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Theater fest is probably the most awaited event of the year for all connoisseurs of drama in the campus. I was initially excited to hear that this year the fest would run for 5 days, and that the Annual Productions had been clubbed along with it to give more visibility to the institute talent.

Ekjut’s ‘Tinku aur Gorky ke karnaame’ was the play advertised for day one. Ekjut has had a long association with IITB in my five years at the campus, and I can still vividly remember the awesome performance given by Nadira Babbar last year. The playwright was Arya Babbar (Guru, Jail fame), and it was advertised as a madcap laughter riot, and the same was affirmed by the actor before the play began. The exact words were-“IIT students, please do not apply your brains or logic to this play. Just laugh your heart out and enjoy.” I guess he should have also mentioned that you won’t be able to use your brains after the play is over either!

Personally, I would categorise the play in the ‘Golmaal’ genre (not the Hrishida one, mind you), and predictably didn’t find much appreciation with the IITian community except a select few who kept laughing till the end. The plot was rather naive and melodramatic, with 2 siamese twins who work as detectives going on a witch hunt to protect the love interest of the lead hero (I wish to add that these actors did roam around at unearthly hours in an isolated jungle). It all turns out to be the girl’s mischief in the end, and I mean it when I say that there is nothing memorable about the remainder of the script.

The actor who played ‘Ramu kaka’ was terrific. His narration of the myth of the mahal’s chudail was hilarious, and the only actor who also convinced me that somebody could live to be 153 years old.
The use of song and dance in the play was good in most places, but it got excessive in the end.

Script, editing, loopholes of convenience

Memorable dialogue:
Chudail Madhumati-“Maine bahut aadmi dekhe, lekin tum kuch alag ho.”
Champu Singh-“Haan ji, mere andar ek alag tarah ki kashish hai.”

Chudail-“Main ek chudail, tum ek sardar, hamaari shaadi kaise ho sakti hai?”
CHampu Singh-“Yeh kya baat hui, agar tum Hindu, Musalman ya Isaai hoti, to kya main tumse shaadi nahi karta. yeh to casteism hai.”

Let’s hope the coming days offer better material in terms of storyline.

-Siddharth Shukla
The writer is a final year MSc Chemistry student