Ho Sakta…Do Kursiyaan: Hurrah! An original idea in theatre!

Posted by Kaahon Desk On February 17, 2016

“Ho Sakta Hai Do Aadmi Do Kursiyaan” is a sarcastic jolt to the huge expenditure made by the Government of India, Ministry of Culture to uphold and preserve the theater practicing cultures of India. The same theater groups mostly receive these grants over continuing years (at least in West Bengal) but the result has never been any indicator of any growth. The indicator line has always been stagnant when explorations of new forms and preservation of original Indian theater performing styles remain on the two axis of the graph. What have added are nothing but more spectacles and grandeur so that the grant givers can be mesmerized and the finance could be justified through expenditure statements necessary for audit and accounts. But, art as a venture for truth always digs out its own path.

With very minimal production cost, Mr. Vinay Sharma, could give to the audience a rich, thoughtful, experiential theater through his production “Ho Sakta Hai Do Aadmi Do Kursiyaan”. When each and every theater audience could feel that there is a dearth in new original concepts and script in Bengali theater, and most of the popular plays were either translations of non Indian languages or was based on a novel, Vinay Sharma could present an original text, original concept emerging out of the mundane everyday life of each and every common citizen, which is either missed out of habitual practices, or never been countered emotionally.

The theater starts from their title card, where they have mentioned their cast list, which says “Cast: Shakil Khan I Vinay Sharma I Two Chairs”. The narrative revolves around fourteen apparently unconnected shots, but all bounded by the human relationships. The props included just two chairs and a wind chime but eventually those became individual characters. The chairs were personified and their speech was not through uttered dialogues. Through performance, Mr. Sharma and Mr. Khan took the audiences as they boarded the flight of imagination to different spaces, and the chairs were the indicative representatives of those spaces. The same plastic chair could be imagined to be a company Director’s chair, and the space created through performance, narrated the story of human aspiration and financial ambitions. A tingling wind chime sound broke the audience’s trance and again took them to a railway platform, sharing the experience of shock and terror from an old coolie whose nostalgia almost strangles him whenever he comes and sits on an old platform chair. Little the audiences were preparing with a sympathetic pathos towards the actors, a sweet sound of bells took them to the world of suspicion and the pain of being suspicious. The same old plastic chair could be imagined to be in a drawing room, which brings suspicion upon a husband over his wife.

Thus, the play was a constructivist participatory enterprise which through performance brought additional loads on the cognition of the audiences. The audiences were never left to rest as a spectator but had to be a performer through imaginations. The imagined sensuousness that the chair created triggered their memory and they could relate to their physical experience. The play teaches us to look around. It reminds us that if the silent objects around us have already developed a relationship with us. Theater need not bang its head for big events, great histories, and spectacular funds. Live performance can vibrate the kinetic memory and thus we can hear the whispers of extraordinary stories of ordinary things and persons around.

Srijayee Bhattacharjee

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