Writer - Uday Prakash
Director & Actor - Anshu Singh
Language - Hindi
I went to the dance class for rehearsals with Sir and Saee taai for my Visharad exam, on the 22nd of December, with my sprained foot… oh I forgot to mention- I had met with an accident the day before, which resulted in the sprained foot. Sir looked at my swollen foot and said ,
" why do you want to kill yourself, go watch some plays and write some reviews." So there I was, on my way to watch तिरिछ… although the whole situation made me sulk ( only dancers can relate to this. You prepare with mehnat and pasina for Akhil bhartiya gandharva mahavidyalay exam and then because of something you don't get to appear... Anyways) but damn! I am grateful that I took Sir's advice. Two things happened that evening- firstly I got to witness a spectacular actor's performance and secondly I was introduced to the literary world of Uday Prakash, I can't believe that I had never read any of his marvelous works before.
Uday Prakash's protagonist says, "लेकिन मैं यह जानता हूं, मुझे अच्छी तरह से महसूस होता है कि उनके दिमाग घर लौट आने और शहर से बाहर निकल जाने की बात- एक स्थाई, बार बार कहीं अंधेरे से उभरनेवाली, भले ही बहुत क्षीण और धुंधली बात, जरूर रही होगी।" The generations of literary works have introduced us to emotions- love, suffering, loss, torment... but what are these emotions?... when a story pierces our heart and we tear up or when the person sitting next to us asks, why are you smiling? what are you reading? ... those are the emotions. When a writer doesn't pay heed to precision or sequence but expands the subtlety of imagination into a story, he brings the reader to the origin of his sensibilities and makes him feel these emotions (as quoted by the writer). This is exactly what Uday Prakash has made his readers and the actor Anshu Singh has made his rasikas feel... and because of this when you come out of the play's world, to the reality, when the House Lights are switched on you feel uncomfortable, wondering if it was the reality or if it wass
It is one thing to blur the lines between the two words while writing a script but it is a real challenge to do that while presenting a solo, where you have to use your very real,wordly body to transport your audience to the unworldly realm. The actor has found a personal connection with the protagonist and his father which is expected from a performer, but he has also formed a personal connection with the तिरिछ (a lizard sort of creature). He said after the show, that he actually went to Madhya Pradesh and studied a similar reptile's gait and body language. Well, his research definitely added of whole lot of eeriness and an extra dimension to the play.
Oh! I totally forgot to tell you about the plot… the story takes place in a village called Bareli where the creature (तिरिछ) ,which looks like a lizard haunts children and adults alike. The play opens with the scene where a young man is seen having recurrent dreams about the monster (trust me I had Goosebumps in the first scene itself). The protagonist's father is a headmaster of a school in Bakeli, one day while returning from work he encounters the creature, the creature bites him and he looks at the creature in the eye and kills it. The elders of the village ask him to make sure that the creature had really died otherwise a curse would befall upon him... from there the story unfolds in ways that you can't even imagine. In the beginning you might hate the creature but then you may start sympathizing with it as the actor flawlessly personifies it.
I ended up with a lot of questions... was the तिरिछ a symbol of the society? Was it the victim or was the protagonist the victim? Was the तिरिछ the protagonist itself ?maybe I will find the answers when I watch the play next time, or maybe not...