Curtain Raiser Press Release 

5th edition of Au-Jairangam from 21 to 27 November

Jaipur, 16  November : The forthcoming annual theatre festival of Pink City, ‘Au-Jairangam’, has a variety of  Solo plays in store for the theatre lovers. As many as 4 Solo plays will be staged as a part of the weeklong theatre festival. These are – ‘Lal Ded’ directed by Meeta Vasisht, ‘Paul Gomra’ by Santanu Mallick, ‘Ela Didi’ by Subhendu Bhandari and ‘A woman alone’ by Arvind Gaur.

Lal Ded is a theatrical collage of poems, songs, thoughts and philosophy of the medieval poetess Lal Ded from Kashmir. Revered and loved for 700 hundred years, right upto the present day, her poetry and life has also found a resonance amongst people from other parts of India. Her poems or vaakhs were short and pithy and they resonated secular values transcending the narrow confines of caste and religion that had crippled India in those times. Everything about LAL DED -her life, her vaakhs, challenged dogmas and ossified perceptions.

‘Paul Gomra’ is the story of a Hindi poet who works at a newspaper in New Delhi. Born as Ram Gopal Saksenaa, the protagonist changes his name to Paul Gomra as his original name seems “backward, narrow minded and lower class” in the changing times of globalization. Thus he takes the “Pal” out of Ram Gopal and made it “Paul” and the remaining “Ram Go” turned into “Gomra”. Since all the people around him begin to travel in cars, he also buys a scooter. The scooter, however, seems to be of no use as he does not know how to ride it.

Ela Didi revolves around a girl called Mukti who has a talent of telling stories. She is burdened with expectations and constantly compared to Ela didi. Ela is a pretty, educated, intelligent one known as Ela didi of Mukti. Mukti grows up hearing of comparison all the time with Ela. The unachieved desires of parents come upon the children like Mukti and they tried hard to be so from the childhood, making it their motto of life. Every child have a philosopher, Mukti had her own elder brother ‘Dada’. He also suffered like Mukti. Mukti never realised her brother’s philosophy. Their aim is to be a photocopy of Ela didi. She wants to be Ela didi –the neighbour, Ela didi-the singer, Ela didi-the heroine or at least Ela didi.

A Woman Alone narrates the story of a housewife, who is in an abusive relationship with her jealous husband who has locked her up in her own home. As a dutiful housewife she goes through the dull drudgery of daily chores. She is pregnant and looks after her perverted head to toe plastered brother in law, fights with the peeping Tom and deals with dirty phone calls. Her daily life is driving her to madness.

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