MAHESH DATTANI's "FINAL SOLUTIONS"
DIRECTED BY ARVIND GAUR
Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli
Monday, Aug 29, 2005 @ 07:00 PM
Admission : by invitation , available at Nehru Centre
Translation by Shahid Anwar
Music By Dr.Sangeeta Gaur
AN ASMITA PRODUCTION
Hridika: Anupam Pachauri
Daksha(young Hridika):Sangeeta Das
Ramnik: Girish Pal
Aruna: Amita Walia
Babban: Naresh Kabir
Javed: Susan Brar
Ajit Kr Mahato, Akhilesh Kr (Praveen),
Vipin Arora, Shailender Bisht, Sanjay, Siddharth Dubey,
Rohan Madhesia, Shamim Gandhi, Amit Rana, Pushpraj Rawat,
Prageet Pandit, Rakesh Kumar, Rajesh Kr Sangwan, Tanmay,
Rajesh Mishra, Sandeep Srivastava.Kranti Pratap Singh
Set Execution: Ajit Kr Mahato,Akhilesh Kr(Praveen),Sandeep Srivastava,Girish Pal
Property: Prageet Pandit, Pushpraj Rawat
Production Controller: Sandeep Srivastava
Brochure: Anupam Pachauri
Music: Dr. Sangeeta Gaur
Translation :Shahid Anwar
Direction: Arvind Gaur
"Final Solutions" has a powerful contemporary resonance as it addresses as issue of utmost concern to our society, i.e. the issue of communalism. The play presents different shades of the communalist attitude prevalent among Hindus and Muslims in its attempt to underline the stereotypes and clichés influencing the collective sensibility of one community against another. What distinguishes this work from other plays written on the subject is that it is neither sentimental in its appeal nor simplified in its approach. It advances the objective candour or a social scientist while presenting a mosaic of diverse attitudes towards religious identity that often plunges the country into inhuman strife. Yet the issue is not moralised, as the demons of communal hatred are located not out on the street but deep within us.
The play moves from the partition to the present day communal riots. It probes into the religious bigotry by examining the attitudes of three generations of a middle-class Gujrati business family, Hardika, the grandmother, is obsessed with her father's murder during the partition turmoil and the betrayal by a Muslim friend, Zarine. Her son, Ramnik Gandhi, is haunted by the knowledge his fortunes were founded on a shop of Zarine's father, which was burnt down by his kinsmen.
Hardika's daughter-in-law, Aruna, lives by the strict code of the Hindu Samskar and the granddaughter, Smita, cannot allow herself a relationship with a Muslim boy. The pulls and counter-pulls of the family are exposed when two Muslim boys, Babban and Javed, seek shelter in their house on being chased by a baying Hindu mob. Babban is a moderate while Javed is an aggressive youth. After a nightlong exchange of judgements and retorts between the characters, tolerance and forgetfulness emerge as the only possible solution of the crisis. Thus, the play becomes a timely reminder of the conflicts raging not only in India but in other parts of the world.
With the screaming, stomping, sinister mob in the background of this high charged interplay, we have a dramatically explosive play on boards….Arvind Gaur pitched and kept the action at a level on high tension. .....Kavita Nagpal (Hindustan Times)
A show not to be missed… What a beautiful play beautifully translated and beautifully directed….The play holds a mirror to the society we live in. ..... ...........Romesh Chander (Hindu)
Something to reflect upon… Asmita production is simple and intense. The play is powerful, the production is intense, the subject difficult, the response good, something you can take home and think about. .............Smita Narula (Pioneer)
Mahesh Dattani's 'Final Solutions' is that rare look at a socio-political problem that defies all final solutions…. Arvind Gaur's competent direction… intense, topical and artistically mounted, Asmita's 'Final Solutions' brought back memories of Habib Tanvir's rendition of 'Jis Lahore nahi Dekhya' and Saeed Mirza's 'Naseem.......................Nikhat Kazmi (Times of India)
'Final Solutions' touches us, and the bitter realities of our lives so closely that it becomes a difficult play to handle for the Indian Director. The past begins top determine the outlook of the present and thus the earlier contradictions re-emerge. No concrete solutions are provided in the play to the problem of communalism but it raises questions on secularism and pseudo secularism. It forces us to look at ourselves in relation to the attitudes that persist in the society.
Since it is an experiment in time and space and relates to memory, it is a play, which involves a lot of introspection on the part of the characters in the play and thus induces similar introspection in the viewers. I have attempted to experiment with the chorus. It has been used in a style, which I would like to call 'realistic stylisation'. The chorus represents the conflicts of the characters. Thus the chorus is a sense is the psycho-physical representation of the characters and also provides the audience with the visual images of the characters' conflicts. There is no stereotyped use of the characterisation of the chorus because communalism has no face, it is an attitude and thus it becomes an image of the characters.
The sets and properties used in the play are simple. This has been done to accentuate the internal conflicts and the subtext of the play. Theatre for 'Asmita' and me is a method of reflection, understanding and debating the contemporary socio-political issues through the process of the play. We hope the play will also have a lasting impact on the audience.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Arvind Gaur who heads the Delhi ,India based Theatre group ASMITA is committed to innovative and socially relevant theatre. Starting off as a journalist and working for sometime for the electronic media, he set up ASMITA and earned a reputation in theatre circle in
Delhi and abroad.
In the past 12 years, he has directed 48 major plays which include Girish Karnad's Tuglaq and Rakt Kalyan, Dharamveer Bharti's Andha Yug, Swadesh deepak's Court
Martial, G P Deshpande's Antim Divas, Albert Camus' Caligula, Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions and Tara, Eugene O'neill 's Desire Under the Elms, Dario Fo's An
Accidental death of an Anarchist, Dr.Narenda Mohan's Kalandar, Bertolt Brecht's Good Woman of Setzuan and Caucasian chalk circle, Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, John Octanasek's Romeo Juliet and the darkness, Neil Simon's The Good
Doctor, Vijay tendulakr's Ghairam Kotwal, Munshi Premchand's Moteram ka Satyagrah, Ashok Lal's Ek Mamooli aadmi, Rajesh Kumar's Me Gandhi Bolto ,Vijay Mishra 'sTatt Niranjana, Doodnath Singh's Yama Gatha,
Women in Black ( written & acted by Bubbles Sabharwal) ,Untitled Solo by Lushin dubey, Uday Prakash's Warren Hastings ka Saand, Pinki Virani's Bitter Chocolate,(solo by lushin Dubey) ,
Bhishma Sahani's Madhavi & Manjula Padmanbhan' Hidden Fires ( both solo by actress Rashi Bunny),Walking Through the Rainbow ( joint production with PCVC, solo by Rashi Bunny) & Gandhari ( solo by Aishveryaa Nidhi).
Arvind Gaur has been invited to perform in theatre festivals organized by National School of Drama, (Bharat Rang Mahotsava), Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sahitya Kala Parisad,Nandikar and Vivachana Theatre Festival, Old World Theatre Festival,National School of Drama weekend theatre, Muktibodh Natya Samaroh,World Social Forum and Nehru Centre Festival Mumbai.
Arvind Gaur has conducted many theatre workshops and directed productions in different colleges & schools in Delhi. Such as L.S.R., I.P., Gargi, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Hindu college,I.I.T.(Delhi), Aditi college, School of Planning and Arhitecture (SPA),Mother International & Sahyadri school Pune, J.Krishnamurti Foundation India. Workshops for children in schools and slums as well as Street
Theatre performances on different socio-political issues organized and conducted by Arvind Gaur are many in number.
He has also conducted theatre workshops for Actors and Directors at Houston, USA and India Habitat centre, New Delhi. He also performed various plays in collobration with culture organizations like Theatre World, British Council ( channai) ,Paridhi, bahroop, Banjara Theatre group (IIT , Khargpur ),Rainbow Cavaliers ,3M Dot Band (Jaipur) , Vivchana (Jabalpur),Prithvi Theatre Festival ( platform theatre IHC ,2004) and NGOs like Mobile Crèches, Action Aid , Haq, PCVC, Deepalaya , Heinrich Boll Foundation ,Asian Social Forum and world social forum.He also design lights for NAYA theatre under the Direction of Shri Habib Tanvir.
Director Arvind Gaur has also collaborated with various Theatre artists and Groups specially in exploring a new language for Solo performances which includes Dario fO's Story of the Tiger ,solo by Jaimini Kumar Srivastava ,'Women in Black' by Bubbles Sabharwal and "Untitled Solo" by Lushin Dubey in collaboration with THEATRE WORLD. Not only have these plays received great audience response from important metropolis of India, "Women in black" was invited to perform in Dubai and "Untitled Solo" was performed in Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Boston, Rochester , San francisco, Ohio, stanford, Harvard & Stony Brook Uni. in USA and at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival last year .
"Bitter Chocolate " a new solo by Lushin was also performed at Harvard (USA) & at Nehru Centre, London and Gandhari solo by Aishveryaa Nidhi was recently performed at NIDA theatre , Sydney.
With Rashi Bunny, young actress trained in Theatre design at University of Alabama at Birmingham and Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. Arvind Gaur Has
directed three solos .Bhishma sahani's" Madhavi ", Manjula Padmanabhan's "Hidden fires " & Walking through the rainbow
Madhavi & Hidden fires has received rave reviews all over and have been invited to perform for Mahindra's OLD WORLD THEATRE FESTIVAL, Vivachana National Theatre
Festival Jabalpur, Muktibodh Natyaotsav raipur, 5th National Theatre Festival Balaghat ,World Social forum Mumbai and National School Of Drama (N.S.D.),
Satta Festival Jaipur, Theatre Club J.N.U., PCVC, and Queen's Award Project
(UK) for Communal Harmony.
Bishma Sahani's MADHAVI ,Solo by Rashi Bunny & directed by Arvind Gaur,received special award for best play in experimentaion with tradition at International Solo Theatre Festival Armenia.