|Early Times Report
Jammu, Sept 24: A moving performance of 'Kharaashein,' a compilation of literary creations by Gulzar on riots, was presented under the direction of Rahul Singh at Natrang in Natrang's Sunday Theatre Series. The play skillfully infused a strong sense of communal harmony and patriotism, leaving a lasting impact on the audience. The production received praise for its creative design, artistic craftsmanship, imaginative lighting, soulful music, and electrifying acting, showcasing the collective effort that went into every dramatic moment.
The play featured three different stories, all sharing a common theme, written by the celebrated poet and writer Gulzar. The stories included 'Ravi Paar,' 'Hilsa,' and 'Khuda Hafiz.' 'Ravi Paar' narrates the story of India during the partition. In the midst of religious fanatics on both sides, Darshan Singh and his family seek refuge in a nearby Gurudwara. Amidst the chaos, 'Shahni' gives birth to twins, but one of them is weak and has bleak chances of survival. Darshan Singh receives news of a special train from India arriving to transport people to safer places. Rushing to the station, he finds the train extremely overcrowded but manages to secure a spot on the train's roof for his family. In the darkness of the night, Darshan Singh realizes that one of the children is no longer moving and has passed away. As the train passes over the river Ravi, someone suggests tossing the deceased child into the river. Feeling helpless, he quietly takes the child away from 'Shahni' and does so, only to find her still embracing the lifeless child.
The second story, 'Hilsa,' unfolds in the home of a Bengali couple where 'Kanchan' is cleaning fish for their lunch. Her husband, 'Bhibhuti,' returns empty-handed from the market as he couldn't find a newspaper due to the riots. Somehow, a newspaper reaches their home, filled with news and images of gruesome riot incidents. The story poignantly links the pain of a girl who was raped and died while pregnant with that of the 'Hilsa' fish, caught when it was pregnant.
In the third story, 'Khuda Hafiz,' two terrified riot victims take shelter in a dilapidated place. Initially, their unfamiliarity creates hesitation, but their shared fear eventually leads to a friendship.
Natrang actors who delivered splendid performances in the play included Brijesh Avtar Sharma, Sumit Bandaral, Amit Brahmi, Sheryaar Salaria, and Vandana Thakur. The lighting for the play was operated by Aadesh Dhar, and Chirag Anand provided the music. The presentations were coordinated by Shivam Singh.