Ideally speaking...

Debarati Palit Singh
Thursday, 10 May 2018

Theatre director Bikash Kumar talks about their upcoming play Ek Aur Dronacharya and how the subject is relevant even today

Each one of us has, at some point of time, made compromises with our principles and ideals, whether by choice, coercion or due to circumstances. Natya Junction Theater’s latest play Ek Aur Dronacharya, which will be staged on May 12  at Pt Jawaharlal Nehru Auditorium, Ghole Road, touches upon the same subject. 

The play was written by Shankar Shesh some 40 years back but Bikash Kumar Singh, who has directed it, says that the subject is relevant even today. “Though the story was written four decades back, it has lot of relevance in modern times — many of us have to compromise on our ideologies because of political and social circumstances. Several times, it so happens that we are stuck between sticking to our principles and choosing another path because of social pressure. This play is about that,” he points out. 

Talking about the subject, he says, “We all remember Dronacharya, the great teacher to the Kauravas and Pandavas. He was an idealist, who never compromised on his principles but because of family pressure and manipulations, in the end, he had to. There are two parallel stories running in the play, one of Dronacharya and the other of a college professor Arvind, who just like the ancient guru, doesn’t want to compromise on his ideologies but is forced to do it.” 

Elaborating further, Singh says, “Arvind catches the college owner’s son Rajkumar cheating in exams. Though initially he is firm about speaking against the culprit, later the owner offers him the post of principal. His own wife manipulates him in accepting the post and not going against Rajkumar. He compromises again when Rajkumar is attempting to rape a girl in the college —he keeps quiet for the sake of ensuring a better life for his family.”

Singh says that both the stories highlight how a person has to compromise for the sake of family. “An important character in the play is Biplendu, who comes into the story as a spirit. He was killed because he stood by his principles. He has conversations with Arvind and raises some important points. He points out that a man should stand by his principles only if he has the ability to do so till the end, otherwise these ideologies have no value,” he says.

Did they make any changes in the script? “No, ” says Singh and adds, “We haven’t made changes because the story and language, both are contemporary. There is no melodrama in the story or the language and today’s audience will be able to connect with it,” he says. 

The group had staged the play in 2013 in Pune and they had received a standing ovation, says Singh. 

And were there any challenges while working on the production? “The biggest challenge was to get actors who can speak fluent Hindi. We had to train the actors so that they could speak neutral Hindi,” he says.

ST READER SERVICE
- Catch the play on May 12 at 5.30 pm at Pt Jawaharlal Nehru Auditorium, Ghole Road, near Balgandharva Chowk, Shivajinagar
- Tickets available on www.bookmyshow.com

Related News