Monday, August 27, 2007

Neem Hakeem Khatra-e-Jaan

There is a new marking system for this play. It will be in kilometers. I cycled 15+15, 30 Kms (Chandanagar to Banjara Hills Rd. No. 8 and back) to watch this play. Dont ask me why. I just did it (and now 'feeling' it!!). So whatever Kms I give will be out of 30. That means that is the effort I would have put to watch the show, for what it was.

Overall the play gets a 17 Kms. A little below 60%, falling just short of first class.  Neem Hakeem Khatra-e-Jaan is a an adaptation of an english play The doctor despite himslef which is a translation of original French play Le Médecin malgré lui by Molière.

The play is set in Hyderabad I guess. The central character is a good for nothing drunkard, Nathulal Bankepuria who has lost his job as a compounder with a doctor. He has been in this job for 6 years. He has a wife who always troubles him or vice versa but there are always quarrels. To get back to him, his wife convinces two courtiers of a deewansaheb that he is a Hakeem . These courtiers are in search of a doctor who can cure the Deewansaheb's daughter (Sharmili) who is blabbering nonsense. The girl is actually pretending to do so because her father is not allowing her marriage to the love of her life only because he is not as rich as the other option. The courtiers are told to bash up Nathulal till he agrees that he is a hakeem. He does so out of fear and expecting a good reward on possibly curing Sharmili. On seeing the patient, Nathulal starts making up stories about some imaginary diseas. He later comes to now the reality from Sharmili's lover. He arranges their eloping by disguising the lover as his student. The end is happy as the lover's rich uncle dies and he is formally married to Sharmili.

As you can see that this play is a farce. Some of the things I personally look out for in a farce are pace, flexibility and comic timing. Scripts in farce arent so great. Actors and directors can do wonders although. In NHKeJ, they tried sincerely, as they always do.

For me, the find of this play would be George (25Kms), who plays a small role as one of the two courtiers speaking chust Hyderabadi lingo. He has impeccable comic timing. Nobody on the stage matches him. For me he even overshadowed the main protagonist. I would experiment by giving him the main role for at least a show.

Sandeep, who played the main charater of Nathulal (15Kms), is a full time actor. But comedy doesnt seem his forte. He was wild, whacky and creative. But I looked out for timing and flexibility. It was there in meager proportions. I have seen him act in Otherness of the body and in their short film Vicharon ka Achar. he did a pretty good job in those places. But he wasn't the best here.

I am sorry I forgot the character as well the actor's name, but Nathulal's wife would win my second prize (20 Kms). She has a personality and a voice to suite farce. And she used it in style.

Other roles were comparitively small and did not leave an impact on me. 

As far as adaptation is concerned Niyati did a good job for a first timer (18Kms). Some things that appealed to me were the name and the discription of the imaginary disease Sharmili has caught. WHat did not appeal to me much was that she could not give a geographical location to the play. Everyone was speaking a different language and place was not cosmopolitan. This is something that even the director/actor can imbibe into the play.

The direction was scatchy at times (18Kms). Having such young actors, one could have put their physical abilities to test. The casting was probably driven by who could give maximum time to rehersals (which I think is pretty normal considering that not all are full time actors). There was no music. Music could have added a totally new dimension to the play and could have made it more interesting.  

Response wise, comedies are always crowd pullers. Sutradhar can bank on this to produce some fine comedies and take forward the theatre revolution they are heading in Hyderabad. I hope someday lots and lots of people will cycle more than 30 Kms to watch a Sutradhar play and will be glad they did it. 

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bombers..dimaag bech ke aaye ho kya??

Hyderabad got bombed, again yesterday. Around 40 civilians are expected dead. My Baba asked me if some militant organisation has taken responsibility. I am not sure about the organisation, but am sure it is headed by one hell of a moron. He seems to have no hint of a brain in his head.
Why then would he decide to kill Indian citizens. I am not going to argue like a socialite saying it is inhuman to kill innocent civilians. But I have a case for him. Obviosuly some one is trying to make a point to the government through these bombings. But what is the purpose of the bombings? Does he expect the citizens of India to rally behind the goverment to meet his demands? Arre bhai, we cant make the goverment do something for us, how can we make them do something for you? And if you want us to represent your demands, what are they? Who are you? Let us know each other well and then we can have a deal.
Or does he expect that the goverment will be touched, moved by these killings (although ministers claim that happens), and they will fulfill his demands. Oh come on boy!!! There are hundreds dying in this country as I type this post. Does it remotely look like our government cares for them? NO.
Then what do these bombings do other than wasting your time? Hit the nail on it's head buddy. Pick a few misters, kill some, kidnap some. Then you will be on talking terms. Then the other ministers will listen to you. Ask for a new state, nation, continent, planet. Any fucking thing you want.
You seriously need a consultant!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More on happiness

Sometime back I made a post titled "Happiness sale and other things". I got a comment from my friend Sumit on this post. It seems there are many people who are questioning their own definition of happiness. In my opinion its our entire generation. Some may come forward and agree to it. Some, choose to ignore, push it under the carpet, come to terms or simply give up.

Happiness as we all would agree is relative. What can make me happy may not make you happy. So what is the difference between you and me that makes us happy by different things. In my humble opinion, the answer is Maslow's hierarchy of needs .

A person will be happy because of an event depending on where he is in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. A hungry person will be happy if he gets food, a jobless person will be happy to get a secured job. We need to identify our position in the pyramid and strive for what we don't have. The achievement of that will definitely make us happy.

In my opinion what we are trying to do is gather things that we have already achieved from the bottom of pyramid. For example, we have clothing, but we buy more and more of it. The marginal happiness we gain out of buying clothes has gone down substantially. The purchasing power of our generation has gone up substantially. So now, buying anything cannot make us happy any more. We have passed that portion of the pyramid.

Where we are currently, in my opinion, is the top two portions. We need to be acting on Esteem and Self-actualisation. Morality, integrity, confidence, achievement are some of the things we should be looking at. Being an ethical citizen, solving bigger problems for the society/country, striving towards a un-corrupt society are some of the things our generation should take up. This will definitely give us happiness. More than what Happiness Sale upto 50% off can give us.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The question to loners in AC Cars

Do you ever feel guilty? We all curse the polution, we all curse the traffic congestion and we all curse the rising fuel prices. But have you ever given a thought to the fact that you are the root cause for it? Because you think it is un dignified to take public transport. Because you think you are so busy and your time is so valuable that Car Pooling is a dumb idea. A car is for four, and you are underutilising it by travelling alone.

If any of a loner in a car is reading this, I challenge them to give me 5 logical and worthy reasons that  makes one chose a car for daily commute and not share it with anyone. Remember that these are the reasons you are chosing car over pollution, health & traffic congestion.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happiness Sale and other things...

First thing first! I am using an unconventional way of blogging here. I am posting this feed by writing a mail to certain id and I think thats cool! :-)
This was a pretty good weekend. I was busy and relaxed on both the days in just the right proportion. Feels goooooood!
Now about Happiness Sale. Hyderabad Central, the shopping mall has a happiness sale every now and then. I went there ones, say 6 months back and bought some things I did not want. That, I think best describes what our life has come to. Our happiness is now driven by Sales, discounts and offers. A software professional couple earning more than half a lakh a month, staying away from their parents, having given up their passions and interests for a 'career' have only deals and offers to look up to. Is that all that makes us happy? Maximum stuff for less? Getting maximum 'things' for our money?
What makes you happy?