02-10-22 | 07:00 PM | Stein Auditorium
IHC Theatre Festival. Hunkaro (Haryanavi, Hindi, Marwadi, Awadhi/85 mins) Designed and directed by Mohit Takalkar. Hunkaro literally means a verbal affirmation, a response from the listener to the storyteller that she/he is listening, comprehending and is traveling with the story. This devised piece is a weave of 3 stories that talk about what strength hope can instill and how without hope, life is impossible to sustain.
In Detha’s story, a down on his luck farmer from Marwar loses his wife and is left behind with two kids and a piece of barren land. The step-mother is not too keen on the kids. When the drought hits, the mother decides that they kill the children and leave for Mumbai in search of a better life. The father devises a plan where they lock the kids behind with some meagre food to die while believing that their parents would return home by evening. The wife hopes that the next year would be fruitful. The husband hopes that someone would save the kids. While the kids believe that the evening shall arrive only when their parents have returned home. Now, whose hope will prevail is the question Detha asks.
In ‘Asha Amar Dhan’, Khandelwal’s lyrical account is that of one ‘Amar’ who just like thousands of others takes a long walk home during the mass migration in the times of Covid. He has no food, no water and no money on him. Yet he is hopeful that sooner or later he would be home. Enroute he meets this strange entity who becomes his fellow traveler, his friend, his foe and philosopher; A half vulture-half crow. The crow shows us the survival instincts of man and the vulture is a beacon of death. Their ever-evolving relationship and the long journey they go through, both on the road as well as in their being, is ‘Giddh’.
‘Maai’ by Arvind Charan is the story of two brothers, Birju and Mandu who live with their physically challenged mother in a small chawl in suburban Mumbai. They have hopes, dreams and a mundane life to bind it all together. When lockdown is declared, they both decide to leave their mother behind in Mumbai and go back to their native village in Rajasthan. When they reach home, Mandu is guilt-ridden but Birju assures him that this was the right decision to take. A year later, with new dreams in their eyes, they return to Mumbai. The guilt and the relentless hope they carry is the crux of ‘Mai’. Renowned Manganiyar musician Hakeem Khan Saab is helming the musical front of this performance. Tickets at Rs.500, Rs.350 and Rs.200 available online from Sept 6, on bookmyshow.com and at the Programmes desk, IHC.