Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bikhre Bimb: An Eerie Ending

Bikhre Bimb has an eerie ending. You leave the theater with that feeling. Almost O'Henryish twist at the end only O'Henry writes happy endings. 

That said, It is a nice short Hindi play about 1.5hrs run. Girish Karnad deviates from his usual history based story writing to in this day play writing. A fifty something looking author comes to a TV studio for an interview to retaliate to her detractors who are accusing her of ditching her image of a Kannada writer, emerging as a Indian author who writes in English and the maiden novel is a bestseller. The overnight fame and her command over the language is something questionable feels the Kannada writers fraternity.

As she finishes her interview her alter ego comes alive on the TV screen and starts questioning her conscience about her writing in English and the origins of the story. The conversations of the author and the alter ego nudges her conscience and the story literally tumbles out. What starts as a light humorous conversation turns into deep searching questions that dumbfound the writer. Arundhati Nag plays both shades of the real and the virtual TV image with ease and honesty. Its a treat to watch her especially from the second row, every twitch of an eyebrow and shake of a hand that tries to rubbish the assumptions made by the virtual image glows in the spotlight. 

I am tempted to sneak this picture I share here and then the hawked eyed Gayathri Krishna (the co-ordinator), comes down to where I am sitting and frisks my iPAD, "Lets go" she says. I let her take away my new prized possession. I am embarrassed to death and trying to duck under the seats, realizing I was in Ranga Shankara and that was not possible. After a while I go up sheepishly to the last row stand next to her and watch the rest of the show from 60ft height.

Girish Karnad is one of my favorite authors and actors too. Love how he spins stories and the dialogues, in this play too he comments on the current scenarios of education, literature and relationships. Don't know if the charachter's husband is a co-incidence that he is from the IT industry. I did find that mentioning the IT companies in Blr. a gimmickry to please the audience in this IT hub that Blr. is or should it be said that art reflects life. That is but a small thing and plus it made this resident of that Industry smile at the mention.

In terms of being upgraded; there now I talk IT jargon, Girish has made leaps and bounds from history to present day technology, the alter ego speaks from an LCD TV. The props lining the wall indicate that it is a TV studio with panel mounted multiple LCD screens. Good to see that modern day theater has embraced technology. Yes I went to the theater after eons, hence my excitement.

Even though I was at a height and could not see the nuances on Arundhati's face, her body language conveyed so much. The bearing of a shallow woman, she a victim of parental discrimination, of the do gooder sister was awesome. She brought out well the denial of disharmony between her and husband, so typically middle class. The torture that she went through being witness to the blooming love between her sister and her own husband was almost palpable even in the last rows of the auditorium. This role is written for Arundhati Nag!

As she had walked in on stage checking out the studio and went on to monologue, my Dad whispered in my ear, "Marathi Hindi". Couldn't tell if that diction was again a bearing for the role or natural. It works to the advantage of the character played.

Easily an entertaining play that just builds on you and ends with an eerie feeling as you laugh with the real and the virtual images. "What was eerie about it?" you might ask. If I tell you everything that's a spoiler, go watch it at Ranga Shankara next when its playing. It's homeground for the actress and it was my first visit to Ranga Shankara in all these years in Blr. Love the ambience, the seating, it felt like I was an amateur natakwali myself.

At the end Arundhati thanked the crew, saying that we see only her on stage but there were so many behind this performance. It was flawless I must say given that technology involved. Ask us the users of VCON and Telepresence  what we go through each time we set up conferencing. Kudos for the team for that!

I was so excited when I reached Ranga Shankar last Saturday, was sipping coffee at their rustic cafeteria with Dad; I almost yelped on spotting Girish Karnad chatting away to someone at the entrance. My Dad tried to coax me to request a pose and a click but I was too shy. The graceful versatile personality obliged everyone in the theater by walking down the aisle and on to the stage, making this performance a memorable one for the houseful audience.


Original Kannada Script: Girish Karnad
Hindi Translation: Padmavati Rao
Actor: Arundhati Nag
Directors: Girish Karnad/ KM Chaitanya

Ticket Price: Rs. 100 (They should be applauded for keeping it affordable for everyone)
Venue: Ranga Shankara





Well in the end Gayathri handed back the iPAD to me with a smile, but her words will ring in my ears, "You have no idea what it takes to stand up alone in front of so many people."

I do understand and appreciate. Sorry for not abiding by the rules, Rasik lok aamhi ! :D

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anna Parabrahma,there is a photograph on your blog of a woman making chavlachi roti with another woman seated in the background. We would like to use this photograph in a video series we are producing. Would you contact me at jomarin34@yahoo.com so that I can give you more information about the video project and explain the scope of the permission we are requesting? Or would you let me know how I can contact you? Sincerely, Josh

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