Pic source: 19brm.nsd.gov.in
Venue: Abhimanch, NSD
Date: 2 February, 2017
NSD’s annual theatre festival Bharat Rang Mahotasav not only brings various groups from India and abroad but also lets the audiences enjoy some of the productions of their own group National School of Drama Repertory Company. This year during BRM 2017 we saw one such play Aadha Chand written and directed by NSD’s faculty member Tripurari Sharma. Sharma has been associated with Bollywood films like Mirch Masala and Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa. She also introduced this year’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav to the media during NSD’s press conference. We always have high hopes from NSD’s plays and specially this one.
Aadha Chand deals with the contemporary times and the lives and aspirations of people who work in call centre / BPO sector. From the training procedure to maddening rotating shifts, the play covered the whole gamut of this sector and the lives of people who work here.
Though the subject is sensitive, Aadha Chand has the same problems that most of the Bollywood films suffer from – It’s OTT (over the top) in every sense of the world. Overtly long duration, lack of subtlety and loud song and dance sequences made us pity ourselves more than the characters on stage.
Moreover script needs more attention. The play only focuses on bad things of this sector. It never touches the facts that because of call centres, a lot of youngsters who are not even graduates are earning pay packages way beyond their expectations. The fact that call centre and BPO have generated so much employment directly or indirectly needs some credit. People from villages are moving to cities for such jobs. What are we lacking in our rural area that people have to move to cities? Why can’t our villages be self sufficient and have opportunities of making a decent living? The play just looks at the problem and does not provide any solution or an alternative for people who work in this sector.
The play is good in parts but could be much better. We liked the portion where one of the call centre employees was trying to save her relationship and simultaneously trying to crack a deal with a client. That sequence was emotionally charged and brought us to the edge of the seat.
Sadly, the climax is bad. A relatable story wound up in a Bollywood style ending with weird shock value.
We could make out the relevance of the name of the play Aadha Chand by reading the play synopsis in the brochure but it did not come across through the play. The play needs serious editing – we would have liked it better if it was short by at least an hour.