"If this anger in me is gone, I am finished".
"Do you know the tree of knowledge. Probably if I had not had its fruits, I might be like others"
"Life is a cricle, your past is your future"
"I was thinking I will be like a shooting star, dazzling the bright sky, shining brighter than everything else for the moment, and burning down to ashes. I was wrong"
"I am always searching for something, something beyond what I am now, something that eludes me as I about to reach it"
"I wonder what would have happened if I had taken the sixty bucks and left by train and seen how far it would take me"
Do these dialogues strike a chord? Almost everyone of us go through these existential angst and over the years, succesfully forget the existence of these questions. Those who can't forget are always searching for that elusive something, like Indrajit, the hero of the new play by Evam.
Evam Indrajit is a Bengali Play written in 1960s by Badal Sircar and translated into English by Girish Karnad. It is not an easy play. Evam, the new entrants of the Chennai Theater Scene, have pulled it off succesfully.
The play is about a playwright who attempts to write an immortal play about the common characters around him. He gets into the lives of 4 college students Amal, Vimal, Kamal and Indrajit. While the first three go through the motions of life, school to college to job to marriage to kids, Indrajit is tortured by the existential angst of some one searching for something more. In the end, he realises the futility of it all and becomes Nirmal, another clone, one amongst the multitude.
Evam Indrajit is a stark and intense play. It works in many levels, and I am still to analyse it completely. It was a pleasant surprise from Evam, different from their other plays so far. Sunill as the playwright did a great job of a writer searching for a muse to write about. His intensity connected with the audience, and deservedly he got a good applause. Competing with him for the star of the day was Asim,who played Indrajit. His facial expressions and ability to emote seamlessly was a revelation. In the scene in the park where he meets Manasi, his cousin and talks about his acting was excellent. When he plaintively says "Once this anger in me is over, I am finished Manasi", every member of the audience connected with it.
They were ably supported by the actors who played Amal, Vimal and Kamal. Amal should get a special mention. His body language was awesome, he was able to differentiate clearly between the college romeo and the meek senior assistant searching for the elusive promotion. All os us know such characters, heroes in college who later in life seem to lose their verve. Sheena played the role of Manasi effectively and was a good foil to Indrajit.
The stage design by Michael Muthu of Madras Players was minimalistic and aided the flow of the narration. The circular entrance from both sides, representing the circular zero of life was a good one. So was the idea of having boxes that double up as steps and office tables.
Deservedly Evam Indrajit played to a full house. Don't miss it. As Karthik, founder of Evam said in the beginning, they have put a lot into this play. It deserves to be appreciated.
The dialogues mentioned above are from my memory, the actual ones might be different.