That is the name of the play, being staged by the theatre group Evam in Chennai currently. I got to watch the first show on sunday. It actually felt like a whiff of freshness, as compared to all the other stale entertainment options available in the city. The play itself has a very long history. The original Bengali play (written by Badal Sircar) was staged in Calcutta in the mid sixties. Critically acclaimed as a milestone in Modern Indian Drama, this play was later translated by Girish Karnad into English. The current version of the play has been re-designed, keeping the cotemporary society in mind. Thats why, instead of Sircar's Dhoti-clad middle class Bengali Babus, you will see the laptop & cell-phone carrying corporate workers in the play.

The play starts with the sutradhar (a character referred to as "The Poet") making an appearance on stage and introducing the audience to a group of four friends. Amal, Vimal, Kamal and (evam - the sanskrit word for and) Indrajit. The Poet is trying a compose a play based on the lives of these four friends. The four youngsters are in college when the narration begins. Then the story moves through their lives as they leave the sanctuary of their college and move on to the real world. The former three, without the ability or desire to question anything, accept life as it comes. They eventually get lost in the mediocracy of the middle class - marriage, children, good jobs; but devoid of any pupose in their lives. Indrajit, on the other hand, is different from the lot. He has the ability to think and does not give in to the rules set by the society, just because everyone else does it.

The execution of the play has been superb, the direction great and performance of the young actors is memorable. Especially the three main characters; the chief protagonist Indrajit, the poet and Indrajit's lady-love Manasi; scinillate in their respective roles. The play has an occassional comic scene here & there - which invariably are satires on our current living style. The stage design was simple & realistic; without using too many props. They simply use a slide projector and a small screen as the back-drop to portray the background. Other than that there is not much hanky panky, not much music - but still the audience stayed riveted to the seats.


The play does not have a conventional or continuous story. It does not have the typical ending (be it the lived-happily-ever-after or the tears-tragedy-separation type). The play ends with a simple message: "Keep walking - in search of excellence among mediocracy & in search of light among darkness". Here is a play that makes the audience think. Whether to be a part of the crowd or voice your own thinking? Whether to blindly accept the life that goes on and on in a circle or try to break out of the loop? The message of the play is even more appropriate for the current society - where everyone is running a mad rat-race, without bothering to think why he/she is doing it.

Watching "Evam Indrajit" made me wonder that the play is almost the story of my own life - staged in three acts.

5 Comments:

Blogger Saraansh said...

Hey Deba
I have linked to your review from my blog.Hope you had a nice time.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Deba said...

Thanks Saraansh. So nice of you. Please stay in touch.

11:25 PM  
Blogger //pukercense// said...

Yeah. D sucked allright. But i couldnt help thinking that Randeep Hooda should've auditioned for Shaun Of the Dead...hmmm...

or even an indian copied version...Shambu Of the Dead...would do...

4:04 AM  
Blogger //pukercense// said...

"The play ends with a simple message: "Keep walking - in search of excellence among mediocracy & in search of light among darkness". Here is a play that makes the audience think. Whether to be a part of the crowd or voice your own thinking? Whether to blindly accept the life that goes on and on in a circle or try to break out of the loop? The message of the play is even more appropriate for the current society - where everyone is running a mad rat-race, without bothering to think why he/she is doing it."


Spoken like an Aquarian.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Deba said...

Hey.. That was hilarious about the Hooda guy. Btw, Sazid Khan did a nice parody of that guy in a SAB TV Program.

5:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home