Cover pic source: Play listing Copyrights: Aganpakhee
Venue: India Habitat Centre
Date: 30th April 2017
Theatre is a versatile medium. It makes the audience laugh. It makes them cry. And it makes them think.
Amavas se Amaltas, written and directed by Smita Bharti has a little bit of all three. It’s about a retired judge and her crusade against issues such as human trafficking, autism, bonded labour and children in hostile circumstances. The heavy issues are dealt with a light hand. The dance, music and comedy moments sprinkled throughout the play provide welcome relief from the heavydifficult subjects that are touched upon here. We loved the Bollywoodish approach that makes actors break into a jive in any situation.
The play has a stellar cast – Jayati Bhatia, Ssumier S Pasricha, Ankita Bhargava and Chitrashi Rawat. We have loved Sumier Pasricha’s Pammi Aunty and wanted to see him in this new avatar of an autistic person. He reminded us of Dustin Hoffman in Rainman and the act tugged at our heart strings. Chitrashi Rawat as Khushi, the exploited teenage girl, was a bit over the top but perhaps that was the idea – a sure shot way to drive home a point. Ankita Bhargav as the corporate lawyer daughter lived up to the requirements of the character.
However, the play was completely shoulder by Jayati Bhatia. As the retired judge she took the audience through a platitude of emotions – authority – helplessness – motherhood – ailment – courage – to name a few. The audience laughed and cried with her. We had seen her in a fantastic role in Vagina Monologues. Here, once again, she was at her acting best and we salute the thespian in her.
In tune with the Bollywood hangover, the played ended with a song and dance sequence where the actors came among the audience and danced with them. They succeeded in breaking the heavy atmosphere in the auditorium and made us realize life is not so bad after all.
Amavas se Amaltas a short play, about one half hours. Even if one is not a regular theatre person, this play is worth a dekko. It holds a mirror to the society and makes us reflect on how we are placed in this system. As they say in the play, Amaltas is a flower that blooms in the heat of summer. Amavas se Amaltas therefore is a tale of hope – a story we can all advance in some little way through our lives.