Kashmiri play mirrors post-migration issues, challenges

A scene from the Kashmiri play ‘Chapare Yee Gash’ presented by Vomedh Rangmanch on Monday.
A scene from the Kashmiri play ‘Chapare Yee Gash’ presented by Vomedh Rangmanch on Monday.

Lalit Gupta

JAMMU, Jan 23: An engaging performance of the Kashmiri play ‘Chapare Yee Gash’ was presented by Vomedh Rangmanch on the second day of ongoing Samooh Theatre’s J&K Winter Carnival, at the Abhinav Theatre, here today.
Written by Rakesh Roshan Bhat and directed by Rakesh Bhat, the play’s focus was the post-migration state of the Kashmir Pandit community which thrown to new socio-cultural milieus, is in danger of losing its identity.
The play opens with Yamraj; the god of death comes to earth to take away the soul of one Veerji Wanchoo. Finding three persons with the same name and belonging to different generations, he decides to take the one who is himself willing to go. After watching the everyday lives of three characters, he feels pity as all of them are so fed up with their lives that they beg to be taken away from this world. The Yamraj finds a solution and the play ends on a hopeful note.
Today’s presentation high on melodrama was enjoyed by the audience who found an immediate connect with the dilemma of three generations of Wanchoos, who face identity crises in terms of loss of traditional values, new generations moving away from mother tongue, changing paradigms of relationships amongst family members.
As compared to play’s last performance in the annual theater festival, today’s presentation conspicuous for the absence of elaborate sets was more of an actor’s affair. Led by an impressive show of the acting prowess by veteran actress Kusum Dhar as Roopwati/ Rantas/ Veer ji’s wife, all actors gave good performances.  Other members of the cast were Jai Krishan Bali as Sadhu, Daizy Bazaz as Daizy, Puneet BaIi as Yamraj, Arvin Tickoo as Veerji 1, Seema Moti as Veerji’s Mother, Jatinder Joshi as Veerji 2, Neeraj Mangotra as Seth ji, Rahul pandita as Sahib ji, Neha Bhat as Daughter, Vinay Pandita as Veerji Wanchoo 3, Sanjani Tukra as Sunita and Dr Ramesh Razdan as Shubanji. Music by Dr. Kuldeep Sudeshi, sets by Virji Sumbly, lights by Pankaj, costumes by Anjana Raina, make up by Shammi and lyrics by Moti Lal Saki.
Tomorrow Samooh Theatre will stage Hamlet in Hindi under the direction of Ravinder Sharma.