Drops of Joy ...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A queer mix of a bunch of stories by Vaikom Muhammed Basheer in a play at Ranga Shankara.

The play showers you with loads of joy and freshness for the sheer ingenuity of its presentation.

The stories selected from countless of them that Basheer wrote faithfully reflects the soul of his writing, covering various ranges of human emotions in a setting of his own. Translating his writing into another language is very tricky, as most of the time the soul of the story is intricately linked to the writing style and language itself. Sprinkling it with Malayalam dialogs was a nice touch :-) it kept the stories closer to the way they were actually written.

The play experiments with the various schemes available for a play write to convey the story. With dialogs, without dialogs, with its nostalgic music, the narrator in the middle of the story in which he is a character himself and more. If you think of it, you can't do quite the same thing with movies, as they lack the sense of directness a play brings to the audience.

And the play abounds with cheerfully clever ideas to depict various elements of the stories. A bunch of old tyres stacked up for a well, Basheer's gramophone - a strange contraption made from scrap, plates for the gramophone records, palm leaf fans for twigs that Narayani throws up the jail wall, a curled up red cloth for the fire lit in a gas stove, and a garden hose for the 'Vishwa vikhyathamaya mookk' and no Mookkan himself!

Theres obviously much more to a play than just acting!

It must be immense satisfaction bowing to an audience thats clapping so much with joy and admiration.