Hazrat…Insaan Ka Tamasha (Based On Ismat Chugtai’s Story Voh Kaun Tha)

VOH KAUN THA? is a story not just about the current socio-political issues, it also delves deeper into the emotional crux of womanhood. But its treatment for dramatic representation is not based on just telling the story but using the story of the two misplaced children to actually show the imbalances and biases and of the society. Religious fixations are one thing but incapability to make choices in a society that is a domain of few people’s personal interests and manipulation is actually a tragedy for a common man.

Ismat Chugtai ended the story with Thakur sahab giving Rahmat Mai the permission to choose one boy. But as she is leaving, Thakurain’s deep pain results in a heart-stirring moment for Rahmat Mai where she decides to leave both the children with the grieving mother. A good emotional wrap-up for a brilliantly written story! But how would a Theatre group present this story, in these times of political bigotry, religious fanaticism and mass murders?

How would a theatre group handle HAZRAT…INSAAN KA TAMASHA seriously and yet be entertaining? What would a Theatre group do in the times of dominant media where news is Created and not merely presented? Whom would a Theatre group depend on, if not the people, the community where it works and the audiences it shares its creative urges with?

Theatre basically is for development. It is people-centered, participatory in form and it seeks to enable the voice of a partner community to identify its own preoccupations and explore its own social reality. Most commonly, Banjara has represented social realities and has tended towards the presentation of developmental messages though performance for community audiences who did not necessarily ask for these communications. We wish to therefore ask our community their pressing issues, their thoughts, and their ideas for the solutions for the existing problems they face or anything else close to their hearts.

Banjara today asks you all to speak, to Tell, to Share, to Create with us! Give us what you think we should perform on, what a Theatre group should bear as a social responsibility, what youth should explore and nurture, what the grown–ups and the settled-ones have shrugged off but needs to be taken care of?