Monologues delve into solitude

Stage craft

Monologues delve into solitude

The stage is bare and a dim light is focusing on the centre. Suddenly the sound of moving traffic fills the stage.

Actor Raju Singh enters and begins his monologue with words. He narrates Satayjit Ray’s Bijuka, a short story, revolving around an encounter between a writer Mrigank Babu and a scarecrow. It shows how a scarecrow standing in open fields is only good to create fear in birds and animals but has no existence of its own. But here, the scarecrow Bijuka creates fear and forces Mrigank to divulge a mistake - of accusing his servant of stealing his gold watch and throwing him out.

Bringing alive this fear factor which haunts Mrigank in solitude, Drashta Theatre presented a collage of three monologues Bijuka, Dhup Ka Ek Tukda and Dedh Inch Upar written by Satyajit Ray and Nirmal Verma. For a single person to handle the audience with words might not be an easy task, but Raju through his intense and theatrical voice, with all the variations, was successful in doing that and made the narration move in a seamless manner.

Gripping the audience, the monologue created a palpable stillness in the air. Infront of the awestruck audience emerges Aanchal, narrating Nirmal Verma’s Dhup Ka Tukda. It revolves around a woman who has been separated from her husband. The monologue throws light on her pathos, memories and the trials and tribulations in her life and points to her search for hope and sunshine in her life. It was a continuous and non-stop recital, with suitable modulations and variations.

She utilised the space in which she moved to communicate with the  audience. The narration took the form of creating images through sound and action.

The third act of the monologue was on Nirmal Verma’s Dedh Inch Upar.  Praveen Singh who played the role of an old man did not know whether his wife is alive or not because he had not witnessed her death or burial. Nor did he know that she was involved with a terrorist group. One day, police raids his house and he comes to know about his wife's terrorist links.

“We tried to present solitude the same way as expressed in Nirmal Verma’s and Satyajit Ray’s stories. The monologues are written in a lucid language to show the common factor between the three main stories and that was solitude. The fear factor at the time of solitude has been very well represented in Ray’s narration that easily generates a feeling of shock, horror and weird feeling by the time we reach the end of the story,” says Rajesh Bali, director of the monologue. 

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