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‘Adhi Raat Ke Baad’: The time when conscience ruminates

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Jamshedpur: Dr Shankar Sesh was a playwright who concentrated only on writing theatre. Many other contemporary writers delved into other literary pursuits.

Many of Dr Sesh’s plays have been performed repeatedly all across the country and have attained critical appreciation. The playwright touches on many socio economic aspects with an acute eye and in-depth study of man’s behaviour in situations that are a different type of reality that pose questions in our conscience.

One of his creations, ‘Ghraunda’ was made into a film in 1976. The stage presentations were also remarkable. In another critical play, ‘Badh ka Paani,’ Dr Sesh depicted the caste system that continues to eat up the vitals of society.

‘Adhi Raat ke Baad’ is a poignant tale of a crook who robs houses and then prefers to get caught because in jail, he can get his meals and sleep under a roof. This is a poser that society still looks up with awe and perhaps with a fleeting guilt of conscience. Entering a judge’s house to rob, the thief’s interaction with the judge leaves a trail of bitter truth that do not fall in the ambit of the judiciary but on society as a whole.

The play has three characters, the judge, a reporter and a petty thief who make the play an engrossing affair. The first presentation of this play in the city was at the Maharashtra Hitkari Mandal in Bistupur and today it was presented at the CFE Auditorium.

Director Krishna Sinha, the weather-beaten luminary of the stage has directed this racy play with a sincere depiction of underlying social predicaments, in an ingenious manner. The one hour presentation was a graphic pointer of social negligence that whips up frothing foam of reckoners we fail to recognize in the rush of narrow daily living.

The set designed by Krishna Sinha was executed by Partho Mukherjee who also did the makeup to bring out the traits of the characters. Parvez’s effect music gelled well with the undertones of the play.

Mashroor Siddiq gave a mind-boggling performance of the petty thief. His body language matched his dialogue delivery and his performance was a hallmark of brilliance. However, Md Shamim as the judge had a difficult role to enact in this dialogue-centric play.

He had comparatively minimum dialogues, mostly one-liners but Shamim was ready for the act and may be, this was one of his best performances. Amit Das as the nosy and irritating reporter lived his character well.

‘Adhi Raat ke Baad’ is the time when many realities come alive. Only, our conscience is seldom awake to weigh and accept such realities.

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