Dreams die first

A generation seeks refuge in defiance just to bear the burden of its own rebellion. This is the story of those for whom the cost of living life on their own terms is high.

Written by Shashi Priya | Published: March 11, 2009 2:29 am

With the issues raised by Elkunchwar in Garbo being as relevant today as they were then,Mohit Takalkar brings the play to the city stage

A generation seeks refuge in defiance just to bear the burden of its own rebellion. This is the story of those for whom the cost of living life on their own terms is high. Caught in the clutches of aimless wanderings and shattered dreams are four individuals and life becomes their quest to get rid of inhibitions that fuel the corrupt in them. And so high is the cost that in its vast expanse it swallows morals,ethics,dignity and above all their peace of mind.

Excavating the exhausted lode of realism,Garbo,the play by Mahesh Elkunchwar,which in the 70s was successful in pulling off the veil from the otherwise carefully shrouded reality,will be staged in the city once again,tweaked just a little bit to fit into contemperory times.

Bringing to the stage the class of young people striving to realise their long lost dreams is Mohit Takalkar and his theatre group Aasakta. Takalkar,who wanted to stage a play with the solid text from the 70s,feels that the conventional way that has been used to treat the revolutionary idea is what makes the play stand out. “Like in traditional scripts,the scenes have a proper end,middle and beginning. Dealing with a subject that openly talks about women being perceived as sexual objects and also gay inclinations whilst keeping the play in a traditional structure is what makes the play different,” says Takalkar.

Also,Takalkar emphasises on Elkunchwar’s signature style of giving many dimensions to his characters. “His characters communicate with each other in every possible way. Opening up half-completed phrases,bored cliches of everyday speech and carefully or inadvertently created pauses to expose the murky interiors of human mind,the charecters simultaneously conceal and express. His characters turn away from each other even as they desperately yearn to communicate,” elaborates Takalkar

The pivot of the plot,Garbo,is a woman in her late 20s who confronts her destiny but finally lands into trouble of sorts. An aspiring actress she ends up doing B – grade films,as life does not offer her too many opportunities. The three men in her life who eventually are with each other for the sake of their own interests initially perceive Garbo as a sexual object. “The plot is about how each character searches for the escape route — how in the first half,the three men bare their sexual urges in relation to Garbo,how later they are afraid to face the reality that Garbo is pregnant; how even in her pregnancy they look for their own salvation. Where Intuc,the intellectual,wants the child to do away with his morbidity,Shrimant wants the baby to cover up his physical weakness,” says Radhika Atre who plays Garbo in the play.

Speaking from Nagpur playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar says, “ Though the play was written long back I am hoping the youth will be able to connect with it because the struggles still remain the same. The same inhibitions still haunt us and the same frustrations instigate us towards taking wrong actions.”

(Garbo is opening on March 12 at Sudarshan Rangamanch)

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