Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ladi Najariya hits us hard and strong!

The third day of the 19th National Theater Festival witnessed a very energetic play, Ladi Najariya, based on ‘Dus Din Ka Anshan’, a story by Harishankar Parsai. It is a signature Parsai play, which pokes you at the right places quite hard and strong. It was performed by the students of FLAME School of Performing Arts, Pune.

Ladi Najariya is a story of a hunger strike, by Namya, the lead of the story, who is smitten by Savitri, a married woman. The hunger strike is to pressurise Savitri to marry him. Savitri, of course does not want this to happen. Baba Sankidas, who takes advantage of this situation and pushes Namya to go on a hunger strike, uses varied tactics to make this a national issue. The government, after a lot has been done, passes an order to force Savitri to get married to Namya. The short story by Parsai deals with a time decades back, and this play has become more and more relevant today. With this thread, the play takes us on the journey of intimate feelings turning irrelevant.

Directed by Prasad Vanarase and the Music by Sameer Dublay, Ladi Najariya attacks a lot of forces around us with the simplest tool – music! The Music is layered into several metaphors and the tunes remind one of the freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi and the abuse of his name. The variations of the song, ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ has been used very judiciously.

This play generates humour initially and suddenly takes the audience deep into the problems and the crisis which Savitri is trying to deal with. The music changes its chords too, with this sudden change in the tone of the play.

It runs for 1 hour and 20 minutes, and makes sure you do not feel it is that long. Every minute of this play is preciously crafted to take us through the emotional war which the protagonist is going through. The babas, politicians and even us, the ‘common man’ are not spared.

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