The mellifluously enterprising Aaina Dramatics conducted two of its profusely exuberant stage productions, ‘A Fair Affair’ and ‘Butter and Mashed Bananas’ on the 15th of November, 2016. The Director, G.K.Prabhu, Veena Maben and Abhay Shetty were also present to bolster the students’ confidence. With a remarkable soundtrack and a supremely talented acting department, the stage was set for a breathtakingly sublime performance. At the preshow, the lighting and sound-check technicians laboured over specific parameters to ensure a smooth flow of events.
The event consisting of two plays was named Happily Ever Laughter. The first play was the much-awaited A Fair Affair, which had previously been postponed from Sunday, the 13th of October. Marital conflict remains to be one of literature’s most pervasive themes, one which was masterfully constructed by Mohit Indumukhi and Avani Mogadala, albeit with an extended garnishing of an element of jocularity.
The play commenced with Reva and Akash, a happily married couple, hosting Ketki and Sagar, who are at the brink of a fallout, for a quiet and unassuming dinner. In an unexpected turn of events, however, the discord between the contentious couple is palpable and eventually cuts through the dynamic of our quintessential twosome enthralled in marital bliss. The play explores a subject so controversial and apocryphal that it is often considered a taboo in conservative societies such as ours- divorce.
Hilarity ensues as Reva and Akash attempt to pacify an exasperated Ketki and a dejcted Sagar. Incessant bickering amongst the two reveals that Sagar may have been involved in an extramarital affair, leaving Ketki to deem their marriage as nothing more than a miscalculated error. With rising vocal levels on the side of either party, Akash reminds us that ’10:30 ke baad loud music bajana mana hai’.
The second act catches on where the first left off-Sagar and Ketki divulge that the true reason for their visit is so that Reva and Akash can provide an unbiased opinion on whose fault it is that the relationship did now work out. Each act ends with an ingenious cliffhanger, thereby engaging the audience in a sort of chasm they are reluctant to leave until all loose ends of the plot have been tied. With tongue-in-cheek repartees such as ‘feminist ko Hindi me biwi kehte hain’ and ‘happily married miya-biwi jaisa coordination toh Sachin-Sehwag ka bhi nahi tha”, this was an ebullient play incorporating all essential components of a distinguished and riveting production.
Next up was Butter and Mashed Bananas, revolving around the very pertinent issue of censorship, with gems such as ‘If there’s no cleavage line, it’s all perfectly fine’ and “As soon as a baby is born, it must choose-Democrat, Republican or social bumblebee?’
The protagonist was an implausibly dynamic, free-spirited maverick who uninhibitedly questioned the hypocrisy centered on free speech. A barbershop quarter upholding his every noteworthy dialogue was a terrific touch.
Democracy’s worst nightmare-censorship and its authenticity was then conjectured on at great length. Censoring of objectionable content is perfectly justified, but the real catch-22 situation arises when the judiciaries believe if it is art, it’s not obscene, and if it’s obscene, it’s not art. What these critics fail to realize is that hypothesis and experimentation cannot predict human behavior. The play featured a host of inflammatory sentences involving sedition and conspiracy. With stellar delivery, distinguished presentation, the production ends on a powerful note; ‘when everything has been extensively documented and painstakingly classified, lie back a little. Close your eyes and think what’s wrong and what’s right. I wrote this Bible you’re so afraid to read. Read on and Speak on, Free, Free, Freeze.’ The expertise and commitment of the entire department was apparent, all culminating in two majourly flourishing stage productions.
A Fair Affair
Direction – Dhananjaya Soin and Avani Mogadala
Assistant Direction – Pranay Raj
Ketaki – Khushbu Tiwari
Sagar – Sankalp Kumar
Aakash – Suryansh Mishra
Reva – Avani Mogadala
Sounds – Anand Vardhan
Butter And Mashed Banana
Anvesh, Prakhar, shiven, khushi, pratyush, piyush, zubair, krittika, hardik
— Ananya Roy for MTTN