User:English Honours DDUC/Unraveling Soi subah ki khoi dastan

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Soi subah ki khoi dastan

True education unites...or divides?

With young,innocent school kids as the protagonists and the opressive society as antagonist,this seemingly simple play has several complex,thought-provoking themes interwoven within it.While on one hand,it is a celebration of the youthful innocence of children,as they take flight in their imagination,travelling in their dream world of perfection,where they can shape and reshape their ambitions.On the other hand,it also paints a gory picture of a world where there is no hope and the children have no option but to "fall in line".The play also invokes us to think about our very existence in a society which does not 'let us be'.The child is torn apart by these conflicts which can prove dangerous,as many are not able to cope with the stress and commit suicide.In the play,the character "ummeed" loses all ummeed and attempts to reconcile himself only through death,searching for the elusive,ideal world,symbolised in the play by the white flying bird.

The play is on the lines of Dario Fo kind of theatre,which is created out of issues concerning common,ordinary people with the aim of bringing about a change.That is exactly what this particular play looks to incite.

Several meaningful questions arose as the play progressed,some of which are:

  1. Is education meant to create divide or bridge the gap?
  2. what do we do in a world which does not let us live our lives the way we want to?
  3. Are we putting undue pressure on the kids?
  4. Is it fair for parents to see their future in their children?
  5. Shouldn't the elders behave more responsibly?
  6. Is there 'ummeed' left?

These are some of the questions that the play raises.

The core theme becomes more pertinent if we consider the immediate reality surrounding us- The authorities are trying to induce foreign universities to set up their shops here,by introducing the unpopular semester system in the undergraduate courses of the Delhi University.Thereby,creating an environment where only the rich get access to education.This is also contradictory,given the fact that the Indian government recently passed a law making Right to Education compulsory for all.

It was refreshing,as a viewer,to see a play with such a serious theme have lots of fun elements in it, which made sure that the play conveys its message across without being too heavy on the viewer.Also one would expect 'fun' to be a part of growing up years,when the mind is still away from the terrible influence of the corrupt world order.But it almost comes as a shock when we realize how quickly the children in the play seem to have grown up ,trying desperately to create space for themselves.

The characters in the play deserve a special mention,for trying their best to portray the conflicts and the dualities arising in a competitive,ruthless world.While all the actors played their part competently,i would just like to mention some of the people i know for want of time: Bhavna,very subtly yet poignantly portrayed the fear that possess all children very early on in their lives-whether to listen to their hearts or do what others want them to do.The angst and trauma that the child undergoes was shown nicely by her. Ruby is the surprise package just like she was in Gulgulee Circus.She has really transformed herself,from being a shy,reserved girl to this expressive,powerhouse performer. Ghazal was at her spontaneous best. Abishekh advocated letting children be themselves,doing things they wish to do and is a voice against the forces that curb this.He is a free bird,so to say.

Though the play could have been better edited as it seemed preechy at times and slightly long but again that's because of our fast-paced life that we don't tolerate things like this and anything meant to wake us from our slumber becomes preechy.The play is not at fault.The play,however,is a sincere attempt to make people think about the 'real' meaning of education and in this attempt it fairly succeeds.

Arun Arora
3rd year

Firstly, I would like to appreciate Yavanika for giving such an electrifying and stimulating performance. And secondly, thanks Arun for nicely deconstructing the whole play in a fundamental sense.
In addition, my initial impulse after the play- the topic they picked up is not only topical but also of a great relevance if we look at the society around us. The themes injected-parents imposing their will on children, exploiters-exploited, oppressors-oppressed, corruption in an academic field, what is true education?, belittlement and condemnation of education and sports etc. are very important issues for a vision of bright and enlightened world. They have taken one step forward and most importantly, they have triggered me: to take a stand against the depressing and corrupt elements of the society and to think beyond the personal sphere in order to make a universal contribution. Are you with us?
More comments over the themes and issues this play has provoked will be very much appreciated. :)

Sahil Anand
3rd year.