Jairangam 2014 echoed in street voices
- JWB Post
- December 9, 2014
“Kaise de sakte hain aap humein jawab kal, jab hum hain aaj!” echoed voices of the students of the Disha Foundation, a Resource Center for Multiple Disabilities. Parents refuse to take their son out because he’s on a wheel chair, while he is crying and begging them to let him see the world too. A sabzi waala mocks the child when he asks for some potato. A shopkeeper shuns the child away when goes to buy something… perturbed, agitated, helpless, upset, the child turns to the audience and urges them to accept him.
‘Hum Hain Aaj’ the street play, put by students of Disha Foundation, and directed by Mahmood Ali, was an eye opener for all of us who look down upon those born with disabilities. The message was simple and clear: a disability of any sort does not stop the one from fulfilling dreams, then who are we to treat them differently?
They laugh even more than we do, they dream more sincere and fearless than we do, they forgive the world more often than we do, then why the intolerance? The mockery? The negativity?
“Hum toh kabbhi nahi kehte ki humein ameer ghar chahiye ya Gareeb, humein toh chahiye bas dher saara pyaar.”
Calling their disabilities their pride, students of Disha sent out a beautiful message saying that it’s not our sympathy and condolences that they want but love, support and encouragement that they need.
This heart-warming performance was followed by yet another goose-bumpy nukkad ‘Budhapa’ performed by Asmita Theatre Group and directed by the distinguished theater director, Arvind Gaur, starring Shilpi Marwaha as the lead. The group dedicated to aesthetically innovative and socially relevant theater took up the issue of the Broken ties and the Old-age, this time. Demonstrating instances from our neighborhood, where children abandoned their old parents forgetting all about their sacrifices, their blood, sweat, efforts and blessings, the play showcases a plethora of emotions these parents have to go through.
An elderly man lamented about not being able to see his son’s face, a mother cried for her son who took away all she had and left her stranded at the airport, an 80 year old woman was dumped in the garbage, a father was given rags to cover himself in the cold, a mother-in-law locked in the room because she was not so ‘presentable’ to the guests… The group raises questions such as – “Budhapa akela kyun hai?” “Budhapa apmaanit kyun hai?” “Budhapa kone mein kyun hai?” (Why is the old alone? Why is the Old ridiculed? Why is the Old cornered?)
Why? Why do those parents who are ready to give out their hearts for our happiness, treated with such callousness?!
“Hum chalne lage, woh theherne lage. Hum dodne lage, woh khaasne lage”
The play shows, how conveniently we forget those who made us capable of what we are today. How we forget the ones who taught us how to walk. How we often forget that life comes back in full circles. How cold ruthless we have become. How we live in denial and ignorance.
“Ye play pehle shanti laata hai aur phir conversation, thought aur action trigger karta hai. (This play first calms everyone down and then initiates conversation, thought and action in the society) The response has been very very positive, in Jaipur. People here are very sensitive to the theater. We have had people coming up, confessing and realizing how they have wronged their parents and themselves,” says Shilpi Marwaha, the leading actress who has made a name for herself in the world of theatre and also recently grabbed roles in the Indian cinema.
“There will be many hurdles on your way but do not die before you die because nothing can be worse than that,” she says with a warm smile to JWB readers
The complicated script, knit beautifully together, left many teary-eyed. For some it was a moment of the self-realization, a flashback of past experiences for few, a lesson to remember for others, and an extraordinarily remarkable piece of art for the rest.
The seven-day theatre carnival Jairangam 2014 is open, and we can’t wait to share with you many more inspiring narratives. It promises to bring many wonderful women-centric stories. JWB will be your guide.
By Paiker Haq,