A new play staged on the eve of Independence Day deals with the problems faced by children pressurized by their parents to achieve impossible feats. A review by Dilip Guha

To highlight parental pressure, a thought-provoking play presented by a students theatre group Articoll on the eve of Independence Day, brought to fore the stress under which modern-day children live. The play, Abinoshwar, staged at the Muktadhara Auditorium in the Capital, is the third in a series based on “youth struggle”.

Abinoshwar, which means immortal, is written by the Amra Kajon Theatre Group and directed by award-winning renowned theatre director Rabishankar Kar with co-directors Sachin Bisht and Janani Ray. It was presented on 14 August by the theatre group Articoll, a creative platform of the students of All India Centre for Urban and Rural Development (AICURD), an NGO that has consistently been pursuing its aim to improve the quality of life of marginalised sections of population through community-based programmes of poverty alleviation and socio-economic empowerment with added attention towards Elementary Education, Health and Training for income-generating activities, since 1985.

Talking about play to The Statesman, the director of the play, Rabishankar said modern-day ambitious parents are pushing their kids to achieve impossible feats with dangerous results. “There are many kids in almost every city, who suffer parental pressure. Every day the children are living under stress to prove themselves. This play Abinoshwarfocused on struggle of a student, pressure by teachers and parents. Through this play we wanted to spread the awareness about loop holes in entire system,” he added.

The play’s story line revolves around a teenager, Abinoshwar Majhi, who is burdened by his father’s dreams. He is forced to join the rat race to become a doctor and leave Banaras to live far away from home in order to pursue his training at XL Coaching Institute. The stark difference between the two worlds creates unforeseen and extremely disorienting circumstances for Abi. Gruelling long practice sessions, merciless thrashings for small mistakes or a poor performance was his order of the day.

In such a scenario, he succumbs to pressure although he emerges as a winner with flying colours but it is too late. In terms of performance, Akash Rajput played the lead role of Abinoshwar skilfully. Abhishek as Deveshwar Majhi, Asma as Kamla Majhi and Siddharth as Dr Pradhan excelled in their roles. Needless to say Soma Kar’s makeup and music with Rabishankar Kar’s light created a mesmerising environment at stage. At the end of the day, it was a heart warming performance by the artists of Articoll under the direction of Rabishankar Kar, Janani Ray and Sachin Bisht. the play is truely another feather in the cap of Articoll.

The theatre group is a creative platform by the students of Aicurd, engaged in promotion and practice of performing arts, especially theatre, among the younger generation. The group uses theatre learning as a tool for holistic growth and development. The group started highlighting issues of youth struggle with its original play Arthur, which was written and directed by Janani Ray. Simar, a musical short play, was their second production written and directed by Janani Ray. Abinoshwaris its third play in the series of productions based on “Youth Struggle”.