Kids translate Premchand on stage

HINDI LITERATURE

Kids translate Premchand on stage

A troupe of folk dancers from Rajasthan danced on the drum beats to keep the little ones engaged as the stage was being set for the presentation of plays by school children who participated in Bal Rangmanch Karyashala 2013 during their summer vacation.

Organized by Hindi Academy, Delhi, the month-long workshop (May 20 to June 19) encouraged children in the age group of 8-16 years to research and know more about the legendary Hindi author, Premchand. Nearly 400 school students from 10 schools in the Capital attended these workshops to present 10 plays in a festival of what can be termed as Children’s Theatre at LTG auditorium.

Metrolife got a chance to witness Nimantran presented by students of Rajkiya Sahshiksha Upmahavidyalaya, R K Puram. The performance began with a Ganesh vandna presented by a cute little girl. A young boy then made two boys masked as monkeys dance to his dumroo’s tunes. He made one believe that the play had started but that was only a prelude.

The boy then joined the audience to witness Nimantran. Though the story penned by Munshi Premchand is strong, it was loosely knit by director Kumar Veer Bhushan, perhaps for the convenience of children. A girl dressed as a granny narrates the story to neighbourhood children who try their best to memorise the dialogues and deliver them on cue. But this was so mechanical and so without expression that it took away from the story completely.

However, when the main characters of the story arrived, the play gained momentum. Boys and girls alike, held onto their expressions and built up the comic element in the narrative. Their efforts need to be applauded as they understood not just the strength of Premchand but also captured the quintessence of his short story.

The two boys who played Brahmins were rather adept, as also were the four wives of one of them! The boys dressed as women characters added to the humour in the story and their amusing antics though not always on time, did make an impact on the audience.

However, the extra-red cheeks of all the actors on stage, irrespective of the character they were portraying looked a trifle strange and took away from the realism of the narrative. Also, one of the four wives wore a skirt(!) making one wonder about the dress code in rural areas in the times of Premchand!

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