Four stories weaved into one in dramatic ADA play2 min read
Manipal: Absolute Dramatics Addiction (ADA) weaved four stories into their last play for the semester, Pagla Ghoda, on November 11 at in the MIT Library Auditorium.
‘Pagla Ghoda’ is a famous Hindi play originally written by playwright Badal Sarkar. The play’s setting is in a shamshaan ghat (cemetery) where four men have come to perform the last rites of a girl. While the girl burns on her funeral pyre, the four men drink and play cards into the night. In the process, they also narrate their personal love stories. Slowly, the love-life of all the men is unearthed, barring one, who is too reticent to speak.
The play depicts the eccentrics of human mind as to how we keep ourselves from the cravings of the ‘true love’ and more often than not, by simple ignorance, negligence or even pushing it far away from us. The ghost in the background urges each person to tell their story throughout. As each character pours out his story to the audience, issues like abuse and, trafficking of women and discrepancies between the rich and poor are brought out raw to the audience.
The portrayal of women in this play shows the struggle they go through in life, like changing themselves for their loved ones in the case of Mili, silently going through abuse in the case of Malathy, or being mistreated in the case of Lakshmi.
“The ending was what took everyone by shock”, said Vinayak, a second year student of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). The climax revolves around the love story of the compounder, Kartik. The audience is introduced to his cruel fate in the end when he kills himself by swallowing poison as the girl he loves, the girl on the pyre, begs him to take her out of the flames.
Medha Katiyar stole the show with her performance of the role of the ghost of the burning girl on the pyre. Her exceptional acting was appreciated the most by the audience. “Her expressions and movements were so real, it was haunting”, said Kshitij, a first year MIT student. “I got startled when she entered from the back door. That was a great move by Sameer”, commented Radhika, a second year MIT student.
The lights and sound were done to perfection, the highlight being the slow flute playing in the background by Karan Vyas. There was no specific change in the plot from the original Badal Sarkar version. “We’ve included a lot of first years in acting and in the sets department too. It is good exposure for them. I’m extremely proud of the people who’ve helped throughout the two-month long process of putting up this production”, said Sameer Tyagi, director of the play, and a third year student of MIT. The play received a huge cheer of appreciation from the audience.
Edited by Manasi Susarla