”˜Andhi Daud’ – An entertaining family play

By Rekha Rajvanshi

What happens when we leave India and become NRIs? With the excitement of moving to a new country, we forget about our comforts and support system available in India. As time passes, honeymoon period ends in the new country and new set of cultural issues arise. Wives, previously only as homemakers, also start working and become independent in their own right. Husbands, as sole breadwinners and lord and masters of the home in India, now have to change and start helping at home, children are no more the meek children, they easily adapt to western culture, and then one starts to wonder whether it was even worth moving to a new country. ”˜Andhi Daud’ ”“ A Blind Race – a Hindi play by Vividha Arts is based on these thoughts.

”˜Andhi Daud’ was staged at Riverside theatre Parramatta on Saturday 18th 2018. The play was born and staged in Canberra twice before, was highly acclaimed and was well received in Sydney too.  Audience from Indian sub-continent could relate to the story and enjoyed the humour in every scene and the dialogues.

Written and directed by Jyotsna Jyoti of Canberra, now a Sydneysider, she wrote it especially in an Australian context where a group of Indian-Australian families are navigating the complexities of life between two worlds. Indian parents still cling to their traditional beliefs whereas people back home have moved on, in the meantime!

The full cast of the play was from Canberra. All theatre and art lovers like Kishor Nangrani ”“a local poet, Manish of radio Manpasand and other male/female actors took part. They get together at a house party thrown by Rita (Malvika Thakur) and Naveen (Kishor Nangrani). Their daughter Alisha (Tanvi Nangrani) wants to choose her own career in Journalism but mother imposes her unfulfilled dream of her daughter becoming a doctor! Mother and daughter’s dialogues were spontaneous and flowed naturally. Another family has typical mindset of north-Indian show off mentality. Rajat (Gulshan Sang) is a successful businessperson and his wife Naina (Kamini Tiwari) is a house wife. Third family Vijay (Manish Raj), Priya (Krishna Gupta) and their son (Chandra Kommalapati), is a visitor from India. Other artists were Anil George as Sanjay, Lakshmi Devanathan as Shikha, Harshita Jyoti as Shubha, Lavina Gupta as Sonali. The young talent Aayushi Talwar ably managed the stage. Drama team managed the sets and props appropriately in-house.

Play ends with a message that parents need to give children freedom to make their own life choices and avoid the rat-race. The theme is really good and the script has the potential to further develop with actors who we guess need more challenge and melodrama to create more spectacle as well as empathy. The play was generally successful and enjoyed by the audience.


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