The scorching June afternoon does not deter the actors and director of Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA) from getting their act together for the repertorys new theatre production,Munna Ki Wapsi. Based on Rabindranath Tagores story,its a production that has been on GS Chanis mind for a year now. Tagores amazing ability to bring out the uncommon in the common man has always fascinated me as a reader and as a theatre person,so this is CEVAs tribute to him, explains Chani. Working on the script along with the director of the play,Chandreshekhar,says Chani,was an enriching experience,as it unfolded so many subtle nuances that Tagore effortlessly weaves in his works,including the crucial role that nature plays in his stories.
Munna Ki Wapsi is the story of Raicharan,a domestic help who has been with a family for three generations. He has brought up the master of the house and is now the primary caretaker of the masters baby,fondly called Munna. One day he takes the little boy for a stroll and goes to collect some flowers. When he returns,the boy is missing from the pram. The river has sucked in the boy,and Tagore creates an arresting visual with words,which is a challenge to get on stage, says Chani. Raicharan is accused of kidnapping the boy,and is kicked out of the job and the city. He moves to another city and is blessed with a boy soon after. When the boy turns 14,Raicharan takes him back to his masters home,who is now a judge. He tells his master that this is his son,the one he had kidnapped. The boy feels cheated that he has been denied a comfortable existence by Raicharan. He tells his new father to let go of Raicharan and send him some money. The story ends with the money order not received,as there is no one at the given address, says the director. The play is replete with live music,with Kabirs dohas unfolding the intricacies of relationships. There is nothing black or white,good or bad, says Chani,who will stage the play later this month.