Balwant Thakur’s ‘Ghumayee’ to feature in Shreshtha Bharat

A scene from Dogri play ‘Ghumayee’.
A scene from Dogri play ‘Ghumayee’.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 17: Balwant Thakur’s internationally acclaimed Dogri play ‘Ghumayee’ has been selected for being featured at the event ‘Shreshtha Bharat’ in Tamil Nadu.
The play is conceived, designed, scripted and directed by Balwant Thakur and has already made a mark for being the first Indian play to be featured in Frankfurt Theatre Festival, Germany in 2009.
In a handout, Natrang Director, Balwant Thakur informed that Natrang has plans to have its regular shows in Jammu and other parts of the state before the team leaves for Shreshtha Bharat.
Play ”GHUMAYEE” is based on Dogri Folk Tale of a hilly village and opens with a ‘VIDAI’ scene after the solemnisation of marriage and bride is being carried in a ‘Doli’ to her in-law’s place. As the tough climb begins, thirsty ‘Dulhan’ asks for water. Her request is laughed away and no heed is paid. As the track becomes strenuous, her thirst intensifies and repeated entreaties end up in assurance of water at next available source. A stage is reached when thirst becomes unbearable and (Doli is put down) journey is put to halt. All and one are requested to do the needful and arrange for water. In the quest a water source is sited but is miles deep down in a gorge, which is extremely difficult to reach. Repeated requests of bridegroom fail to evoke any response, as the job requires superhuman effort. The plight of ‘Dulhan’ prompts a young man to volunteer for the job. All present warn him of the probable consequences but he is undeterred. During the ensuing discussions, the groom in an insolent tone bets away his bride in lieu of water. Thus begins the struggle for water. The young man, putting his life in extreme danger, overcomes all hurdles and ultimately succeeds in bringing the water. As bride quenches her thirst, the young man falls dead, out of sheer exhaustion. In stunned atmosphere, ‘Baraties’ decide to continue with the journey but ‘Dulhan’ refuses to do so. She declares herself a widow and cries out a wail (Ghumayee) sanctifying the significance of human relationship over the most prized relationship of marriage bound by mere rituals.