A realistic glimpse of campus life

A realistic glimpse of campus life

Revealing Portrayal

A realistic glimpse of campus life

The life of a scientific research student was depicted in the form of an aptly-named play, Safar (journey), at Seva Sadan recently. Performed by the ‘Header and Footer Club’ of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), it gave a realistic idea of campus life, growing up and the (un)importance of fitting into society.

The play began with the protagonist living his dream of winning the Nobel Prize and having beautiful girls around him. However, he was brought back to reality and shown facing the various stages of entering a science institute — the fight over water to brush your teeth with, the merciless and irrational teachers, choosing the right company to hang out with and of course, the rare sighting of the opposite gender.

There were plenty of humorous instances and a lot of inside jokes that the IISc students in the audience seemed to be thoroughly amused by. The overconfident and egotistical protagonist who could not get a grip on reality was played to perfection by the playwright and director, Vyasa Shastry. The supporting actors also did a fine job — each one suiting his or her role well, with a defining characteristic about them.

“It was quite an interesting plot. The use of the stage as well as videos on the projector, instead of just monotonous acting, was innovative. The hero has done a great job with his acting,” says Revati, a member of the audience.

As the story progresses, Time (the narrator) gets deeper inside the head of the hero and shows how his perception of himself is a farce. Even when it comes to pursuing the girl he desires, he is unaware of the fact that he has little or no chance with her. By the end of it, he witnesses the death of his ideas and dreams and completes the full cycle of emotions, with only himself to blame.

Interestingly, the play also looks at the unfortunate stereotype placed on scientists of having thick-rimmed glasses and unkempt hair — and tries to dismiss it. “The outside world’s perception of scientists needs to change because a lot of students who are passionate about the field may be discouraged to take it up. By the end of the play, the protagonist finally realises that it is one’s work and personal satisfaction that matters, not the society’s approval.

That’s the lesson to be learnt here,” notes Nikunj Goel, a student of the institute. Vyasa Shastry, who made the entire production possible, shares his story of how the plot came about. “It was a small trigger. The IISc was facing a lot of problems in 2009 and those related issues are portrayed here. We wanted to promote people to do something about it and create a collective consciousness,” he concludes.