Staging outside familiar boundaries

Young actors

Hasratein, the dramatics society of Ram Lal Anand College recently presented a play Zindagi Countdown 3:2:1 in collaboration with National School of Drama (NSD) at Little Theatre Group (LTG) Auditorium.

Created by merging three separate plays--Holi, Chitthi and Picture Postcard--the play Zindagi Countdown 3:2:1 is a musical piece directed by assistant professor of NSD Dinesh Khanna. He says, “I combined three scripts to produce a new one so as to cover all the aspects of a student’s life. There are three types of students depicted in the play--the politically charged, the studious ones and the artistic types--portraying the rigorous life of a college student.” The play touches upon the social, political, and personal lives of the youth and shows the relation between hope and hopelessness in a student’s life. The play also highlights the hypocrisies that exist in the education system of India and is an eye opener for those who pretend to listen but fail to understand.

Set in the midst of a college campus, the play is a journey down the memory lane of students and also showcases student-teacher relationship, love life, hostel life and friendship. Also staged are the tribulations of ragging, pangs of depression, expulsion from college, politically charged protests, unfulfilled aspirations to gain employment and subsequent suicide.

Ratnakar Jha, who played two characters of Laloo and Neta in the play says, “It was a life time experience for me. I had always been interested in theatre but this play provided me with a platform to showcase my talent.” Could he relate to the play? Ratnakar says, “I was playing the role of a student hailing from Bihar and Dinesh sir told me to observe such students. This helped me to dress up like them.”

The experience was not just limited to acting. Vaibhav Chadha, president of Hasratein and assistant director of the play says, “The dramatics society of our college is pretty new in comparison to other colleges in Delhi University yet we were the lucky ones to work under the banner of NSD. We faced innumerable hurdles and thought we might not be able to perform. But now this show is truly an achievement for all of us.”

Harmanpreet Kaur, another actor in the play seconds Vaibhav. “It was my first stage experience and it was totally enriching to not just act on stage but to handle it all by myself. All of us were multitasking. This learning experience has changed me as a person,” she says.

A theatre enthusiast and principal of Ram Lal Anand College, Vijay K Sharma says, “It was the initiative of our students to collaborate with NSD to produce this play. Personally I feel that theatre makes youngsters more mature and enables them to understand life better.”

Shiv Kumar, who came to watch the play says, “The play was good and the effort that went into it was visible as there were so many characters yet they were all well synchronised.”

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