Lala Hardaul is a hero from folklores of Bundelkhand. The play directed by Balendra Singh, is a brief biopic of this strong warrior, and is based on a script by Komal Kalyan Jain. The folklore has been presented in its authentic language – Bundelkhandi, complete with accents, gestures and punches.
The play packs a lot of devices into one, the first one being the music. With a Harmonium and a Dholak, the play comes alive with Ranjana Tiwari’s strong voice everytime she sings. This biopic revolves around the innocent motherly love of Rani Champavati towards her brother in law – Hardaul. He is King Jujhar Singh’s step brother. King’s actual brother, Pahad Singh wants the throne and falsely frames the Rani and Hardaul for having an affair, which the king immediately reacts to and orders Hardaul’s death, to be sentenced by the Rani herself, if she wants to prove her innocence. The Rani does it, and the king eventually finds out that Hardaul was innocent.
This story is a very famous folktale, and Hardaul is a very honourable figure in a lot of states in India. Besides being brave, Hardaul also worked towards unification of Bundelkhand, throwing away descrimination and pushing for independance. After his death it is believed he served food at his sister’s wedding to help them meet the needs.
The play, amidst a lot of technical fuss and disturbance due to marriage processions, was so heartfelt that the audience could not leave their seats and they sat for the two odd hours to witness the story of this great warrior. Not to forget, the beautiful light design also contributed to some life on stage.