Dogri play ‘Kunju Chanchalo’ brings alive Duggar’s 400-year-old love saga

A scene from Dogri play Kunju Chanchalo staged by Unison Cultural Troupe at Abhinav Theatre on Friday. -Excelsior/ Rakesh
A scene from Dogri play Kunju Chanchalo staged by Unison Cultural Troupe at Abhinav Theatre on Friday. -Excelsior/ Rakesh

Lalit Gupta
Jammu, Nov 16: The 400-year-old tragic love saga of ‘Kunju Chanchalo’ immortalized in folk songs of Duggar, came alive through its dramatic presentation based on N.D. Jamwal play at the Abhinav Theatre, here today.
Directed by Sandeep Verma and staged under the banner of Unison Cultural Troupe on day-4 of the ongoing Annual Theatre Festival 20018 being organized by J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages, today’s production was an entertaining presentation.
The plot of the dramatized version of the play in Dogri verse revolved around a brave soldier of Raja, Kunju, who is in love with Chanchalo, a maid of the Rani. When Kunju is killed a battle, his love-stricken and restless spirit keeps on haunting lover’s meeting spot. Chanchalo, unable to bear the loss of her lover also kills herself. The lovers ultimately unite in the afterworld.
The production design with elements from folklife of Duggar such as yatr, Yogi in trance, Karak, and folk songs, along with costumes succeeded in created the feel of the historical backdrop. Though the music and light design were found wanting.
The highlight of today’s play was the soulful acting by young actors Mridul Anand as Kunju and Amar Chouhan as Chanchalo who not only brought forth the beauty and poetic prowess of the verses, with clear delivery as well as diction but also imbued it with wide range of emotions from ‘rati’ to ‘virha’, which was the fait accompli of the star-crossed lovers.
Members of the cast who also gave good performances included Vivek Sangotra as jealous and scheming Sipaphi 1, Diwankshi Sabikhi as loving and empathetic Saheli, Sandeep Verma as Yogi, Janak Khajuria as Raja, Harsh Nandan and Anil Sharma as Tehlyia I & 2 and Ayaan Ali. Music was by Paramjit Titu, lights by Junaid Kak, set by Mohit puri, make-up by shiv dev Singh and costumes by Anil Sharma/Dewankshi Sabikhi.
Tomorrow, Lakshya-The aim will stage Vikram Sharma’s Karamgati in Hindustani.