Saturday, June 21, 2008

Manto Ismat haazir hai!

Saturday, June 21, 2008
Last week, as a finale to the TIMES Hyderabad Festival, they had organized a Mumbai theatre group to perform plays based on the works of revolutionary and bold playwrights Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai and was appropriately named Manto, Ismat haazir hai( Presenting Manto & Ismat).

The plays were in Urdu (as they should be) and were well appreciated by the crowd. On my part, someone who is not well versed with Urdu( read the youth and the Gults), it would have been something of a disaster. Disaster because, the USP of the play was the language used, but as such I didn't find the play to be that great theatrically. The dialogue delivery was a little too quick for an amateur like me to understand, but I guess that's how it goes.

The story was quite gripping( if only I could understand it then) and dealt with social issues such as lesbianism, sexuality and war. And for A Woman of a conservative Muslim family or actually anyone to come up with something like that right after partition is something commendable.

But here's the interesting part, despite the just-above average performance, the hall was jam packed. At first glance it might seem like it was because entry to the show was free.

But there was something else.

The play was directed by Naseerudin Shah. And that really had the effect. It really did. What a crowd. Needless to say the management screwed it up by allowing people to enter through one door(when there were 4) because of the shortage of metal detectors I believe.

But I am pretty sure most of the people came hoping to get a glimpse of Naseerduddin Shah, but ended up merely expecting him and never really seeing him.

Advertising works wonders, especially if you attach a big name to it.


Atin Bhattacharya

Ooh! Theater! Culture! What happened to the thrash metal listening Kashmiri we used to know?


You're a bong saying that. Listening to Hip Hop while your people have Bob Dylan shraddhanjalis. :P

Peace and Love.

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