Theatre vs cinema.
By Rachna Saxena
It was a different edge with all the great engulfing moments of plays .The yellow pagri that transported the audience one into the depaths of India’s culture. The singers in pink. The whole play was marked by precision.
The addition of folklore, good use of instruments came across well and gave a different meaning to the play. Welcome on board Suman Kumar the actor. The rapturous tone and the coming of the social saap to Albela’s marriage, the song, the analogy of the snake spoke many a times of that which was presented.
The snake as a precursor to golden asharfis jewels. It is the abode of the manthan ruling with grandeur around lord Shiva’s head. Indian mythology was beautifully created when the older snake meets Mahatma, which has become a part of Indian folklore. Of finding the real goal of life when he drowns himself in the eyes of the Mahatma seeing abounding love and his journey begins.
When asked to bite, the snake called dada remains steadfast to his vow that he won’t touch a human being. He becomes an epitoma of great joy and plays with the villagers. Ultimately he is taken for granted and begins losing his strength out of misuse and disrespect, then mahatma advises him that all he had asked was not to kill but he could use fann for his self defence .
Interestingly there is the idea of the folklore that mesmerises and then comes the strength of his grandson who Albela defends against the kaal balieyin – those who kill snake for their venom and meat. Telling that he would apprise home of a secret jewelled cave, Albela hides him in his tokra which had great sweet dishes. But the snake changes and resolve to kill him despite Albela saving his life.
Albela got married at when he was four. And after 24 years proceeds to receive is his wife has upon hearing his tragic story; wife counsels him that between life and death they can celebrate life or live with fear.
They ask justice from the buffalo and the tree stump who says that they should be killed. Finally the three go to a siyar who cleverly asks the snake to get into the tokara that Albela ji had, seeing they would not believe him the snake enters the tokara and with everything ducked inside the siyar closes the tokara.
Intelligent part of how India breathes into villages, the folklore is now a wonderful play as espoused, enacted scripted by Suman Kumar. He says he had the audience enthralled with his mesmerising performance in the first 10 minutes.
Know how the journey has been as Suman Kumar talks to us about his endeavour, his theatrical stint and the milestones he has achieved. He is the deputy secretary of Sangeet Natak Academy at the Copernicus Marg Mandi House.
Nugara ka tamasha – we know you write about topics which teach new lessons to the society what was your muse behind this play?
We know that theatre is a live medium. When we create a theatrical experience or dramatic experience, they come from the same society we create. It shows the society of which we are all a part, so society is there, aliveness is there, a contemporary human being is there. Nothing is uprooted in a live medium whenever we do anything on stage to become the contemporary voice. Whatever we are doing is new, nothing can be repeated. Only a film can be repeated.
This is the beauty of theatre. The person acting on the stage acts according to contemporary human desires and questions that we face in our daily life. We can take references from literature and epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharata, folklores, Puranas and the Vedas. When we take reference points from these texts there is simplicity and aesthetics then we have it form folklores and great epics.
How is theatre so different from Cinema?
Cinemas are not a live medium. They are made for one interaction to one although it is seen by the masses, they’re seeing the same thing.
In theatre, the director creates it, they do not shoot in pieces, they rehearse and everybody participates in the creation. Cinema is seen by the eyes of the cameraman dictated by the director.
In theatre an actor is standing with full strength and body. There is no close-up; we can cut back on by light but it’s three dimensional commands. People can give instant different directions and different responses while being live.