Reflecting on changing times

TRAGICOMEDY

Ekjute, a company started by Raj and Nadira Z Babbar, celebrated 30 years of its existence in the City recently.

Hosting a three-day theatre festival at the Ranga Shankara, the company started off by treating its audience to a tragicomedy called Begum Jaan. “When a theatre troupe lasts for more than 30 years it’s definitely a reason to celebrate. I am so glad they decided to start their journey from Bangalore,” said Arundhati Nag, who had come to watch the play.

Curiosity drew large. Many in the audience were fans of Raj Babbar and had heard how talented Nadira was. “They have a way of making one get a real feel of the character. I had read about this play online. So when I heard that they were coming to the City, I immediately booked tickets for it,” said Narayana, a professional.

The play revolved around three characters, an extremely famous classical singer of yesteryears, Begum Jaan (Nadira Z Babbar), who is regarded as a living legend; her grand daughter Zarina (Juhi Babbar Soni) and a journalist Sunjay Pande (Anup Soni), who comes into their lives with an intention to write a biography of the living legend.

Eager to tell the world about the real Begum Jaan, the singer starts to narrate many incidents of her life to Sunjay. 

Through these narrations, one gets to reflect on the changing face of India from its pre-independence days to its current state.

The relationships between these three characters showed how each individual is covered in various layers, and his or her true personality comes through only when these layers are peeled off. The remarkable portrayal of both humour and pathos by Nadira was one of the highlights of the play. “The play takes you on a journey of a singer’s life and at the same time, brings alive the culture and traditions of yesteryears that we are fast losing,” said Sandhya, a member of the audience.

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