Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gujarati Naatak.

Watched a Gujarati naatak today "Baa-ay maari boundary" (daadi ne maara chauka). I actually am in the midst of bone-crushing work deadlines but decided to screw it all and go for the naatak. My second naatak. First one was when I was like fifteen. Remember it to be very engrossing even at that age. But somehow never saw a naatak again. Saw a lot of junk but never naataks. Watching a naatak was not cool (read gay) back then. But now, being gay is so cool. So watching a naatak is not uncool anymore. I digress.
The drama starts with the narrator announcing to shut off mobiles and kids. The first scene starts, the main characters are acting. A minute goes by and the crowd in the back seats raises a storm. Avaaj nathi! (can't hear you!) , mike! mike! The actor continues acting as if nothing happened. The crowd does not relent. The actor gives up and starts convincing the crowd that once your noise dies down you will hear everything. He starts testing the mikes. In the spirit of the moment, one aunty decides to take the lead and screams "ben no avaaj check karo" (let the lady also test the mike). At this point the crowd cracks up. The actor is visibly irritated. He says, don't shout, I can shout louder and funnier than you. A little tu tu main main ensues between the actor and the audience which is pretty hilarious. In the end they all settle down and the actor resumes the play. After fighting with the crowd he ends up giving a good performance for the very same crowd.
The drama was basically about a plain-jane housewife treated miserably by her family because she knows nothing and then tansforms, with the help of her grandson from America, into this model for various ads and regains her identity and ego. The drama was mostly slapstick comedy (pretty funny in Gujarati though) interspersed with true desi style emotionally charged dialogues about how you should respect your parents and how any sad and lonely person has hidden talent and can change overnight into something great. They hit the right chord with the audience because a majorty of them were housewives. In the end they all unite and live as one big happy family forever. The drama has been performed 335 times. Imagine doing the same role over and over again.
Anyways, it was a good break from work and junk movies. For reasons unknown I'll see the next drama after ten more years pass by.

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