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MANIPAL: Mumbai-based theatre group Tamaasha performed their acclaimed play ‘Words Have Been Uttered’ on January 23 at the Gangubai Auditorium, Manipal Centre for Humanities (MCH), Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Directed by Sunil Shanbag and imagined by Irawati Karnik, Sapan Saran and Shanbag, the play is an assortment of videos, story-telling, poetry, songs and skits.
“The concept sprang from the idea that in large spaces, intellectual engagement is becoming more and more difficult. So, this is not a narrative of events but a narrative of ideas”, introduced Shanbag.
Of Mathematics and Mad Men: “What if the Earth was never the centre of the universe?”, asked Galileo, some 400 years ago. The exact moment of that astounding discovery was reimagined and played out that evening in Manipal. The performance was an extract from the play ‘Galileo’ by Bertolt Brecht, where the 17th century astronomer tries to convince his friend Giovanni Sagredo of his findings. The latter simply counters, “If that is true, then where is God?” || Photograph Courtesy: Aayush Sinha
Sex and Sensibility: Following the narration of a quirky tale on war, love affairs and greed, a few traditional Afghan poems called ‘Landays’ were screened. So-called “taboos” such as sexuality, womanhood and pleasure were boldly discussed through the recital of a collection of poems. The performers then sang Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’”. || Photograph Courtesy: Aayush Sinha
A Skeleton and some Satire: The audience shared a few laughs when all of a sudden, a skeleton was brought out and questioned for its actions in life. The satirical skit ‘Omar Khayyam’, originally written by the renowned Arabic short story writer Zakaria Tamer, is a dig at the modern society’s outdated mentality. || Photograph Courtesy: Sneha Chowdhury
Democracy and a Disagreement: Another moment, one that was significant in shaping this country’s future, was enacted out to the crowd. An argument unfolds between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Ambedkar over conflicting views on the issue of untouchability and what was to become the concept of reservations for minorities in India. ‘Ambedkar Viruddha Gandhi’ is originally a 1997 Marathi play by Premanand Gazvi. || Photograph Courtesy: Sneha Chowdhury
An Angry Question: ‘Dear Democracy’ is a Hindi poem written by Sachin Mali. Speaking for the common man, the poet, in his lines, asks “the largest democracy in the world” as to how he must satisfy his hunger. When the angry reciter finished, there was a long stillness in the auditorium before everyone erupted in applause. || Photograph Courtesy: Aayush Sinha
On the Totality of Things: When asked what he set to achieve when he began writing the script, Shanbag explained, “A lot of us are, by inclination, progressive. But as liberals, we often don’t look at the idea in totality, we don’t realise that it actually means so much more. We can talk about caste, gender and a lot of things but it’s all connected. You can’t just claim you’re only about, say, female sexuality. That’s too narrow.” || Photograph Courtesy: Sneha Chowdhury
After the Utterances: The play received a standing ovation from the assembly at Gangubai Auditorium. “It was unlike any other play I’ve seen in Manipal. Usually we get to see plays put out by students but it was wonderful to watch a performance by professionals. It was well-written and well-structured. I loved it”, expressed Bidisha, a student of MCH. || Photograph Courtesy: Sneha Chowdhury
Featured Image Courtesy: Aayush Sinha
Edited by: Bhavna Subramanian