Purushottam Karandak 2013 Final 9 First Lot – SP, Modern Arts,Science & Commerce, MIT

Putting behind the criticism faced last year over the quality of entries, Pune’s Maharashtriya Kalopasak’s much anticipated Purushottam Karandak 2013, which is rapidly moving towards becoming a state level one-act play competition with new centers, kick started their final round with the performances of SP College, Modern college of Arts,Science & Commerce and MIT Institute.
First up was SP’s ‘BELL’ which had made a lot of buzz (no pun intended!) for quite a while, during first round of the competition. The story behind invention of Telephone, how Alexander Graham Bell overcame obstacles to ultimately revolutionalize communication medium. The play takes us to the late 19th century, welcomed by a mime artist, to Bell’s residence-cum-workplace. It then starts unfolding with introducing more characters. This story follows the traditional structure of establishment-conflict-climax. The setting is well worked out with set and music, and language has avoided scientific jargons. Performances are apt, if not exceptional. Good use of devices like, Bell and his friend-cum-co-worker Watson uttering same words at the same time, putting out co-ordination for better marks. Especially the montage comes out as a perfection in both artistic and sincerity/hardwork aspects of a Purushottam play. The play touches all the characters and goes, but little bit fails to make them memorable. Most of the scenes feel like written with a particular purpose of gaining marks for a certain department, as some focus on actors, some on sound, some on lights. It has got the basics right, but at the end none of it feels new. At the climax, we are brought back to present day by the same mime artist, this time in a much better way, and the story is completed.
‘BELL’ was followed by Modern college of Arts,Science & Commerce’s ‘FLASHMOB’, presenting a rather unexplored subject in current situation of our country. Starting off with a montage showcasing various events quickly and only with the use of torchlight, the play promises you dynamic presentation focusing on the futility of the candlelight marches happening everywhere. It has a vast canvas of characters and events, most actors playing more than one roles, but for most of the time it puts direct comments on the system. Meanwhile, we get to know that first montage was a big deja-vu, as most scenes recreate those moments. I suspect, director must be a fan of post-modern films with dynamic presentation, because the play uses a lot of those trademark styles. There is even a slow-motion fight scene on a very similar path as in Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘Shaitaan’, even the background song is same. No efforts have been taken to at least change the song. The dialogues and events are as usual and cliched as in any of the yesteryear social dramas. Once a wise filmmaker had said,”Show, don’t Tell”. ‘FLASHMOB’ doesn’t much follow on these lines. There is a lot of commentary on current situation, and ironically enough the play, which questions morality of marches, ends as a beginning of a march over the same topic. While the physical efforts behind presentation and of acting are admirable over their ambitious choices and execution without mistakes, the play in all hardly makes a point.
And then came the Showstopper, MIT’s ‘KA LAA KAANA KAA’. A well-written satire on diverse opinions over famous Maratha King, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Curtains open and we see a group of 11-12 year old school students preparing for a musical performance depicting life and times of Shivaji Maharaj. Presentation is bang-on with onstage musical instruments and choreography, right at the start. Story then focuses on the 14 year old daughter of a Historian, who has a simple question,”Was Shivaji Maharaj literate, or did he not know how to read and write?”, and her journey to find the answer. In this journey, we experience a sardonic take on our system, our leaders, our media with central topic being Shivaji Maharaj. Though very limited, but a meaningful use of projection to aid in viewing the chaos in protagonist’s mind. I had a feeling after half of the play was over, that there might be a scene with actors conversing from audiences’ section with the onstage ones, and it didn’t take long to turn up. Performances feel very natural, with great combination of admirable comic timing as well as strong monologues. Montage is an indeed a perfect exercise of co-ordination, with most of its sections gaining applause on the dialogues, if not each and every one of it. The play comes out triumphant in all the aspects, right from the subject, story, dialogues to acting, direction, set, sound, lights. Similar subject was touched upon by Natak Company’s ‘SHIVCHARITRA AANI EK’, which is more focused on the practical obstacles faced by Historians who tried to go beyond myths surrounding famous personalities, in order to unfold the truth. But it largely depended on the commentary and debate over the topic instead of taking a particular take over it, which makes ‘KA LAA KAANA KAA’ more universally understandable and enjoyable, if compared. Even apart from the competition aspects, its a delight to watch. I was only worried for a single mistake done by their lightman, of putting on the footer on the Mudra and immediately making it off after realization. Thankfully, it didn’t make for a great loss for such a nice play. This one is going to be memorable for quite a while, a must watch indeed, if they do some more public shows of it.

5 thoughts on “Purushottam Karandak 2013 Final 9 First Lot – SP, Modern Arts,Science & Commerce, MIT

  1. sorry but i object to your first line in this blog . Surely the criticism over the quality of entries for finals this year is still there . Don’t you think Dhole Patil COE’s “OJHA” deserved a chance in top nine ??. Don’t you think even their performance was well worth giving a tough fight to “bell” & “ka la kana ka?” ??

    1. Sorry, but I cannot comment on this, as I missed ‘Ojha’. Watched 4 plays in first round, and complete final round. I cannot deny the fact that ‘Ojha’ had created a wave amongst all the viewers, to be very good, but in the end, its judges’ decision. I see, you have won a good number of prizes in first round itself, so buck up now, leave this sad incident behind, AN PUDHCHYA VARSHI KARANDAK MAARACH! Congrats! An aattach tumhala All the Best! =b

  2. Hey,
    DPCOE chya sarva supporters. Thik ahe tumchi ekankika kahi karnane navat geli nai( reasn good or bad) , tyabaddal vait vatana sahajik ahe. Bt ata kahi karu shakat nai. So hatt soda, darvarshi kuthla na kuthla sangh changla performance deun sudha navat jat nai, eg. Last yr bmcc,etc.
    So hi spardha ahe. Problm judges la vichara. Ani vait zhala, chukicha zhala,etc. ya var laksha naka deu.
    Manya ahe tumi khup mehnat geun hi sundar ekankika keli ani ti navat na janyacha dukkha khup asel bt ata hatt soda. Dusrya spardha tayari la laga. Yalach maturity mhantat maybe. Magchya varshi bmcc ne rada navata ghatla, ki ami navat gelo nai. Ulat dusre clgs tyanchya baddal vait feel karat hote.
    So footnote is hatt soda. Nthing is lost. U hv performed a good play thats what u hv earned. Rankings must nt be considered as fruit to ur play.

    Al d best. Natak chan ahe tumcha 🙂

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