The grim clouds hovering over the ambitions of a few wannabe youngsters; the shadow of an ‘autocrat ‘ seeding the ‘clouds’. The legendary theater-person Badal Sarkar infused not only his wisdom, wit, life but even his name into the plot of this classic master piece: ‘Badi Buaji… Baap re Baap’
And when IIMACTS set out to stage its own rendition of the act…. excitement and anticipation simultaneously gripped the minds of prospective audiences, yours truly included. Ensconced in the comfortable ambience of the Natarani’s amphitheater, the stage as well as the men and women who essayed the saga on it looked and lived their parts to the hilt. In a sense, one could see that IIMACTS had truly come of age and announced the same to the world in no uncertain terms. Professionalism so characteristic of a WIMWIAN was seen embedded in each and every aspect of the performance: acting, direction, stage management, music and of course marketing and event management.
They managed to do it all: holding the audience onto the seats for a whole 2 hrs 15 minutes (in the time and age of ‘whats your rashee’…. believe me… there was no question of dozing off in a theater for a change); and they entertained all along from getting audience engrossed in the plot to making them laugh along at the comedy of errors and amusing twists that continued to mar the plight of neatly etched characters.
Needless to say, the ‘Badi Buaji’ did make the stage come alive with her amazing presence and influence on characters and audiences alike. However, it is still needful to state that the play saw several other powerful individual performances. As the plot and the characters continued to revolve around the ‘Badi Buaji’ one could not help but marvel at the perfection with which it was being staged: each character was getting its bearings right; each one was clear about being ‘unclear’ as to how to deal with the menace; and each one had his/her own ebbs and highs in dealing with it. The beauty of the act lay in the fashion in which each character was laid bare in its strength, weakness, vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies; and then the whole package was neatly integrated into pure entertainment.
To put it simply, it was fun to see people one knows etching out those characters; one could not help a few chuckles seeing two of our batch-mates playing tiny toddlers; one could just marvel in astonishment when another one essayed his senility and vulnerability to the hilt in a fashion that could give the veterans a run for their money.
Kartik Julka, PGP2