Day: August 22, 2016

Mon-Key Shanti Theatre Festival Day 2- Dance Like a Man

The Mon-Key Shanti Theatre Festival by 3 Bells Productions truly came as something that provided me with a lot of man ki shanti. Spread over two days, it showcased 5 of the top plays of the country. I am glad that I managed to see at least 4 out of those 5. Day 2 on MSTF16 showcased ‘Uproute’(which I missed), ‘Dance Like a Man’ and ‘Massage’.

I cannot describe my experience of both these plays in one post and hence I am dedicating this post to ‘Dance Like a Man’ and would cover ‘Massage’ in the next post.

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I am doing so because both these plays were very different from each other and yet similar, as they had a strong message to give out. They rendered me speechless and now that I have found my words, here is a gist of what I saw and what I felt.


We often assume that men aren’t the victims of gender discrimination, it’s only the women who suffer, but it’s not true. Men also go through the agony of proving themselves on the yardstick of masculinity. Mahesh Datani’s ‘Dance Like A Man’ portrays just that.

Mahesh Datani in ‘Dance Like a Man’ has very beautifully shown the Indian culture and the social issues that have been in the society since inception. The theme of the play revolves around ambition, career, relationships, family responsibilities and society, all against the backdrop of dance as an art form.

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The play tells the story of three generations; Jairaj and Ratna, their daughter Lata and her finace Vishwas and also using the technique of flashback, Jairaj’s father Amritlal. Jairaj and Ratna have a constant conflict with Amritlal, who doesn’t understand their devotion to dance and more especially of Jairaj. As per him dance is made only for females and no respectable man will ever pursue a dance as his career or profession. He feared his son becoming womanly and hence it was unimaginable for him to see his son dancing.

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Dance had different meanings for different characters in the play. For Amritlal it was only a hobby that too for women and men shouldn’t pursue it at all. For Jairaj, it was a form of self-expression, and he wanted to develop a career in it. For Ratna, dance was her ambition, she had these slight shades of grey in her character, like she married Jairaj only because he was a dancer, as husband and wife they didn’t share a very loving relationship. In fact she even joins hands with her father in law in destroying Jairaj’s career as a dancer in order to pursue her own dreams. Ratna not only curbs jairaj’s ambitions and desires by constantly misleading him, but also moulds their daughter lata into becoming a traditional dancer. Lata on the other hand, though passionate about dancing, but did not think of it as a means to earn money or fame. For her dancing was an art form that she loved pursuing as a hobby. She had a balanced mind unlike her parents. She was strong headed too, she wanted to marry Vishwas but did not want to give up on her passion for dance. In the beginning of the play itself she once asks Vishwas if he would allow her to practice dancing after marriage.

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It’s indeed a beautiful play that touches hearts and brings in light the plight of our society and poses a question on gender discrimination. Datani has shown that not only women but also men suffer the burnt of gender discrimination and are not allowed to follow their passions if they aren’t accepted by the society. The actors are commendable. Each one of them seemed in the skin of the character. But a special mention for Gunit and Paras who played the roles of Lata and Vishwas and also the younger versions of Jairaj and Ratna. How comfortably they switched themselves from one role to another, it was a delight to watch. Also the director Prof. K.S. Rajendran’s  control over the entire play is just amazing.

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Prof. Rajendran teaches at the National School of Drama. He is a well known director of plays in various Indian languages.
His directorial work ranges from adaptations of Shakespeare, Brecht, Ionesco and Genet to contemporary playwrights and authors such as Omchery, Shankara Pillai, Shiva Prakash, Tendulkar, Alekar, Kambar, Indira Parthasarathy and Lalit Mohan Thapalyal, besides Sanskrit classics by Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti and Shudraka.
He has conducted workshops and lectured on theatre in India and abroad.
His noted productions include MARAT/SADE, UTTARA RAMA CHARITAM, GirishKarnad’s WEDDING ALBUM, MACBETH, AURANGZEB and VIKRAMORVASHIYAM.


If you have missed out on watching it this time, plus do catch up whenever the show happens next, I am sure you will love it as much as I did. I am thankful to 3 Bells Productions for organising such a great theatre festival and giving us an opportunity to witness something as beautiful and meaningful like this play.

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Mystical Mondays-Short Term Pleasures or Long Term Joy.. What Do You Choose…? By Manoj Lekhi

Our Life is a result of the choices we make! When we look around in the world and observe people, we notice most people go after immediate pleasures for instant happiness which often does not endure for long. They indulge in short-term pleasures and in due course experience long-term discomfort in their life! You must be familiar with the adage SHORT TERM GAIN = LONG TERM PAIN!

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For example anytime we take a shortcut we may get instant results , but the pain we experience later is very disturbing. Take the example of a robber or a criminal who robs/cheats people. The gain is immediate but when he is caught and put behind the bars he is marred for life and that pain is very distressing! A short-term gain BUT a long-term pain!


Take an example of a business enterprise. Lot of people use shortcuts to climb up faster on the corporate ladder. The faster they rise for short term comfort, the faster they fall to an unpleasant long term pain. When we use incorrect ways to reach the top we do experience , short term gain that results into long term pain. There are many actors that reach overnight stardom with sheer luck. They are tremendously happy & joyous at the time. But when the fame disappears they are unable to face that. This of course does not apply to actors who have spent years and years in practice and gradually come to fame. One such actor that comes to my minds is Hrithik Roshan who put in a lot of effort in bagging his first hit.When interviewed he was asked, ‘How do you feel, becoming an overnight celebrity?’ He replied saying that this is not an overnight dream come true.What you see is just the outcome of years and years of practice which has made me famous today!


Life is not about shortcuts! Life is about taking the long route consistently with hard work and perseverance. It maybe painful and disquieting at the beginning but you will undoubtedly find peace and high divinity at the end. Lets take food for an example – people love to eat fried and junk food. It is very palatable and pleasurable but over a period of time it gives numerous problems to the digestive system resulting in ill health. Everybody desires the instant coffee!They consume considerable amounts for momentary enjoyment. Take drinking and smoking for instance. They give instantaneous pleasure but the damaging consequences to the body is known by all!. Now about Exercise. No one loves to exercise early in the morning. But many people take that effort of consistent exercise every day, realizing that the long term results is worth hundredfold.

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Many people ask me “What is the pleasure in getting up early every morning?”. But they later on realize its value as age catches up on them. I was one of those in the first 30 years of my life. I used to think why trouble the body so much? Reminiscing my foolishness at that time, I realize, I am now compensating for it. If we go the quick and shortcut way, we have to pay the price later on. If we go gradually day by day it will pay reap benefits in the long term.


With this experience and understanding we have developed a disciplined habit called – LiYA 1 hour. This includes vision book reading, setting your dreams and goals, being in gratitude , meditating and planning your day on a daily one to one basis. It is a very disciplined way which will pay rich dividends in the long run. But many people don’t follow it out of just sheer laziness or procrastination. The ones who follow it experience short term discomfort for long term comfort and fulfillment.


Take relationships also in this context. People want love instantly, but relationships is a process. It requires attention, energy and care. Just like the plant requires day to day water, manure, sunlight the same goes for the relationship which requires day to day nurturing. Anyone who wants a healthy relationship between two people need to work on it consistently. The same goes in the case of a marriage between the husband and wife both have to work on it consistently on a day to day, month to year basis.


About the Author:


Manoj Lekhi is a truth seeker at heart and a guide to thousands Indians all over the world. At the age of 25, he met Guruji Shree Rishi Prabhakarji, creator of the Siddha Samadhi Yoga (SSY) program. Under Guruji’s guidance and as his key disciple, Manoj Lekhi himself has blossomed into a Business and Life coach.

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He is a passionate trainer in areas like management and leadership development. He has been teaching management mantras to many corporate honchos for business expansion for over a decade. In the last two years he has conducted 250 programs across 11 cities and touched the lives of 15000 fellow Indians in India and abroad.

His passion for meditation and SSY has inspired him to adopt an entire village near the foothills of Pune. He has also started a school there inspired by the Gurukul structure. The Gurukul encourages community living and inspires everyone to become a contributing member of the society. The entire community stays, works, meditates, serves and plays together amongst the rustic dwellings and wide expanse of sprawling greens. Apart from this he is also the author of the books; ‘Your Child is your Parent’ and ‘ Money Wealth and Abundance’.

Manoj Lekhi’s love for Silence and Solitude makes him an obvious nature-lover. He loves trekking and loves taking a walk in the mountains and forests. Apart from this he also enjoys listening to the modern day Western spiritual and professional Gurus like Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer on one hand to ZigZiglar and Brian Tracy on the other.


To Know More Log On To: http://www.manojjlekhi.in/

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