Using Dakhani humour to showcase empty lives
Die-hard cinema patrons have been sated with the rapid influx of multi-lingual OTT offerings over the past one year and more, as far as their entertainment requirements are concerned
Die-hard cinema patrons have been sated with the rapid influx of multi-lingual OTT offerings over the past one year and more, as far as their entertainment requirements are concerned. While it has gone on to create new markets for Indian regional cinema across the world as their ventures are supported with sub-titles, the theatre lovers in the country have been deprived, by and large. This is because the same digital route to provide viewing pleasure for drama lovers has remained limited to a select theatre groups who have used online booking platforms to showcase their productions.
With public spaces opening up in Hyderabad ever since cinema theatres started functioning two weeks ago, the theatre circuit in the city also has started buzzing. Both online and offline offerings are now being made with a few leading ones using the hybrid route well.
The Atre Company is returning with its much-loved solo performance 'Salma Deewani' on August 15 evening at Rangbhoomi Spaces, Gachibowli in the city. Written, produced and enacted by BhagyashreeTarke, a known face in the city theatre circles and a product of National School of Drama (NSD), this is a delectable blend of Dakhani and the lonely lives of women in the Old City, who battle out all alone, not just their empty lives but also the societal pressures.
With their spouses earning their livelihoods in the Gulf and elsewhere, these women are left with limited choices to counter the boredom which creeps in apart from domestic hassles which are regular in many homes. 'Here is where Hindi cinema heroes and their escapist movies were a much-needed outlet' affirms Tarke.
As she adds: 'During my days as a journalist, I had come to know that some standalone theatres in the Old City of Hyderabad were full on those Fridays when Salman Khan films used to be released. It had a fairly large presence of Muslim women, who were clearly great lovers of his screen presence and the impact he managed to create was astounding.' Herself being a resident of the beyond Charminar zone of Hyderabad since childhood, Bhagyashree also had a ringside view of their day-to-day lives, the issues they spoke about in Dakhani dialect and the inherent humour which it was blessed with.
Working on this concept during her NSD days, Bhagyashree staged her solo acts a few times before the pandemic era in the city and received rousing response. She also got an outstanding support for this onstage effort at the International Theatre Festival of Kerala, a couple of years ago. 'On Independence Day, it will be the fifth show' she informs.
With minimal props and other add-ons, Bhagyashree aims to highlight to the audience the bitter-sweet lives of these women whose love for their spouses is equally matched with the intense dislike they have for many other things in their lives. Irrespective of the religious overtone, the fact is women across the world battling out as a single parent involuntarily face similar problems and manage to find one escape route or the other to beat the drudgery.