Pelican Entertainment brought to the city the play, Namaste Jai Shree Krishna on 02.09.17 at the Pearey Lal Bhawan, New Delhi.
The play directed by veteran theatre and movie artist K K Raina who also enacts along with the irrepressible Ila Arun and ably supported by Aditi Sharma, Ashutosh Pandit and Abhishek Pandey is a hilarious take on the conflict between old traditions and the emerging values of the new generation.
It takes you skillfully and humorously through the continuous conflict of the old and the new. It takes you through the journey of the youth not ready to accept old ideologies readily and the old not accepting the progressive view point of the youth.
The play takes you through a gamut of emotions from philosophy to humor to laughter to sadness and nostalgic at times.
The cast deserves a special applaud for bringing on each and every emotion beautifully across. A really rivetting play which makes you laugh and think at the same time. And the best part is that you just can’t stop applauding.
A treat for the theater lover. Not to be missed at any cost.
Aditya Chauhan, CEO, Pelican Entertainment said, “Theatre is that moon in my past which will glitter throughout my life no matter what profession I pursue. It is something that will help you to explore your personality better and I guess this could also be the reason that people after doing theater even for once can never really get detached of it.”
Massage is a play that really massages your emotions. No words can really express the roller coaster ride of emotions that one goes through while watching the play. From laughter, to the agony of struggle, love, betrayal, guilt, it has heavy doses of everything. The best and the most unique part about this play is that one single person portrays all these emotions and that’s none other than super talented actor Rakesh Bedi.
It’s a monologue and he enacts 24 characters in the play and each one of them is a treat to watch. The ease with which Rakesh gets into the skin of each character is commendable. His voice modulation, his walk, his gestures, his expressions, everything changes in a flash of a second as he walks in and out of one character to the other. I have been watching Rakesh Bedi in movies and TV serials and have always been an admirer of his effortless and spontaneous acting, but to perform alone, non-stop for two hours, without any scope of cuts and improvisations and play so many characters is another level. I truly respect him now as an actor after watching this show and I am sure anyone who ever watches this show cannot ignore the efforts put in by Rakesh to make this show a success. I saw the show last week and here I am writing about it after almost 10 days, because the show kept growing on me, there have been instances where certain scenes of the play just flash in front of my eyes and I long to see it again.
‘MASSAGE’ tells the story of Happy Kumar, a common man who comes to the big city of Mumbai with his pockets empty but dreams of becoming a hero. He passes through ups and downs, successes and failures, hope and despair, joys and sorrows, lanes and by lanes of the city. Rakesh Bedi’s enact of 24 different characters range from a Punjabi film producer to a South Indian actress and a Bihari politician. Happy Kumar leaves the film industry to become a gym instructor and then destiny takes a turn. The title MASSAGE refers to the massage of a person’s emotional state of mind. Though unable to realize his dream of becoming a hero, Happy Kumar is a happy loser. All his characters are noteworthy, but a few need a special mention. His portrayal of Kohli Saab, the producer with over the top Punjabi mannerisms, is simply amazing. The way Bedi changes his voice and his body language, you can actually visualize Kohli, a fat surd who talks loud, drinks a couple of pegs and gets emotional. Though Bedi doesn’t use a single prop to depict all of this, but you can see. His role as Minister’s PA, Pandey with his slurred speech is commendable and I think his best ever. The way he enacts scenes with so much finesse you almost forget that he is performing alone; you can actually visualize the entire scene and see other characters also. The scene where Heroine’s mother molests him in the music room, his walking up the stairs of his chawl, or massaging the back of Mrs. Kohli, every moment can be sensed, felt and seen.
Towards the climax, when Rakesh is reading a letter left behind by his wife Shanta, he exudes so much pain in his voice that your heart reaches out to him.
I feel privileged to not just have seen this show but also met this legendry actor in person where he shared his journey with this show that started 13 years ago. Check out what he had to say
Watching ‘Massage’ was really a massage for all my emotions and I loved it so much that I am eagerly waiting for it to happen again. I would like to thank and appreciate the efforts out in by 3 Bells Productions in getting best of the plays in this two day Mon – Key Shanti Theatre Festival and I look forward to many more events by them. Wishing them luck and 3 cheers for Mr. Rakesh Bedi.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.