HYDERABAD: More than six decades after India attained independence, basic problems continue to fester in our society, despite impressive strides in economic performance and matters of governance.
Patkatha, a poem written by Sudama Panday Dhoomil in 1969 and featured as a lambi rachna ( long narrative) over the weekend at Lamakaan seemed to accurately reflect the angst manifested in our day-to-day lives, even back then, nearly fifty years ago! It is a bold attempt by debutante theatre group KissaGo run by Avdesh Jha and Hindola Banerjee, research scholars at University of Hyderabad. The work is essentially protest poetry of Dhoomil for which he is renowned and it exposes the rapid disillusionment of Indians with their lives and times. And this, barely two decades after getting independent from colonial rule. Having three male characters, each one morphing into various societal typecasts with ease and inter-mingling into each other’s roles to carry the momentum of the narrative, the 50-minute event was a retro tribute to the socialist era.
The ruthlessness of the new rulers in independent India, as they shamelessly cohabit and fight each other for the spoils of power and how every cherished principle of democracy is trampled under their ruthless pursuit of the throne, comes across forcefully in the poet’s writings.
The language is razor sharp and heavy with the ideological hang of the times that the poet lived in but seamlessly held a contemporary relevance as the game of politics has not changed much in our society over the years. The incestuous network of religion and business also rears its head in the proceedings – something which is a common happening now a days. The Hyderabad Central University had facilitated the rehearsals for this narrative, carried off with panache by three young men- Anurag Sharma, Jayaprakash Jha and Chandrasekhar who admitted that they had to tone up their Hindi language vocabulary and also brave the torrential downpour which made the stage a watery mess on Friday night.