Of human emotions and the pain therein

Of human emotions and the pain therein

Theatre

Nothing can be more complex than human emotions. ‘Pain’ is the only feeling that sometimes gives us the courage to fight the battle of life but many a time, it also makes us bend in front of those responsible for our sufferings. 

Trying to depict these heart wrenching sentiments was the Films and Theatre society which presented lives of two women who are made to bear the pain, given by their own family members. 

Koobar aur Kaaki revolves around the lives of two characters – ‘Kaaki’ an old lady, who desires only to satisfy her taste buds while ‘Gulki’ who is hump-backed and has been ousted by her husband (who later comes to take her back despite marrying second time) is fighting a silent battle for survival against her own people.

The play starts with the struggle faced by Gulki, who is teased mercilessly by village kids and her own relative ‘Ghegha bua’ who asks for money for allowing Gulki to live in her own house. On the other side is an age old ‘Kaaki’ who always craves good food but has to put up with the rudeness of her daughter-in-law and son. 

As the story progresses, the feeling of greed and hatred of their family members begins to loom large over Kaaki and Gulki.

If Kaaki is emotionally traumatised by Budhiram (her son) and Rupa (daughter-in-law) to get property papers signed in their own name, Gulki, on the other hand, is harassed by Ghegha for money constantly.

Based on short stories penned by two most acclai­m­ed writers of Hindi literature, Boodhi Kaaki by Munshi Premchand and Gulki Banno by Dharamveer Bharti, the play - an amalgamation of the two, is a social commentary on human behaviour which is influenced by evils within, in the form of disregard of the old and physically challenged.

The play was recently held at LTG in the City and drew a houseful.

As the story gradually unfolds, it reveals as to why Kaaki always thinks about good food. It makes her feel connected to her husband, who was fond of eating food, but died due to illness at a very young stage.

Performed in pure Brij bhasha, director Atul Satya Kaushik has used satire to showcase the draconian ideologies of a society towards a woman discarded by her husband as well as a widow.

The play also portrays different shades of women and the reaction they receive from society. Gulki and Kaaki are women who have accepted pain in their lives but still have to bear the brunt of their families’ attitudes. Their behaviour is sharply contrasted with Satti’s, a woman who lives life on her own terms and supports Gulki.

Satti too faces emotional trauma when villagers question her character after she protests that Gulki should not be married to Bhupdev because he is already married to another woman. The play reaches an emotional end when Gulki is forced to go along with her husband and Kaaki is forced to eat food from garbage because she is denied food at home.

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