Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Sandhya Chhaya: Loneliness of old age amidst a world of a race to nowhere

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur: �Sandhya Chhaya,� brings to mind a reckoner from Samuel Taylor Coleridge�s �Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner� :

Alone, alone, all-all alone
Alone on a wide-wide sea
Never a soul took pity on
My soul in agony.

Sandhya Chhaya,� the critically acclaimed creation of Jayant Dalvi in Marathi and translated and transcribed in several other languages is a reflection of a persistent, bitter reality written in 1961 that holds good even today where the new generation opts to join the mad rush to nowhere in pursuit of ever-changing, materialistic needs, casting values by the wayside � values that wither away in a world of loneliness and fond recollections that only evoke pain.

An old couple loses a son in defense of the motherland while another is lost in the maze of pursuing a career in foreign shores; it rues the relentlessness of time where the world around them turns stagnant while time on the periphery of loneliness moves on without caring to think of the love and affection in rearing life from childhood to an age that pursues self-oriented dreams.

The presentation of �Sandhya Chhaya� in a packed Motilal Nehru Public School Auditorium, was awe-inspiring as the audience searched its conscience to pick out incidents related to life at some point of time, at some place.

The performances by the artistes left no room for ifs and buts. Dr C Bhaskar Rao as the failed patriarch was poignancy personified. Krishna Sinha struck the right notes of elation, self pity and recollections of another place-another time with the assurance of a theatre legend that continues to leave footprints on the sands of excellence.

Parvez Akhtar as Dinu�s friend and Masroor Siddiqui as Dinu, left their individual imprints with their easy flowing expressions and immaculate dialogue delivery to suit the varying moods of situations where tensions grew to an ultimate crescendo.
Amidst this star laden sky of great performances, a special mention has to be made for another veteran artiste, Md Shamim who delivers excellently in a performance bereft of dialogues. His physical actions and facial expressions say it all in a portrayal that is based on timing. Perhaps, this performance of his will stand out amidst his other memorable characterizations.

Partho Mukherjee�s semi abstract set designing fits into the atmosphere of the play. His makeup job, though a bit loud on some characters, is adequate overall.
Master light designer Ashim �Nepu� Dey once again proves why he is so much in demand by directors who want the best for their presentation in matters of setting the light in accordance with the mood of the scenes. Music effects by Satya Dev Sikdar bear the stamp of class with a difference. Satya and Ashim combine well to add to the sentimental gloss of �Sandhya Chhaya� so adroitly controlled by director Krishna Sinha.

Indra Radios have been another constant factor in the area of stage sound for presentations by the most demanding of directors.

All said and done, one seeks an answer to the use of hanging mikes when advanced foot mikes provide the same or even better impact by negating the visual handicap posed by the former genre of sound systems.

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